Photo of Ibrahim Mohammed Alasafrah

Spartan Showcase: Ibrahim Mohammed Alasafrah

Photo of Ibrahim Mohammed Alasafrah

Program: Master of Public Health Program
Year: Second-Year

At a time when misinformation related to health care abounds, it’s important to seek out expertise. Ibrahim Mohammed Alasafrah, a second-year public health master’s student, is on a quest to do just that.

Alasafrah recently launched a podcast to explore expert testimony on important health-related topics. Developed in partnership with his advisors in the Master of Public Health program at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Tara Hannum and Andrew Morris, the podcast titled “Look Around You: Public Health Matters,” is a series examining topics ranging from health policy to the mental health impacts of COVID-19. 

“Ibrahim’s contributions to this podcast have been wonderful. The initiative he has shown in pursuing leading experts in the field as guests has meant that we’ve been able to interview some of the biggest names in public health locally and nationally, bringing some amazing insight and advice to our students, alumni, faculty, friends, partners, and friends,” Morris said. “When COVID-19 necessitated an abrupt transition to a remote environment, Ibrahim had the best intentions of his fellow students in mind when he began to pursue a public health podcast: it was a novel idea to connect students to public health topics and experts in a convenient and interesting way. It has been a real pleasure working with him and I look forward to continuing to do so!”

Since launching last September, the podcast has aired six episodes, with the two most recent featuring Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association,and former Cleveland Clinic CEO—and current executive advisor—Toby Cosgrove, respectively.  Topics covered include  the future of health care, social determinants of health, innovations in health care delivery and more. 

Driven by his initial goal in starting the podcast, Alasafrah hopes it will grow into a source of information for the public, similar to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Public Health On Call podcast and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Voices in Leadership podcast.

“I believe that we have all the necessary resources, requirements, and foundation to be on that level,” said Alasafrah. “Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has a strong history and roots in the public health field with expert faculty and alumni plus community partners like Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and MetroHealth.”

Working on the podcast has reaffirmed Alasafrah’s decision to pursue his MPH at Case Western Reserve, as many of the guests have discussed topics he’s learning about in the classroom. The field of public health initially appealed to Alasafrah as he was interested in working in health care, but didn’t see himself as a doctor or nurse. An international student from Saudi Arabia, Alasafrah came to CWRU after completing English-as-a-Second-Language studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and his bachelor’s degree in public health (with a concentration in healthcare administration and a minor in disaster and emergency response management) at East Tennessee State University.

“Each scientific finding, awareness campaign and new policy has the potential to positively influence the lives of millions of people around the world, and that’s why I love public health,” he said.

Alasafrah is grateful to Hannum and Morris for supporting his idea to pursue the podcast, and to his peers who have contributed to the podcast’s creation. Listeners can tune in on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Anchor and other streaming services.