Stempel College: Meet the twins making an impact in public health
Doctor, minister, author, and college professor are just a few of the titles Amber and Ashley Goodman can claim as their own. The powerhouse twins graduated in 2020 with a master’s in public health from the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work and have since set their eyes on improving healthcare for people across the nation.
Dr. Donna Davis, an assistant professor at Stempel College, says, “Ashley and Amber exemplify public health leadership. They are systems-thinkers and innovators who invest their knowledge and expertise in the health of their community.”
We spoke with the Goodman twins to learn about where they are today and what they hope to accomplish in the future.
Ashley and Amber, let’s start from the beginning. What led you to pursue degrees in public health?
Ashley: We’re from Tallahassee, Florida. We graduated from Florida A&M University with our Doctor of Pharmacy degrees in 2018.
Amber: During our tenure at Florida A&M, we were offered the opportunity to work with the Food and Drug Administration in Maryland, which opened our eyes to seeing healthcare holistically. We both met pharmacists that had public health, business, and law backgrounds. When we came back to Florida to finish up our rotational year for pharmacy school, there was just a hunger that we had. We began to ask ourselves, what can we do to increase healthcare holistically and have pharmacy be a part of that? When it comes to pharmacy, we are important for medication, but that’s not until the very end or unless there’s a dire need or an emergency. But what are some things that can be done before that to prevent? That’s what led us to public health.
You both were accepted to Stempel College for your master’s in public health. Did you find yourselves drawn to a particular area in the field?
Ashley: Definitely policy and that’s why we majored in public health: health policy and management. This is where the change happens! It is where advocacy and action take place. It might not be as glamorous, but it is where the decision-making happens that has the potential to impact millions of people.
Amber: Yeah, and it impacts everyone. One law or policy that goes into effect affects everybody. It doesn’t matter your skin color, age, or social-economic status.
A big focus for you has been to help support underserved communities. Tell us about your recent experience with supporting prison inmates in Florida during the pandemic.
Ashley: Being as though we are pharmacists and can administer vaccines, an organization called us and asked if we wanted to join them. We had to say yes. We vaccinated inmates to protect them from the coronavirus. It was a life-changing experience for us given that they are a vulnerable population and are often forgotten about, especially in regards to receiving quality healthcare.
You’re also hard at work promoting your book The Outcast Pharmacist. What’s it about?
Ashley: It’s focused on the overall well-being of pharmacists in the profession of pharmacy. We aren’t coming in it with a negative light. We want people to know what a pharmacist’s role is in the healthcare arena, and the challenges pharmacists face internally and externally. The book is up for sale on Amazon, and more information can be found on our website.
What’s next in your careers?
Amber: Currently, we are employed full-time, and enrolled in the Saint Leo University College of Business, working towards our MBA in Healthcare Management. Our ultimate goal is to produce a company that we will be the entrepreneurs, co-founders, and CEOs of. We want to bring a global perspective on improving healthcare.
Ashley: We were college professors, so we definitely see each other continuing to pour back into those coming behind us. We see ourselves being professors, entrepreneurs/business owners, ministers, and authors.
Summer semester is coming. What advice do you have for the incoming public health students?
Ashley: Have an open perspective. If their goal is to go into public health and then become a medical doctor, think about the patient as a family member and how they would be wanted to be treated. You want their access to care and treatment to be high quality and effective.
To learn more about pursuing a degree in public health, go here.