Hamden Hall Country Day School

Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

2013 Alumna Doing Impactful Public Health Work

Harpur Schwartz, Class of 2013, is doing impactful work in the public health field, specifically related to domestic violence and intimate partner violence intervention. 

She founded a social impact company, Intuition, along with a former colleague with whom she worked at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). The company focuses on reaching women and non-binary people earlier in their lives to prevent domestic violence and intimate partner violence and to break the cycle of abuse.

“I was perfectly happy working in a traditional public health role until my former colleague at ASTHO, who is now my business partner, Ramya Dronamraju, came to me,” explained Harpur. She had lost her aunt in an act of intimate partner violence and knew something bigger was going on. As public health professionals, we are trained to look at the data and programs in place for prevention and intervention. The CDC data told us that one in four women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime and 71.1 percent of these occurrences will occur between the ages of 17 and 24. What we found shocking was there are currently no services in this space working to address this problem for this specific group of people.”

Following her time at Hamden Hall, Harpur studied at Connecticut College and earned an undergraduate degree in economics and self-designed global health. 

“Creating my own self-designed major in global health allowed me to have a range of experiences. I studied in London and at the University of Oxford in a health policy and practice program. Through Connecticut College’s summer internship program, I was able to stay in Oxford the summer of my junior year and intern with the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International, as a Global Health Intern. And once back in the states, I spent my senior year interning at CNN in the medical unit conducting research for Dr. Sanjay Gupta and learning about the role of mass media in health literacy and health promotion,” she said.

Harpur went on to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she received a Master of Science in public health in health education and health communication with certificates in adolescent health, health education, and maternal and child health. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist and a Certified Lactation Counselor. Since graduating from Hopkins, Harpur said she primarily worked in public health on federally funded maternal and child health projects through cooperative agreements with the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. 

At Intuition, Harpur said she and her partner focused on thinking through evidence-based and innovative methods that would help reach people where they’re at; whether they are confused about if something is a red flag or if something is truly dangerous. 

“We landed on a mental health app that utilizes three proven intervention methods: a place to reflect on toxic patterns, cheap access to therapy, and access to a community experiencing the same things. Intuition is changing the narrative around what a healthy relationship looks like by educating women and non-binary people about toxic patterns and red flags so that they are able to empower themselves in their relationships and in their lives. And there is no better time than the present to provide this service to college women and non-binary people given the challenges that COVID-19 presents,” maintained Harpur.

Harpur further added that her decision to enter into public health came about because she wanted to join the fight to eliminate health disparities and address the social determinants of health. “I am committed to improving health outcomes for women and children through the communication of digestible health information and will continue to promote health equity throughout my public health career.” 

To learn more about Intuition, visit the website at:  www.love-intuition.com.
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