I enrolled in this course because I have been seeking to be apart of a project where I can challenge myself with work that creates a long term impact; one that will integrate and uplift an underprivileged. In a developing country, the challenge of creating sustainable impact within the resources there and are able to pull together as a team I feel is the best way I can not just learn, but grow from experiencing. I want to prove I can work toward a bigger picture that improves the healthcare of generations to come and is a small, but meaningful step toward the development of their nation. I have experience doing different forms of community service, however the work has never required the hands-on duty of maintaining what past students have worked at and expanding upon their progress toward an ambitious, culturally sensitive vision such as fighting malnutrition in Sierra Leone. I have experience tutoring children from disadvantaged backgrounds, but have never worked on a venture that seeks to impact those alive today and who will be born tomorrow in a manner that stimulates public health and local economy simultaneously. Conducting research, let alone a clinical study is a process I have never gone through, yet is essential for assessing the effectiveness of our solution. Better nutrition can allow these children to have less setbacks from being as active in their education and community as they deserve to be. Tasks like developing packaging for pudding to interacting with the community to facilitate the clinical study and enact a marketing plan allows me to engage in fields that go beyond just what I study; to be truly multidisciplinary, I have to know how to unite different parties and troubleshoot obstacles that arise. As I near graduation, I want to leave with experience that has taught me the capabilities within myself and how I can impact healthcare despite lacking medical training. Preventive health behavior is the most cost effective manner of treating a problem meanwhile allowing people control of their health and minimizing the medical resources needed to diagnose and treat patients of preventable health outcomes.Beyond making me a better student, I want to be a better leader and use my privilege to leverage those who lack it.
Eyecare in the United States has been monopolized by companies like Luxottica which manufacture luxury brand eyewear and own eyecare centers, allowing for control of the costs from the assessment of American eyes to the production and sale of what customers choose to wear. The markup for eyewear is extreme and I feel addressing this in an environmentally conscious, inclusive manner can allow people to rethink the life their glasses have! schools to contract optometrists to volunteer for these clinics. Considering the market is widespread globally for those who lack the resources for eyecare, I believe the issue first needs to reach the concern of those who can be impacted to make a contribution. A social media / schoolwide campaign that paints vision as something that is relative to all age/socioeconomic groups, yet impacts in vast ways that hold us back from experiencing our potential at life could be a manner of creating the conversation. From the conversation, a project that seeks to collect, organize, and redistribute I feel is the best way of giving the gift of vision to as many people as possible. Annual vision exams in schools can be turned into grander community events; if they can be used as flu clinics, they should be used as vision clinics! Everyone’s old, outgrown/outdated pairs can be given life once again through recycling them and contracting optometrists to conduct exams and giving people of all age groups to contribute to a greater good within their community. By generating a bit of profit for middle manning the operation off the supply of unused eyewear, it can be used to fund overseas operations for popup vision exam and eyewear distribution clinics. Incentives for corporate optometrists to volunteer and be contracted for this project in areas where there is an absence of optometrists can be derived from tax breaks stemming from the charitable contributions companies like PearleVision make. Partnerships with NGOs in foreign countries would be essential for starting small and growing alongside the new communities we serve. This way, provider, corporation, and the government benefit by a system that independently seeks to improve upon the well being of those domestically and internationally; generating an act of goodwill that can be made visible for all to see.