Hi everyone! This past weekend I attended Hilltop at Columbia, which is a global health conference for students in GlobeMed. I would love to share with you all some of the things I took away from the conference, and how this might help us function as a chapter. I would also like to touch upon some of the main points of the lecturers and how they pertained to the theme of the conference. The theme this year was "Politics, Culture and Business: Expanding the Conversation on Global Health."
The main takeaway I got from the combination of lecturers and group forums was that the global health discussion is moving in a different direction. The use of the private market to make global health projects possible is something that we are seeing more and more. The first speaker was Mark Arnoldy, the executive director of Nyaya Health. Nyaya is an non-profit that works in Nepal to provide healthcare for those who cannot access it. It does so by using the basic infrastructure already there and building upon it. For example, it works to improve small clinics that are closer to people in rural areas than the major hospital. Another interesting event was a panel of people who work in global health, but also in the business world. The connection of for-profit organizations and non-profit global health organizations was discussed. The notion that businesses can be making a profit while a non-profit also helps to promote health equity is just now being discussed.
The really great element to the conference was meeting people from GlobeMed chapters from around the Northeast as well as a few people from Wisconsin. My fellow hosted student was actually from the University of Michigan. We had plenty of discussion about our own chapters and how they differed/compared. Overall, I was very impressed by other chapters as described by their representatives. They had some really great ideas for how to raise money, how to unite our chapter, and how to make our name known on campus. I am going to list some of the ideas I jotted down here so that we can all take a look and see if any would be appropriate for Brown:
-5k (people from many chapters have done this but it may be a bit much for PVD)
-bar crawl (mentioned by a Tufts student)
-Color wars (basically throw paint at each other)
-Gala for GlobeMed
-Hosting a party at a club downtown
These are just a few of the ideas I got from the conference! It was a great experience and I think if you get the chance to attend at least one national conference during your time in GlobeMed you should take it! I think that it gave me and Betty a chance to bond and I ended up making a friend all the way from Michigan. If nothing else, it was a networking opportunity. If anyone has any questions about my experience feel free to talk to me!