Student Spotlight: Corey Williams

In our Student Spotlight feature, students working with or honored by the Institute are highlighted. Corey Williams is a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) graduate assistant for the State Forum to Advance Health Systems Transformation initiative.


Corey Williams, IMPH Graduate Assistant

Hometown: Hendersonville, NC

School: University of South Carolina College of Social Work

Degree Program: Master’s in Social Work

Undergraduate Degree: B.S. Public Health, 2011

Minor: Gerontology

Expected Graduation: May 2017

How did you become interested in public health/medicine?

Initially, my interest was from learning about my own health and then I formed a desire to educate others. As I aged, I realized educating others was not enough, there were economic and social barriers impacting population health. I view medical treatment as a basic human right, so my interests have shifted towards reforming the United States Health Care System by advocating for underserved populations and adapting methods of delivery as our nation’s medical needs change.

What areas of public health/medicine are you most interested in and why?

While all areas are significant, my focus is more on the barriers to positive health care outcomes with underserved populations as well as increasing collaborative efforts among health care professionals to ensure patient-centered care. Other interests of mine are in the end stages of life and understanding formal and informal caregiver burdens. I am interested in changing the way we, as a society, think and feel about death. I want to help individuals and their families begin end of life planning sooner.

What are your future plans?

After I become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I plan to work in the Care Management Department at a medical facility in Hospice or on an Oncology Patient Floor. I also plan to obtain either a Masters in Healthcare Administration or pursue a doctorate in Public Health.

If you weren’t studying public health/social work what would you study and why?

I would be a travel journalist, because I love to travel, observe different cultures and write about my experiences. Immersing oneself in different cultures allows for a more culturally competent person and society. And, do not forget trying all the different foods!

Who do you consider your mentor/greatest inspiration and why?

I would say my parents. They inspired my work ethic, tenacity and compassion for others. They never put boundaries on my aspirations, and told me I could achieve anything. My passion for healthcare reform came from my mom, who has been in Health Care Administration/Health Care Compliance for over 30 years. I always said if I could become half of who my parents are, then I would be lucky and grateful.

When you aren’t studying or work, what are your favorite activities?

I love anything outdoors! I spend my time paddle boarding, mountain biking, running, hiking, surfing, practicing yoga, and trying new foods!

Anything else you would like to highlight?

I serve in the following positions:  Social Work Liaison for Institute of Health Care Improvement – Open School at USC and student committee member for Inter-Professional Education at USC. I also worked with Dr. Teri Browne to research and build collaborative efforts among health care professionals.

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