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A Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine student is one of three experts providing information to the World Health Organization on the United States’ health policy response to COVID-19.
Rising second-year medical student Mathew Alexander has joined two professors from the University of Central Florida as “country experts” on the U.S. for a WHO initiative called the Health System Response Monitor, which collects data on how countries around the world are responding to COVID-19.
“This is meant to be a tool for policymakers and health systems leadership to not only inform their decisions in the [present] but also to look back in the future and understand ‘What were some of the best strategies for containing, for testing or for mitigating the spread?’” Alexander said. “‘As we’re reopening economies and reopening businesses, schools and other public places, what are some of those capabilities that countries will need to respond to pandemics in the future as well to respond to COVID-19?’”
Alexander has been working on health policy research since his undergraduate days at VCU. Combining his interests in medicine, business and policy, Alexander worked as a research assistant studying Medicaid expansion and its impact on substance use disorder treatment in Virginia on a team led by Andrew Barnes, Ph.D., an associate professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Health Behavior and Policy.
A graduate of the VCU Honors College, Alexander earned his B.S. in biology from the College of Humanities and Sciences and completed minors in chemistry and business. After graduating from VCU in 2018, Alexander continued to develop his interest in health policy while completing an internship at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and working with the Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University.