National Blog

"As a Care Coordinator at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Adolescent Medicine, I mainly serve a group titled CHANGE (Children’s Hospital Advisory Network for Guidance and Empowerment). The group consists of youth ages 14-26 years old who have either a chronic illness or disability. The members and I collaborate to ensure they build life skills and self-advocate in their journey from pediatric to adult healthcare. Through our monthly meetings and occasional one on ones, we come up with ways for them to expand their knowledge and grow."
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My undergraduate education in public health provided me with a textbook understanding of holistic healthcare and the impact of social issues on health, but I wanted to see what this meant in reality. So far during the course of my service term as a patient advocate at Health Center 4, I felt as though I’ve received a crash course in the true meaning of social determinants of health.
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"For some, the true nature of public health may be a bit ambiguous. The truth is, public health is big, it’s broad, it's everywhere. Public health is the murals you see while driving, public health is breastfeeding in a private room at your workplace, public health is the smoke free-oxygen you breathe in restaurants, public health is your child playing at recess. Even when you may not be aware of it, public health is all around you. As individuals, we all play a role in creating and contributing to the public health around us. However, in order to ensure that all members of our community have the ability and resources to be viable contributors to our overall public health, a momentous amount of work needs to take place behind the scenes."
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