Public Health

Examining the social determinants of global eye health: Sharing my story of vision care (pt. 3)

This post is part three. Read part one and two of this series. As Together We See (TWS) grew, our team conducted international vision screenings. In these programs, we’d begin by remotely training volunteers in that region to conduct visual acuity examinations using OcularCheck. In an ordinary year, our team would have conducted these ourselves, but we couldn’t travel due…

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Social Determinants of Health

Mass Incarceration and COVID-19: The intersection of American policy failures

Today, American prison systems stand at the intersection of multiple public health disasters. Mass incarceration has led to millions of people living in dismal, overcrowded arrangements — conditions that left prisoners particularly susceptible to infectious spread. At the onset of the pandemic, policymakers had a chance to create effective safety regulations but failed to do so. The convergence of these…

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Social Determinants of Health

How self-produced medicines have increased tribal agency and reduced health disparities in Thailand

Modern healthcare is fraught with inequality. The U.S. private system suffers from exorbitant treatment costs, turns a blind eye to chronic conditions, and reflects disparities by ethnicity and socioeconomic status—all of which remain significant barriers to public health. On a global stage, similar patterns are evident: pharmaceutical companies are hesitant to expand into developing countries where they may not profit.…

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Social Determinants of Health

Having conversations about health: Public health disparities on the Pine Ridge Native reservation

Indigenous communities have suffered for centuries at the hands of colonialism, and their isolation on reservations has affected their health and well-being in a myriad of ways. In this post, I’ll discuss the public health situation at one reservation in particular: Pine Ridge. I recently had the privilege of speaking with Paula Sibal, a staff member at Re-Member who is…

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Social Determinants of Health

How the most primal of human necessities affect public health today: A global understanding of malnutrition and food insecurity

Food, water, and shelter—the three necessities of our ancestors, dating from tens of millennia ago, are still ever-important to our survival. In modern-day society, food has become an essential aspect of the cultural landscape of cities; as a result, what food one has access to is dependent on their geographical location, income, and status. Unfortunately, nutrition in marginalized communities is…

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Social Determinants of Health

Education in the K-12 system: A social determinant of health that extends beyond the child’s classroom

Author’s note: This is the second post of the social determinants of health series, in which I discuss international public health disparities and societal factors contributing to public health. In these posts, I’ll delve into my journey into the field of public health, specifically focusing on eye care/visual impairments in underprivileged communities, while describing my experiences along the way. The…

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Social Determinants of Health

Moving beyond medicine: Using the social determinants of health to address public health disparities

Author’s note: This is the first post in a series in which I’ll write about international public health disparities and societal factors contributing to public health. In these posts, I’ll delve into my journey into the field of public health, specifically focusing on eye care/visual impairments in underprivileged communities, while describing my experiences along the way. Although the traditional approach…

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