Khlood Saeed

Khlood Saeed, Undergraduate student, public health

Diagnoses barriers to healthcare

“As a first-gen student, I am impressed with how capably Khlood has reached beyond her comfort zone to seek out the experiences she needs to achieve her goals. She has reflected on the personal experiences of her upbringing and those of her community and is actively seeking out research in health disparities and inequities to try and create a better world for everyone.” – Sophie Switzer, assistant director, engaged learning and career preparation, College of Public Health

Iowa City, Iowa

Faculty mentor/advisor:
Julie Reynolds, DDS, MS, assistant professor, preventive and community dentistry; and Sofia Iribarren, DDS, MS, adjunct assistant professor, pediatric dentistry, College of Dentistry

What is your degree program and anticipated graduation date?
Bachelor of Science in Public Health and expecting to graduate in May 2024.

Please describe your research:
Our research focuses on retrieving and analyzing various documents related to Medicaid and other health services that may be available, such as emergency Medicaid, prenatal care, and dental care. This process allows us to identify what states provide Medicaid coverage specifically for the undocumented population throughout the United States.

In simple terms, why does this research matter?
I believe it is important for aspiring healthcare providers to provide healthcare for all. No matter what an individual’s immigration status is. Their health should not be a factor as to whether they receive adequate healthcare services. Overall, this research allows us to achieve a better understanding of where more support can be given to get the underrepresented population a better quality of health.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research?
Started this research in January 2023, during my third year of undergrad.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa?
Researching has truly opened my mind to greater bounds than I hadn’t realized. It was an adjustment at first, but I can truly say it has greatly impacted my undergraduate career for the better. Being given the responsibility of researching the value of this project was difficult yet rewarding. It is great to be able to go outside of your boundaries and put in the work and effort for something you’re passionate about. I am looking forward to seeing what other new skills I can learn from this experience.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation?
After graduation, my hopes are to continue my education by pursuing graduate school and earning a master’s in clinical anatomy, while getting ready to apply for dental school.

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