Healthcare is and should be viewed as a fundamental right. Holistic care is a transfigurative process, as it pertains to the mind, body and spirit. Not only that, but it should be considered an engaging conversation you have with yourself and the overall community.
I have always had a passion for health. I grew up in a colorful household where my mom reminisced about her time as a flight nurse. She painted pictures for us with her medical jargon about her glory days in the emergency room. Needless to say, she lead my sister and I to become hypochondriacs now, but that is beside the point. The point is that I grew up with immense knowledge about my body and the choices I had with it. I thought this was normal.
The first major awareness I had about my medical literacy and privilege was when I took a public health course in high school. This was where I learned about social determinants, how economical and social conditions influence individual and group differences in health status. Outside factors such as politics, where you live and education can be found as nutritious (or malnutritious) as the food you eat.
These constituents are viewed as quantitative, where researchers can measure and strategize over proven data. Yet, health is also qualitative, and personal factors such as pain have just as much say as objective matter.
Health should be about checks and balances between the two to form a personalized agenda for every individual. Yet, so many environmental pressures we face skew our equilibrium and at times create aspects of identity without complete acknowledgment.
I decided to chase this notion of medicinal integrity with professor Richard Swanson this fall. Specifically, I divulged into women’s health and its identity within religious and non-religious texts. This research was fascinating, as my interpretation from sources such as the Bible indicated similar community conclusions to what our society thinks today.
Survivors of sexual trauma (most of whom are typically women) can be found scared and confused about what their next steps should be. Biblical stories such as the Samaritan woman at the well presented society with no acceptance towards the perceived victims and, in return, provided no outreach toward them.
I find that our current state of society is similar. While we have actions within Title XI and Sex Discrimination, we still lack transparency. Our community needs consistent conversations about sexual violence for prevention and to distinguish what healthy relationships and boundaries are. Universities and workplaces need to provide clarity on their policies to properly validate and support every survivor.
Although my research this semester is coming to a close, my passion for public health is not satisfied. Being co-president for HAPPY (Healthy, Accessible, Prevention & Protection for You), I desire to promote health care knowledge and options around our campus. Through volunteer work and dialect, my goal for the club is to provide optimal healthcare connections in our community, as well as affirm medical confidence in students.
We have the power to dictate what we want to achieve for our health. The accessibility just needs to catch up.