Unite for Sight’s Global Health and Innovation conference at Yale University, was by far one of my highlights of my undergraduate career. Currently a fourth year student, about to enter the world of uncertainty, fear yet excitement all around, the conference was an opportunity for me to reflect upon, expand and develop my existing Health Studies knowledge over the past four years based on the attended workshops and keynote speakers at the conference.
The two-day conference was filled with many various health topics, but the last session on the last day was a session that particularly resonated with me. It was an interactive workshop called “Leadership in Non-profits”, led by Mark Roithmayr, Chief Development Officer of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Mark was extremely engaging, and by sharing his personal experiences he not only came off as personable, but he provided us with real life examples of challenges and successes he faced, expected of anyone who works at an NGO or any company. He emphasized that being a good leader does not revolve around you, but rather your ability to work with others cohesively and always being aware of what is best for the company. As someone who would one day like to work in an NGO, I found this session most interesting and applicable to my future plans.
Of course, hearing and meeting the honourable Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health of Rwanda was by far one of the most amazing experiences. She is referred to as “the best minister of health in the world” by renowned co-founded of Partners in Health, Paul Farmer. Hearing her speak with so much passion and determination and pride over Rwanda’s success in redefining the country’s health was incredibly inspiring and motivating.
Overall, the conference was incredibly eye opening because it exposed me to the numerous health initiatives available and current research research being done to reduce existing health disparities. The experience was one-of-a-kind, and I have future plans to attend the conference on my own next year!