Pregnant woman holding her belly

Driven to Improve Rural Health

Amy Leslie

Meet Bridget Basile Ibrahim, the first recipient of the rural health equity postdoctoral fellowship

This past summer, the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs launched its new aligned rural health initiative. Led by Director of Rural Health Programs Dr. Katy Kozhimannil, the initiative brings together University of Minnesota and community constituents to advance rural health, and improve rural health outcomes in Minnesota.

To support the rural health efforts, Bridget Basile Ibrahim, PhD, MA, FNP-BC, has been named the first recipient of the Rural Health Equity Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Bridget Basile Ibrahim

Learn more about Dr. Basile Ibrahim and her passion for improving rural health:

What interests you in rural health?
As a nurse practitioner, I enjoyed providing care for people from rural communities in California, Maine, and Canada. While I was doing my dissertation research, part of which included interviewing people with a history of cesarean birth from across the United States, the participants from rural communities told me about the unique challenges they faced trying to access different options for care for their pregnancy after cesarean. Often they had to drive for up to two hours to an urban academic medical center to access options for care such as vaginal birth after cesarean or midwifery care. The experiences of my patients and research participants made it so clear to me that place is an often overlooked social determinant of health.    

Why did you pursue this post doc?
I have followed and admired Dr. Kohzimannil’s work for years. When the opportunity to learn and work toward health equity under her mentorship was presented in this postdoc I had to apply!

What do you hope to learn through this training?
I am trained as a clinician scientist. I hope that by doing my postdoc in the School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management that I can continue to grow my skills in health policy in order to make a broader impact by translating clinical research into evidence to inform health policy.

What has your experience been like so far as a post doc?
I have really enjoyed my first fall as a postdoc. Even though we are all working remotely, it has been fun getting to know the great people at the Rural Health Research Center who are so passionate about improving rural health.   

What are you currently working on?  
With Dr. Kohzimannil and a fabulous team at the RHRC, I am developing a survey on rural maternity care, which I am so excited about! We are hoping to learn from rural hospitals that provide care for labor and birth about what their challenges are and what works well. We will use what we learn from the people on the frontlines to inform health policy to best support them to provide the highest quality maternity care to all rural residents.   

What are your future career plans?
I hope to find a faculty position in a research intensive institution where I can continue to do impactful and innovative research that improves care and health outcomes for all birthing people, especially those more vulnerable to social determinants of health such as rural residents and people of color.

“Reimagine Health” is a series covering remarkable individuals making a difference in health and health care. Through novel approaches and interprofessional collaboration, the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs is reimagining health for Minnesota and beyond. Together we can address complex problems affecting community and individual health.

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