Matthew Bayne ’19 attended Shenandoah University for its newly formed Bachelor of Science in Public Health. He thought that its small size allowed for a more individualized approach and liked how close it was to his home and family.
“Shenandoah always has a way to get you involved,” said Bayne. “They strive to offer you a great balance of the small and large university feel.”
While at Shenandoah, Bayne met lifelong friends and was able to present a major Public Health project to the then Health District Director.
Bayne is now a Northern Data Abstractor for the Virginia Department of Health (Office of the Chief Medical Examiner). In this position, Bayne is responsible for collecting and abstracting information from death records and manually entering data into a standardized database that utilizes pre-established definitions and a coding scheme provided by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Bayne was one of the select few in Virginia that sends data to the CDC, which is very rewarding to him. The data he collects helps shed light on issues related to violent deaths and overdoses in Virginia. With this data, the CDC can help promote proper response and prevention.
Shenandoah helped Bayne prepare for his career by giving him the skills he needed to excel. Data collection is one of the largest aspects of Public Health and the Public Health program gave him the general knowledge of data collection and statistical analysis that he needed to succeed.
Bayne’s advice to students in his profession is to: “Never stop learning. In Public Health, every day you will learn or see something new. Ask questions and strive for answers. Advocate for the causes that mean the most to you and fight for change”.