Sacred Valley Health has a new university partner! GlobeMed is an organization that strives to empower students and communities to work together to improve the health of people living in poverty around the world. Next year, the GlobeMed Chapter at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) will send its first group of student public health advocates to Ollantaytambo to learn about Sacred Valley Health’s operations and programming. The group will implement a project during their visit, and plans to extensively fundraise prior to their arrival. We recently sat down with Co-Presidents, Kavina Patel and Farhan Ahmad, to discuss the direction of their chapter and its overall goals for the upcoming year.
How did your GlobeMed Chapter come to be?
This is our first year as a chapter at UTSA. We got involved because we would like to see minorities serve institutions, more specifically, working in the public health field. Kavina’s cousin worked in for GlobeMed’s National Office, which piqued her interest in getting involved. As Co-Presidents, we both have had public health experiences and thought starting a chapter would be a great way to continue those experiences.
Do you have any specific goals by working with SVH next year?
It’s invaluable to partner with SVH because we can observe health systems in another country. We can see what works, what doesn’t work, and implement systems back home. Our main project proposal is to work on an anemia survey. We will be spending the whole year raising money, and hope to provide preventive education to communities in the Sacred Valley once we are on the ground.
What aspects of working with SVH are you most looking forward to?
What we’re most looking forward to looking forward to is interacting with local populations, seeing different views on health, and providing input on global health. Other members are eager to engage in a unique opportunity to see health systems from a different perspective.
How many people are currently in your GlobeMed Chapter? How does your Chapter operate?
As a starting GlobeMed Chapter at UTSA, our main goal this semester was recruitment. About 30-35 people, or “staff”, show up regularly to our staff meeting every week. At these meetings, we discuss fundraisers and events that are going on and do a global health activity that’s thought provoking. We’ve also chosen our Executive Board, and have a chapter advisor, Dr. Alan Vince.
Recently, you attended the GlobeMed conference. What did you learn from other chapters and how do you plan to apply that information?
We participated in the Leadership Institute, where most GlobeMed chapters come together and share best practices. From this, we were able to learn from others’ experiences, especially on what should be done for recruitment. The GlobeMed Chapter at UT Austin inspired our first fundraiser through Panera Bread, which donates bread to nonprofit organizations. We stood in the central part of our campus and exchanged bread for donations. We raised about $50 and plan to do more fundraisers in the next couple of semesters.
To find out more information about UTSA GlobeMed and its partnership with Sacred Valley Health, or to pledge your support for the Chapter, visit their website at http://utsaglobemed.com/welcome/