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Alternative Weekend Trip

Turning the Tide Toward Wellness: Health Disparities in Birmingham, AL

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About The Trip: 

This trip will allow students to engage with and understand the unfortunate inequities in health in Birmingham in order to more effectively comprehend health, which is currently an issue at the forefront of policies being implemented worldwide, nationally, and even here at Emory. While in Birmingham, we will be partnering with organizations dedicated to providing more access to healthier lifestyles, such as the American Red Cross. We hope that this trip will serve as an eye-opening experience for all those involved!

About the Social Justice Issue: 

We tend to focus on the physical aspects of one's health, because that is typically what is most evident to us. However, other pillars of health, such as the mental, emotional, and environmental aspects, are often overlooked despite being equally as important.

Dr. Frank Franklin of the University of Alabama at Birmingham states, "The biggest predictor of health is wealth." The unfortunate social and economic inequalities that have existed in Birmingham for several decades illustrate the saddening link between poverty and health. Birmingham has some of the nation's highest rates for stroke, diabetes, obesity, HIV/AIDS infection, and cardiovascular disease. A large number of the population in Birmingham lives in poverty and has little to no access to healthcare. Without the proper treatment and management, all these diseases can often lead to further complications of the disorders and co-morbidities. These physical health issues paired with the other various issues with an individual's health can lead to a difficult, low quality of life.

About the Leaders: 

Naziya Noorani is currently a senior at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University with an interest in oncology and palliative care. She spent her first two years at Emory College of Arts and Sciences and served as a Staff Member for Volunteer Emory through which she led a sustainability-themed Alternative Spring Break Trip to New Orleans, Louisiana. Naziya currently serves as the President of the Emory International Student Nursing Association and is a Student Ambassador and Veteran Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership (VANAP) Scholar at the School of Nursing. She is truly excited to co-lead this trip with Claudia and cannot wait to meet you all!

Claudia Garcia is a senior at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University with an interest in oncology nursing. She currently serves as the Vice President of the Emory International Student Nursing Association and is a Student Ambassador at the School of Nursing. She also assists with Dr. Melissa Pinto's research at the nursing school. She is looking forward to co-leading and engaging in meaningful service!

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