I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to go with the Health Studies Student Association to attend the Global Health and Innovation Conference at Yale University. Hearing from the world’s leaders in health and innovation was both inspiring and fascinating. Many of the individuals elaborated on the key tenets of health promotion and global health which have shaped my undergraduate career. Hearing new ways to approach our greatest health and healthcare system concerns has given me a fresh, new prospective to apply to my studies and the current health programs I am helping to facilitate in London's Old East Village.
The highlight of my weekend was definitely hearing from Rwanda's Minister of Health, Angie Bingwaho. It was amazing to hear how she had successfully overhauled the Rwandans healthcare system, based on key tenets of health promotion that even Canada still struggles to implement effectively. It was motivating to hear how her success wasn't attributed to foreign aid or surplus. It was attributed to negotiating, meeting the needs of the people and a change in mindset. Hearing from individuals from all over the global has gave me a more holistic approach to health which will help me in breaking away from generalizing health concerns and communities. As I embark on another volunteer medical aid trip this summer, the unique international programs and approaches to health I learned about this weekend will be greatly utilized.
I believe that many of us left this conference having the confidence to be the change. It was emphasized that new solutions are needed and we are the generation that will advocate and implement better solutions to finally overcome the health and healthcare system which have been plaguing people all over the globe. Overall, it was an amazing experience. The lessons taught will shape the remainder of my time here as a health science student. It was great to travel with such an amazing group of individuals.