Anna Rebeka Szczegielniak

Anna Rebeka Szczegielniak - 2019 Nominee
Position: Youth Advisory Panel, Member
Organization: Global Online Hub for CSE Advocacy
Current Location: Poland, Europe
Doctor of Medicine from Medical University of Silesia in Katowice (2014)
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Resident Physician in the Psychiatry Specialization Program at General Psychiatry Unit of the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Multidisciplinary District Hospital in Tarnowskie Góry, Poland (2016-2021)
PhD in Psychiatry/Sexology Candidate 2015-2019 at the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice
Women Deliver Young Leader, Class of 2016
MSc in Physiotherapy, Opole University of Technology (2012)
BS in Physiotherapy, Opole University of Technology (2010)
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Young Psychiatrist Fellowship 2019
    Awarding Organization:
    Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology
    Date Awarded:
    January 1, 2019
  • Award:
    Early Career Psychiatrist Scholarship 2017
    Awarding Organization:
    European Psychiatrists Association
    Date Awarded:
    March 1, 2017
  • Award:
    The POZ 100: In Recognition of Outstanding Work in the HIV/AIDS Community
    Awarding Organization:
    POZ Magazine
    Date Awarded:
    August 1, 2014
75 Public Votes Reached!
For the last decade Anna has worked in the areas of youth leadership, HR, and access to health services combining high-level advocacy work with clinical practice and research on the neglected yet intersectioning issues of SRHR and mental health. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I have been working on the intersectioning areas of youth leadership and empowerment, CSE, HIV/AIDS, gender equality, human rights, and access to health services and treatment for young people from key affected populations in cooperation with numerous non-governmental, youth-driven, and SRHR-focused organizations for more than 10 years, recently advocating on youth SRHR issues during the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and at the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2018. I wrote number of articles/ blog posts on current SRHR/ HR situation in Poland.

I held multiple leadership positions through International Federation of Medical Students’ Association- Poland (National Officer), Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (Regional Focal Point for Eastern Europe & Central Asia), Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (Board of Directors), and Adolescent and Youth Constituency of The Partnership of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. I have conducted country and regional- based youth-driven projects, which results presented on international professional meetings (AIDS 2016, DGPPN 2016, APA 2019, WD 2019).

As a researcher and practitioner, I’m interested in a hidden link between mental health and SRHR issues, working towards a more inclusive and holistic services. I’m working for the Polish Patient Rights Ombudsman in the Council of Young Experts.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Ongoing struggle to keep integrity between what we believe and what reality serves us, that can be observed in my part of the world, made me a fierce advocate from the very beginning. There was no one single moment leading me to where I’m now, but it was a process of understanding that resources are not allocated equitably worldwide, and discussions regarding distribution patterns are taking place consequently without meaningful input from various key stakeholders. Certain key groups who are rarely addressed and my goal is to make sure that their voice is heard.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

On local/ country level, the project “Streetcar called desire” that I’ve worked on for several years staring from a scratch, has changed from a single event in one Polish city to a year-round campaign organized in 10 major Polish cities with over 8 national and international partners, support from academic environment, and free HIV testing. It’s still conducted by the medical students’ organization (9th year in a row!) making each year young people more open to discuss existing problems and widening their knowledge beyond general understanding of what CSE is.

On international level, I’m focusing on creating a strong network of partners from a variety of fields in order to open the discussion on how to reach out and engage actual and prospective health services users in designing comprehensive programs, as well as making services available for all groups with focus on mechanisms that would encourage participants to work in their own communities. Through the YCSRR project “Embracing Controversy: CSE advocacy in conservative Europe” (webinars and an in-person consultation in Poland with young advocates) we have showed that young people can meaningfully participate in the expert out-of-school CSE consultation and High Level Preparatory Meeting on Summit to Advance CSE when they don’t lose their local perspective.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

As in my work I’m focused on community-driven initiatives identifying existing gaps in the services, exploring interlinkages between different sectors, and addressing stigma, I would use this money to support growing network of the experts by experience to incorporate perspectives of service providers, advocates, and the youth representatives into technical, high-level national and regional meetings. I want to name gaps and possible solutions within available family planning services with a holistic approach, making sure that no need is left behind.

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