My Experiences

My name is Katerina Johnson (known more in the blogging world as Katerina Bricker). In 2012 I was married to a United States Naval Academy graduate. We were married in San Diego and are now living in Japan while he flies the F-18 for the VFA-27 Royal Maces.

I started this blog when I was at BYU in 2009. This blog was for my Technology in health promotion class. I chose this topic due to the fact that during my time at Brigham Young University (BYU), I wrote a paper on Counterfeit Drugs and had the luxury of getting it published in the College of Health and Human Performance (CHHP) student journal. So when I was assigned to write a blog on a health issue; I thought it would be easy to just transfer my paper to a blog and get the minimum requirements done to get my 100%. In all honesty, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into… I thought I would just leave the blog alone once I graduated. However, that didn’t happen. The more I research and the more I talk to people the more I feel this issue is very under-reported, very real, and very serious. I hope this in some way speaks to you to act in some way or another. At least, I hope you will share information you have learned with you and those you care about.

After I graduted BYU and moved out to norther Virginia in April 2010, I started an internship which finished August 2010 with the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) and Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI). I want to say thank you to Bryan A. Liang for helping me find this internship and Nona Bear for helping me out, along with Scott LaGanga and Tom Kubic.

I started the beginning of May 2010 working in Virginia/D.C. I accomplished quite a few things that I am proud of! First, I collected and compiled information from multiple sources on PSM’s history and accomplishments and developed an outline and layout for a profile book to promote them and their work. That was my biggest project overall. At PSI, I collected statistical data on prevalence of counterfeit medicines in civilian hospitals in Afghanistan. I was able to do different research on figuring out the manufacturers legitimacy. Also, I prepared executive summaries on counterfeit drug articles for PSI’s annual situation report.

This was such an amazing experience. I have learned so much. I loved the people I worked with and I enjoyed doing my work.

I also just finished an internship, May 2011, working for American’s for Tax Reform writing political blogs for their webpage and for Property Rights Alliance‘s webpage. This has nothing to do with my major, but is a great learning experience and is helping me better my writing skills. Now, don’t go all crazy and edit all my writing on my blog, I AM still learning. Property Rights has a little to do with counterfeit medicines because property rights are being infringed upon and piracy is an issue dealing with this public health problem. So this is how I got the internship here while I look for a job. I have Scott LaGanga to thank for that.

Then I was able to get a temporary job at Premiere Fundraising, Inc. Where I learned a lot and expanding my skills. I’ve improved with calling people on the phone and learned more tricks on Microsoft Word and Excel.

Here are some articles I have published online:

*** Disclaimer: These are not solely my views, but they are views of the organizations I was writing for. The experience has helped me understand both sides of an argument and even write an article even though I do not fully agree with the piece I was tasked with to write. This is not saying that I do not agree with what I have wrote, I am just staking a claim that I may or may not agree with everything posted on the posts listed below. THANKS! ***

PROPERTY RIGHTS:

AMERICAN’S FOR TAX REFORM:

I am  job seeking right now, so please feel free to email me with any suggestions you may have! Thanks!

6 responses

28 09 2010
Mariana

Hello! I am currently getting my MPH and pursuing a specialization in Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals. I think the field is fascinating and definitely a growing market. I found it interesting that you had such a growing experience in your internship and was wondering where/how you applied? I’ve looked on both websites and found nothing. I’m “itching” to start getting some field experience but am having difficulty finding opportunities…even unpaid! Let me know, thanks a ton!

29 09 2010
CounterfeitDrug

Hello!!! That is awesome. I am thinking about going to get my MPH. Actually, I probably will. What school are you at? I hope it is going well. So, I never applied to get this internship. A man contacted me about my blog and I simply asked him if he knew of any places I could do an internship so I could finish my degree. We emailed back and forth for a while then I was contacted by Partnership for Safe Medicines and they offered me to do some work. I was their first intern they had. I would email some agencies that you like that do work with counterfeit medicines and go from there. If you want I can do some searching for you as well. Just let me know! I would love to help!!!

4 10 2010
Mariana

Hey! Thanks for the response. I’m at Michigan State University enrolled in a online MPH, you should definitely check it out (pph.msu.edu).

So do you just recommend me to email the same agency (Partnership for Safe Medicines) you interned at for a “dual” internship as well or should I email Scott LaGanga? Also, was it a renumerated internship?

My situation is a little complicated since I am a international student on a F1 visa, so I cannot get any government based jobs 😦 but simultaneously, my long term goal is to reside here for experience.

Let me know your thoughts and thanks again!
Best,
Mariana

6 10 2010
CounterfeitDrug

I do not think it really matters who you email. Tonight I will be meeting with them and can get some information. I was offered this internship through this blog and I was their first intern, but I believe they are going to have one available every year. Yes, I got a stipend for my internship. Is there somewhere I can email you at instead of on here? It would probably be better.
Thanks!

6 10 2010
Mariana

Thanks for your response! Yes, sure email me at wongmari@msu.edu and we can go back and forth without flooding your blog 🙂 Anyways, let me know what the word is from your meeting tonight. I have my resume up-to-date and can write a cover letter if needed. You’re the nicest stranger I’ve ever met! THANK YOU! P.S- Do you have a name I can address you by? Or should I just call you “CounterfeitDrug”?

11 02 2013
Martin Beile

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