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Alternative Fall Break

Health Disparities in the Music Capital

luckybeatrice

About The Trip: 

Join us in Nashville, Tennessee, where we will spend Fall Break volunteering with United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee, Project C.U.R.E., Nashville Rescue Mission, and Hands On Nashville. Our volunteer projects include building home ramps for individuals with disabilities, packaging medical supplies, and providing a meal service for individuals living with homelessness. In addition to our volunteer work, we will tour Vanderbilt’s Shade Tree Clinic and experience the music culture of Nashville.

About the Social Justice Issue: 

Nashville is the 4th largest city in the Southeastern United States and is a center for the music industry. However, the city’s largest industry is healthcare, and Nashville happens to be home to the largest hospital management company in the world, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). Also at the heart of Nashville is the Vanderbilt Medical Center, the largest employer in the city. Still, in the midst of these resources, health disparities persist.

The elderly and individuals living with disabilities experience a high need for home and community-based services. From 2010 to 2040, Nashville’s elderly population is projected to increase almost 80%. Yet, less than 3% of the population has long-term care insurance. The majority of low-income persons rely on Medicaid and state programs to provide home and community-based services to continue living in their communities. In addition, low-income seniors and persons with a disability may encounter long waiting lists to receive home and community-based services. Age, health status, financial resources and housing are factors that contribute to long-term care services for seniors.

Furthermore, homelessness is another prevalent health disparity issue in Nashville, affecting 3,000 to 4,000 individuals on any given night. While the city’s total population only grew by 5.45% from 2004-2013, the city’s total homeless population has increased by 27.5%. This homeless population includes veterans and individuals suffering from mental or physical disabilities. Homelessness may be attributed to the combined lack of affordable housing, extreme poverty, and decreasing government and social support.

About the Leaders: 

Lucky is a senior Biology major and Science, Culture, and Society minor. He is involved with Volunteer Emory as a staff member and leads a weekly service trip assisting with adult refugee literacy programs at the Clarkston Community Center.

Beatrice is a senior NBB major and Global Health minor. She previously co-lead an Alternative Spring Break trip focused on Health Literacy.

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