National Blog

"As the service year begins to draw to a close, I am left reflecting upon the experiences and growth that this year has given me while still trying to soak up as much as I can in my last two months here. My experiences with the Birmingham Free Clinic have undoubtedly been a catalyst for growth for myself and have pushed me to think, learn, and do things differently each day. I have learned so much about the healthcare system, the people it serves, and the people who slip through its cracks. My understanding of underserved populations has grown ten-fold along with my knowledge of barriers and social determinants of health. My love for public health continues to grow each day, as well."
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"As the service year begins to draw to a close, I am left reflecting upon the experiences and growth that this year has given me while still trying to soak up as much as I can in my last two months here. My experiences with the Birmingham Free Clinic have undoubtedly been a catalyst for growth for myself and have pushed me to think, learn, and do things differently each day. I have learned so much about the healthcare system, the people it serves, and the people who slip through its cracks. My understanding of underserved populations has grown ten-fold along with my knowledge of barriers and social determinants of health. My love for public health continues to grow each day, as well."
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"For many, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is a term that is important to use instead of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The idea of an infection is much less scary than that of a disease, and considering how many STIs do not necessarily turn into a disease, many feel that this term is more accurate. There have been numerous times throughout this year where I have met with community members and those in academia to discuss the services offered at Allegheny County Health Department’s STD/HIV Program, and I have been corrected and told that I should be using the term “STI” instead."
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"Overall, these three new initiatives are true testaments to the power of connections and tapping into established networks to reduce barriers to accessing preventative health services. Simple things like obtaining free and easily accessible condoms, clean water, and more time for doctors to listen and patients to feel empowered really go a long way."
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While preventing disease from happening should remain an overall goal of public health, we must remember that management of disease continues to be of extreme importance. Direct service will always remain a central part of healthcare, and we must strive to meet patients where they are rather than where we think they should be.
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"Over the past few weeks, it has become increasingly difficult to miss news headlines covering the high and rising prices of insulin. It is a point of scrutiny for pharmaceutical companies as many patients with diabetes need daily doses to survive. Yet many of these same patients find themselves in a difficult place: their insurance will partially cover the cost, but they are responsible for covering an often stifling out-of-pocket portion."
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