Public Health Alumni Kelsie Mitchell Valued Interdisciplinary Approach to Preventive Health Care

kelsie_alumni_editedHello, I’m Kelsie, an UMass ’15 alum and previous Protect Our Breasts national executive board member. I joined Protect Our Breasts initially to be a part of the chapter on campus my sophomore year. I was a public health major at UMass, and Protect Our Breasts really connected with my sense of health care prevention and outreach. Protect Our Breasts has a unique and important mission which is to start conversation about toxins in our surrounding environment and their especially harmful effects on young women. As a young woman with breast cancer in the family, I wanted to educate myself and share with my peers how consumer choices can have lasting impact on our health. I had the honor of joining the executive board for my junior and senior years. During this time, I gained incredible insight into the relationships between industry and science, gaining valuable perspective on the necessity of interdisciplinary collaboration to impact preventative health care.

My time with Protect Our Breasts has continued to impact my daily life. I pay attention to the ingredients of my cosmetics and shampoos- keeping an eye out to avoid parabens, fragrance, and phthalates. I avoid toxins in my food products such as BPA in cans and look to purchase organic produce when possible. I also try to minimize my exposure to toxins by purchasing safer cleaning products we vetted such as Seventh Generation. During my time in Protect Our Breasts I did a lot of research regarding plastic, and I try to limit my exposure by replacing it with glass, minimizing my use of plastic water bottles and microwaving/storing food in plastic. Across the spectrum of everyday products, Protect Our Breasts has taught me to be a conscientious consumer and to choose safer alternatives. Congratulations to Protect Our Breasts and the dedicated members who have put so much of themselves into making the organization possible and influencing women’s health for the past 5 years, I can’t wait to see what the next 5 bring!

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