Tehn-Addy ’21 Interns with NYC Department of Health
A Columbia University junior is jumpstarting a career focused on delivering medical services to disadvantaged patients.
Anne-Marie Tehn-Addy ’21 spent the summer interning for New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she worked with the Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Unit. As part of her role, Tehn-Addy helped immigrant mothers manage and prevent the spread of the potentially life-threatening infection.
Anne-Marie Tehn-Addy ’21 spent the summer interning for New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in preparation for a medical career.
“It still affects a lot of people,” said Tehn-Addy. “There is still a lot of work to be done.”
The Long Island native, who originally hails from Ghana, is majoring in neuroscience and behavior in preparation for a career as a physician, most likely specializing in gastroenterology. Tehn-Addy envisions herself aiding patients in underserved communities and occasionally trekking to medical missions, especially to her native Ghana.
As she transitions to being an upperclassman, she credits the mentorship she has received from Christian Union Lumine, as Christian Union is now known at Columbia, with encouraging her to take ownership of her faith and for helping to prepare her for a lifetime of service.
Tehn-Addy thanked Christian Union Ministry Fellow Yolanda Solomon for providing a steady diet of enriching spiritual and leadership materials during Bible courses, plus personal support during difficult seasons . “She has always been very available to me,” said Tehn-Addy. “She has always been there to answer my questions and to talk to me whenever I was going through a harder time at school.”
Tehn-Addy, who grew up in a Christian household, has been able firmly to own her faith since arriving on campus. “I’ve grown a lot in the past two years,” she said. “In Bible courses, I’ve asked hard questions about the Bible.”
In turn, Solomon noted how Tehn-Addy has advanced in her engagement with the Bible and pursuit of the Lord. The talented dance enthusiast also serves on Christian Union Lumine’s student executive team, where she helps oversee activities focused on worship, seeking God, and discipleship. She even stepped forward to write a six-page initiative to encourage fellow student leaders in their efforts to seek God, and has planned related inspirational efforts for the academic year.
“She is one of the most impressive students I’ve met in a long time,” said Solomon. “She is a leader, a visionary. She always has ideas, and there is action that follows.”
In September, Tehn-Addy played a key role in the ministry’s highly successful “Pancakes and Prayer” outreach to incoming freshmen. In 2018, she was one of the driving forces behind an inter-ministry Thanksgiving dinner on behalf of Columbia students.
Tehn-Addy is “always inspiring the other students,” said Solomon.
For her part, Tehn-Addy is grateful for the space Christian Union creates for undergraduates to probe their faith in a tight-knit community of believers.
“I’ve been able to have strong relationships,” she said. “I’ve been really blessed by them.”
As well, Tehn-Addy aims to reflect Christian love across campus, especially with her collegiate peers.
In pre-med classes, she is open about sharing her faith, offering to pray with classmates before major exams, and inviting them to ministry events.
During her freshman year, Tehn-Addy jumped into activities with Christian Union, in part, out of her desire to volunteer and establish meaningful relationships.
This desire is the crux of her plans to become a physician. “There is a lot of relationship building between doctors and patients,” she said. “I’ve always valued relationships.”
During her recent internship with the New York City’s Bureau of Immunization, Tehn-Addy found fulfillment while educating patients on the danger of Hepatitis B, an infection that attacks the liver. The virus is commonly transmitted via mother to child during birth, as well as through contact with bodily fluids. She instructed pregnant and new mothers about treatments, preventions, and vaccinations.
Likewise, Tehn-Addy serves as a senior health educator on behalf of the Peer Health Exchange at a high school in the South Bronx. Since her inaugural semester at Columbia, she has taught high school freshmen about mental health, substance abuse, teen health, and general wellness.
As well, Tehn-Addy serves as vice president of Columbia’s Charles Drew Premedical Society, a position that involves arranging speakers for club meetings and creating marketing materials. She is also a member of Orchesis, a campus dance group.
Earlier in the summer, Tehn-Addy returned to Vic D’Amore’s American Studio of Performing Arts, her home dance studio on Long Island, for her tenth recital. The versatile dancer performed in such pieces as Ghosts That We Knew, The Greatest Showman, and All That Jazz.
Tehn-Addy, who also is picking up a minor in Medieval European history, hopes to teach dance classes in the future. Her collegiate activities also included a spring semester as a writing fellow for the Augustine Collective, a student-led network of Christian journals on college campuses.
As she looks ahead to life beyond Columbia, Tehn-Addy hopes to model compassion and encouragement to her patients, especially those navigating life’s challenging currents.
“I’ve always wanted to be a doctor. I want to contribute to the well-being of other people,” Tehn-Addy said. “At the end of the day, I’m not just there to make money.”
Wherever her career leads, Tehn-Addy also plans to devote a portion of her professional energies to treating patients in low-income regions.
“I’ve been able to recognize some of my privileges and gifts,” she said. “I have an understanding of science and health. I want to share that with people who have not had the same opportunities.”