Student Pursues MPH to Make an Impact on Teen Mothers


When you’ve been helping deliver babies for more than 15 years and have been a registered midwife for 11 of them, you have seen a thing or two when it comes to obstetrics.

In fact, this wealth of experience could inspire you to delve into the preventative health and research side of childbirth and care for expectant women. This has been the path for Marsha Rodney-Kusi, RN, RM, who is pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Chamberlain.

The Path to a Master of Public Health Degree

Rodney-Kusi immigrated to the United States from Jamaica in 2005 and joined her husband and son, who were living in Chicago, to follow her passion of travel nursing. She decided to further her education and completed Chamberlain’s RN to BSN Online Degree Completion Option in August 2016. She has worked in the labor and delivery department at a Chicagoland hospital, caring for new and experienced mothers since February.  

As she honed her skills and gained experience in obstetrics, she found herself wanting answers to the questions that frequently arose within the field and her day-to-day work. How could she empower expectant mothers with the education and motivation to care for their children, even prior to birth? How could she impact teen mothers’ lives? These questions led her to research a public health degree.

“I have seen a number of trends with the women I’ve cared for at Westlake, specifically with teen mothers,” said Rodney-Kusi. “I wanted to serve the demographic I was seeing at the hospital – not necessarily just at the hospital itself, but also at the community level, and even within the adjoining community.”

Finding Her Passion in Educating Teenagers on Pregnancy and Childcare

While in the MPH program, Rodney-Kusi has focused her research on teenage pregnancies and teen mothers – hoping to give them the opportunity for full, rich lives. She plans to take her degree into public high schools so she can use education and preventative measures to give teen women opportunities to help prevent pregnancy and to care for their children.

“Many [teen moms] tend to be in more volatile situations than the rest of us,” she said. “They’re experiencing this on their own and the support is not there for them. I’m looking to establish programs that can help some of the teenage mothers. We can help prevent them from going into difficult situations.”

Rodney-Kusi began the MPH degree program last July in the accelerated track and will finish this August.

“Every single one of the courses I’ve taken has had a great impact on me. They allow me to build the research to come up with all the answers I am solving for in my work. I have seen ways that I can tackle pressing issues—specifically in the epidemiology course and the public health communication and behavioral health theories course.”

Learn more about Chamberlain’s online Master of Public Health Program here.

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