JULY 14, 2014 – Four Georgetown students have been selected to participate in the second annual Health Equity Student Scholars Program at the School of Nursing & Health Studies.
Meghan Balzarini (NHS’14), a second degree nursing student, Ghipsel Cibrian (C’16), a government major, and Julia Ma (NHS’15) and Emily Min (NHS’16), both human science majors, are taking part in the initiative, which is sponsored by the school’s Center for Health Equity – Research, Implementation, and Teaching, and the Committee on Mission and Values.
This funded internship program partners with the Mid-Atlantic Health Equity Council – an initiative of the Office of Minority Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The scholars were selected from more than 40 applicants across campus. They demonstrated strong interest in public health, health equity, and serving underserved communities. They will work under the direction of Laura Anderko, PhD, RN, the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Endowed Chair in Values Based Health Care at NHS.
“The scholars will work at the intersection of health, research, and education,” she says. “It is really about including them in action.”
The students will work on a variety of projects, including outreach and education around the Affordable Care Act, the value of environmental health programs in the prevention of disease, and using social media to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce health disparities.
‘Minimize Health Disparities’
Ma wants to learn more about reducing health disparities both in the Mid-Atlantic region and globally.
“I know that people do not always have access to proper care,” she says. “In the future, I hope to work on improving the health care system in China.”
Cibrian grew up with awareness that there were health disparities abroad, but not in her hometown. She says that discovering the correlation between safer neighborhoods and child obesity was eye-opening.
“It is not just about providing quality health care, but how we can live a quality life to minimize the health disparities,” says Cibrian.
The Health Equity Scholars Program is focused on issues that, if not addressed, may lead to poor health outcomes, Anderko notes.
“The mission of the program is strongly supported by values of social justice, the common good, and respect and diversity,” says Anderko.
By Masha Mikey (S’15)