Global Development Research Scholar: Breanna Reeser

Breanna Reeser with Saraphi Hospital staffNot all students who travel with the School of Sustainability are sustainability majors. Breanna Reeser, a doctorate student studying integrated behavioral health, is currently researching and interning in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Through ASU’s Global Development Research program, Reeser is collecting data for her thesis. She returns to the U.S. in December and will graduate in May. What is the research of your GDR project? I am currently doing my PhD dissertation research and internship at Saraphi District Hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand in collaboration with Chiang Mai University. This is a USAID grant-funded project through ASU’s Global Development Research Lab. My thesis question involves predicting risk levels using a patient's ability to understand their doctor’s recommendations (health literacy scores). What are the impacts of this project? Short-term, my research will strengthen the accuracy of patient record data in the hospital. In the long run, the data I collect will prove the need for behavioral health services that are integrated into primary care settings. This is necessary to move forward with modeling the integrated behavioral healthcare design in future projects. Additionally, an important long-term goal is to foster lasting collaborative relationships with ASU and the hospital to continue ongoing research and development projects. What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through GDR? Flexibility and adaptability. Developing countries have less infrastructure in place, which can mean that your plans and ideas will rapidly change. There is a limit to what you can anticipate, so it is very important to have multiple strategies, to be able to think critically in the moment to solve a problem, and not to be too attached to any one idea. What advice would you give to students considering the GDR Program? Just go! Get out there and experience it. You cannot really ever be prepared, just go with an open mind and make everything a learning experience. It will be harder than you expect, and way more rewarding than you can imagine. It would have been easier for me to do my dissertation at home with my husband and my family, but you just don’t say no to opportunities like this.