Jessica Rao received a BA in Psychology from Hofstra University and an MPH in Community Health Education from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy. Her Master’s thesis was entitled, “A Multifaceted Approach to Malaria Prevention in Humjibre, Ghana,” and based on her fieldwork in rural Ghana.
After completing her MPH, Jessica worked as a Research Consultant for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) where she contributed to data collection and analysis to evaluate the city’s new mandate requiring fast-food restaurants to label calorie content on menu items. She also consulted for NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City where she surveyed and educated community members and garnered signatures for policy changes against Big Tobacco. More recently, Jessica was the Research Coordinator for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering-City College of New York Partnership for Community Outreach, Research and Education, focusing on community-based participatory research and community outreach related to cancer health disparities. She spent five years with PCORE before returning to DOHMH with the Citywide Immunization Registry, working closely with healthcare providers and electronic health record vendors to ensure the reporting of complete, accurate and timely immunization data to the registry.
Jessica has a great interest in holistic and environmental interventions for both physical and mental health problems and is passionate about promoting consumer education.