The Monday that Changed my Life That Monday I found my dream! It was the unforgettable day during my internship when I realized that Public Health was not just my interest, but my calling. Before that Monday, I had some vague idea of a career in health promotion. Then I met Lal, a Bhutanese refugee who had spent almost 20 years in the refugee camps of Nepal. That Monday, my vague idea blossomed into a firm desire to advocate for vulnerable populations such as refugees, displaced persons, victims of human trafficking, and more, so that individuals such as Lal do not get lost in the chaos of conflict, or stymied by systemic barriers everywhere, including their place of safety. When I sat down with Lal in my cubicle in the darkest corner of the office, little did I know that I was about to begin one of the first emotionally intense and empowering conversations of my career. Lal was my first refugee client at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a humanitarian aid organization that resettles refugees in the U.S., where I had started my internship in Public Health. My role as a Public Health Intern was to support and assist refugees to navigate the intricacies of healthcare and other social services as they walked their road to self-sufficiency and assimilation into a new culture. It was Monday, and the Health Team had walk-in hours for individuals who needed assistance. I introduced myself to Lal with my biggest smile and greeting in Nepali: "Namaste." As nervous
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My first meeting with a Wahehe Sex Worker in Urban Iringa was a short superficial interview on healthcare access that played only a minor part in our USAID-funded study. But the interviewee thanked me vehemently, not only for realizing her ceaseless struggle, but for taking on her issues as an African, and for working with my professor every day to achieve true health equity for all of the sex workers and MSM in the city of Iringa. I won’t lie, the experience was validating, but I do not want it to be one fond memory in the background of my life but rather my life’s central theme. Like me, the Global Health Corps is dedicated to the health equity of all people regardless of sexuality, race, or ethnicity, and it has proven that it has proven
As a teacher, I encourage my students to follow their passions and I would be remiss if I did not follow mine. At this time, I am ready to take purposeful steps toward those aspirations. Public Health, specifically health equity, is my passion. I aspire to implement culturally competent policies and programs that increase healthcare access for vulnerable people in developing countries. My commitment to creating equity in health systems and expanding access comes from academic, personal and professional experiences.
I was previously an Albanian citizen. I was raised surrounded by a violent civil war and civil unrest in the nation which is still nowadays plagued by corruption and extreme economic inequalities. Becoming a US citizen was for me an unimaginably great opportunity for which I feel in debt to my now fellow Americans. For this reason, my ultimate career goal is to give back to the great community that has taken me in as one of their own by tackling the problem of inequality between neighborhoods in New York. As a future physician, my goal will be to work in economically disadvantaged areas to not only treat, but also educate children, teenagers, and young adults about their personal health care. With the opportunities that the Summer Public Health Scholars Program can offer me, I plan to ultimately play my part in the nationwide effort of eliminating inequalities of populations in disadvantaged environment so that every American citizen of all ages may one day witness the great opportunities and true equalities that are promised to them under our great
This book, and the lessons Mrs. Song taught through it, were some of the most eye-opening experiences of my academic career. Mrs. Song was immensely fond of multi-faceted ways of teaching. She took us on a field trip to the refugee offices in Nashville, TN where I learned that most people do not understand how difficult it is to integrate into American culture, and also how important it is to adjust wholly. These experiences have fueled my desire to learn more about refugees in my community and how to serve them. Following this Nashville visit, Mrs. Song introduced us to her friend who was a refugee from Liberia. She currently owns a local sewing shop, and she invited us to her shop to discuss her life and journey as a refugee. My eyes were opened to the hardship, courage, and perseverance required of immigrants. Learning of their hardships encouraged me to persevere through difficult situations.
My desire to both supplement and apply the wide-ranging experiences, skills, and academic background that I have acquired throughout my college career thus far have driven my interest and excitement to participate in the BSF internship this summer. I am motivated to gain the hands-on experience necessary to further my knowledge in the public health sector, as well as to better prepare myself to join the work force after completing my undergraduate degree. The collaborative projects and challenges that I would have the chance to work on within this internship directly correlate with my career goals- to work to contribute to the protection and improvement of the health of all families and populations through the sciences of public health. I see numerous opportunities to achieve this goal through bringing awareness through educational campaigns and interactive activities in health, illness, and wellbeing among the UCSD Community Stations. Furthermore, the prospect of being able to work in teams with individuals from different academic disciplines with various
The valuable experience I have gained in the mission field has prepared me to work in underserved populations. I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti twice, both of which were during a devastating public health care strike that left the Haitian people without medical care. While in Haiti, I experienced events that average Americans will never witness. Upon my arrival the people of the small village learned that I was a nursing student and began approaching me with requests for medical care. With no experience and limited supplies I did my best to improvise. I encountered scared parents with children that had superficial wounds and children with rashes that covered their heads. Thankfully, I was able to offer some assistance and comfort to
Bridge Refugee Services is a non-profit organization operation outside of Chattanooga and Knoxville. They provide services to incoming refugees and assist them with starting their life in the United States. They have been in operation since 1982 and have helped relocate hundreds of refugees in Tennessee. My internship was completed in the Chattanooga office where I assisted staff with carrying out their daily tasks. After meeting several times with my supervisor it was decided that I would create a Employment Success presentation to help acclimate clients to working in the United States.
In my life, I have experienced the incredible work healthcare professionals can provide and how lack of access to care can lead to dire consequences. Growing up in my village in Bangladesh, I was first hand witness to this lack of adequate healthcare. I had to watch my sisters deliver babies without training, I had to witness an aunt suffer in an agony due to the lack of adequate healthcare facility, but my most vivid experience of this lack of healthcare came when I was the victim of an acid attack and had to wait three days to receive medical attention. Due to this attack, I have third degree burn on approximately ninety percent of my body, and left me blind in one eye. Due to the lack of adequate health care in Bangladesh, two organizations, “Healing the Children” and “Naripokkho”, decided to provide me with medical care in the United States. It was there, that I was eventually exposed to all the wonderful work that could be done by doctors and other healthcare professionals. I have had approximately thirty reconstructive surgeries to repair my nose, eyelids and part of my forehead that was perforated through my skull. These experiences have inspired me to want to become a doctor, with the hope of giving back to my local community in Bangladesh, United States and globally.
My visits to India had permanently affected my perception of how economic and social systems operate. In my undergraduate career, I joined the ranks of student activism by working with coalitions that focused on the Black struggle against mass incarceration and police brutality and divestment campaigns aimed to educate about and address the on-going human rights violations occurring in Israel-Palestine. My passion for student activism led me to understand that my career must involve social justice for all groups of people. Social justice and activism had become a recurring theme in my life. I was on track to earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, however, my newfound passion required that I act upon my future career with more zest and focus for improving society on a larger scale through public service. And what better classes to complement psychology than public health? In my Introduction to Global Public Health class, I quickly understood two important lessons: public health is everywhere and public health is synonymous with social justice. I began to see public health in every aspect of my life: brushing my teeth with fluoride paste, showering with clean water, and using my seatbelt all reminded me of public health. The course was one of the most captivating and thought-provoking classes I had taken and allowed me to explore the connection between social justice and public
In 2010, I traveled to the Dominican Republic and experienced firsthand the fulfillment and gratification that comes in serving the underserved. Traveling with a group practicing the One World One Health Initiative, I arrived in the Dominican Republic just months after the devastating earthquake rocked neighboring Haiti. Both countries were in turmoil: tensions were high, families were displaced, and Haitians were fleeing across the border to rural areas throughout the Dominican Republic.
At this clinic, I was able to intern for six months as a researcher at a project assessing health outcomes in low-income diabetics who receive nutrition classes and healthy food. I also volunteered at the Oncology department of a Hospital for 8 months. I was an intern for two different public health studies in San Diego, CA related to physical activity and weight loss. These volunteer and internship experiences have contributed for me to learn more about the community’s needs and to reassure my interest in public health. These opportunities have not only given me experience that I now use in my work as a research assistant at a public health study and that I will continue to use professional and personal lives. From learning to listen more effectively, to demonstrating awareness of others’ needs and feelings. I have learned about compassion and socio-cultural factors that have allowed me to have a greater perspective, appreciation and respect for multiple dimensions of diversity. These opportunities have allowed me to met people from different backgrounds, life experiences and needs which helped me about my responsibilities to society locally, nationally, and
My interest in public health stems from a natural inclination and compassion to help people. Although at the time it was not readily apparent that public health was what I was searching for, I found myself focusing my energy on impoverished and destitute population working towards finding them the appropriate health care they needed as well as educating them about healthy lifestyle behaviors. It later became evident to me that all long since undergrad, I have pursued work in public health without realizing it. Only while working as a clinical research coordinator in New York City, I found my calling in public health. Once I was introduced to the field of public health there was a natural affinity formed with research, academia and public health. I was excited to have come across a powerful tool to understand the relationship between exposures and health outcomes and resourcefully come up with effective measures to address health issues at a population level. For these reasons I am pursuing a PhD in epidemiology, which will allow me to pursue my goal of further refining my skills in epidemiology with a career in academia as well as in the non-profit sector.
Although volunteers for Medecins Sans Frontiers are commonly stationed in various countries with a dire healthcare worker shortage, regions with refugee camps and internally displaced persons are also a focus for this organization. Refugees and internally displaced persons often come from war torn regions and live in close confines with poor sanitation and limited resources. These living situations become a breeding ground for diseases and other health issues like malnutrition, yet the individuals lack access to any sort of healthcare. The organization also responds quickly when regions suddenly experience an increased need for healthcare, for example in times of an epidemic or a natural disaster. Medecins Sans Frontiers’ involvement across its varying regions and their attempt to address a broad spectrum of healthcare truly show how altruistic the organization is to individuals regardless of race, gender, or religion.
International Public Health employees are an integral part of the health system throughout the globe. These workers play a large role in helping systems become more culturally appropriate and relevant to the idea of the health problems that not only states in the US face, but all over the world. Public health workers main goal is to identify the particular health care needs of individuals in a community or target area. There are many important people within the field of public health, however, very few members are publicly well-known. Not many women in the health field are publicly I decided to profile an important person within the field known internationally, Margaret Chan. Chan has been the current general director of the World Health