Ericka A. Lara Ovares

MD, MPH student in Public Health Policy and Administration

Ericka is a physician from Costa Rica who has dedicated her early career to the research of different illnesses in the field of Ears, Nose and Throat at the University of Minnesota Otolaryngology Department and the Ears, Nose and Throat Clinic of Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). She is currently a second-year master’s student at the School of Public Health pursuing her degree in Public Health Policy and Administration and is an Interdisciplinary Center for Global Change (ICGC) Fellow Scholar.

During her time as a student at the University of Minnesota, Ericka has developed an interest in Global Health.  She was recently able to work with the Deafness and Hearing Loss Prevention Program at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva where she collaborated in  the development of safe listening global policy standards to protect people’s hearing when using portable music devices as well as a safe listening toolbox to assist governments, industries and civil society in the creation of sensible policy that will keep people from becoming exposed to loud noises in their daily lives. In addition, her most recent work and subject of her master’s thesis concerns health care system strengthening, analyzing options to expand insurance coverage and protecting people from catastrophic health expenditures.

Dr. Lara is also the current President of the Council of International Graduate Students at UMN, an organization that advocates for the rights and wellbeing of international students on campus, and a contributor to the American Journal of Public Health Think Tank group which is concerned with researching and applying tools for effectively disseminating public health information to the lay audience.