Internship with the Public Health Law Watch: Creating a Public Comment Toolkit

Presenter: Fionnuir Ni Chochlain

Research Category:
College: Khoury College of Computer Sciences
Major(s): Data Science, Health Science
Graduation Date: 2024

My work at the Public Health Law Watch began with the goal of figuring out what it meant to create an effective and appealing website. During the course of the project and working with my mentor, Professor Jennifer Huer, we felt that we had completed this first goal, and decided to move on to another project that the PHLW has been wanting to work on for some time, creating a Public Comment Toolkit to help individuals to advocate for their own health and increase community engagement by providing resources. Throughout this project, I focused on balancing visuals and content, drawing attention to George Consortium members, and ensuring clarity of information. The Public Comment Toolkit is made up of two main sections, background on what a public comment is, and how to write a public comment, as well as resources to throw your own public comment writing party. Historically, public health has often been approached only from the perspectives of experts, which is important, but not enough weight has been given to the power of the perspectives of individuals and patients whose lives have been intimately affected by these issues. The increased use of public comments as a toll for the engaged public to assert their views on rule changes and general issues shows a change in this trend, and I think that PHLWÕs Public Comment Toolkit is valuable in helping this change along. I canÕt wait to see it in action!