I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to attend the Global Health and Innovation Conference at Yale with the Health Studies Students’ Association. I am hoping to pursue a career in healthcare delivery with underserved populations and this conference gave me the chance to see how others approach this problem all around the world.
This experience enhanced my student experience by showing me how researchers are putting into practice all the concepts I have learned throughout my undergraduate degree. Additionally, I was able to see how there are many approaches to improving global health and that no one field is best at it. I have had the opportunity to travel to Belize and Jamaica for global health and ethics trips with Alternative Spring Break and have learned about the importance of community buy-in and community-lead initiatives through these experiences. I was able to further develop my understanding of this important topic at the GHIC.
I found the keynote speakers at the GHIC to be very inspirational, particularly Joia Mukherjee of Partners in Health and Agnes Binagwaho, the Honourable Minister of Health of Rwanda. I have had some very positive and negative experiences in my journey towards figuring out how I will work towards improving health. These two women motivated me to continue that journey. They displayed how a small group of people can truly have an impact on the health of others if they do not give up and their motivations are pure.
I believe that this conference is a great opportunity for undergraduate students in Health Studies to expand their knowledge in the area of public health. The topics in the breakout sessions ranged from introductions to global health to innovations to that are improving some of the most persistent issues in global health such as access to clean water. I would recommend this experience to any student interested in global health and innovation, regardless of their experience in these fields. Thank you again the Health Studies Students’ Association for arranging this impactful trip.