How do we bridge the gap between individuals of different socioeconomic classes and the lack of access to health resources? Exploring this relationship between healthcare and social class drove me to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in Family and Community Health. In particular, I was keen on designing healthcare interventions that fostered health equity. As a result, I chose to work with Purdue’s Center for Health Equity and Innovation (CHEqI) under the mentorship of clinical pharmacists and public health personnel.
In July 2023, CHEqI team members, Dr. Jasmine Gonzalvo, Dr. Ellen Schellhase, and Gicelle Garcia, had an exciting visit to Colombia to strengthen international partnerships and further explore collaborative opportunities. Their visit took them institutions in Medellin such as the Universidad de Antioquia (UdA) - Servicio de Orientación Farmacéutica y Alimentaria (SOFYA) and Cielum, with a final stop in Bogota to engage with Droguería Colsubsidio.
The opportunity to work with the Center for Health Equity and Innovation at Purdue University was serendipitous in nature. I was listening to Dr. Jasmine Gonsalvo speak at a lecture event when I realized just how much I had in common with the work she was doing in and near my community.
I believe we are made for community - meant to be with people and for people. To me, community engagement looks like aligning with what our community cares about and providing resources and aid to further their mission. This has been at the core of my role as the Community Engagement Chair for CHEqI. As I stepped into this position, my goal was to promote new community partnerships that enrich teaching, learning, research, address critical social issues, and contribute to the public good in the Greater Lafayette area. During this tim