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The guiDE program provides DukeEngage alumni a pathway to continue their commitment to service and civic engagement by providing leadership, mentorship and service opportunities that support wider DukeEngage efforts on campus and beyond.

DukeEngage student on a balcony in New Orleans

Rishi

DukeEngage Partner Organization: CrescentCare Community Health Center 

Major: Economics

Contact Rishi: rrs27@duke.edu

Rishi is a senior at Duke who is pursuing a major in economics, and a career in the medical field. He is interested in understanding how health policy translates into tangible healthcare outcomes, especially in underserved communities with low access to care. He spent the summer after his sophomore year with DukeEngage New Orleans, working at NO/AIDS d.b.a. CrescentCare, a Federally Qualified Health Center which was originally an HIV clinic in the 1980s. Throughout his eight weeks, he spent most of his time working as an intern in the legal department. His projects involved helping CrescentCare prepare for an upcoming federal audit, meeting with legislators to discuss Hepatitis C treatment plans under Medicaid, and rewriting the organization’s emergency safety plan. In addition, he volunteered at a weekly support group for HIV positive clients, and got certified in the state of Louisiana to test and counsel patients for HIV. Rishi’s biggest takeaway from his summer in the Big Easy was a better understanding of how so many societal factors contribute to a person’s health, and result in severe inequality in terms of health care delivery. Working in the nonprofit side of health afforded him a vastly different perspective on medicine in the US than he had seen previously, which has given him a lot more clarity in his career aspirations. In his free time, Rishi enjoys listening to music, reading and boxing.

Resource Guide for DukeEngage USA - New Orleans, LA

Following his summer working with CrescentCare Community Health Center in New Orleans, Rishi developed the following list of resources for students who are interested in that program — or similar programs

The Duke Center for Race Relations hosts talks that I feel could be very useful to prepare students for a summer in New Orleans. The city is one of the most segregated places in the US, and I think I would have benefitted from more conversations about the racial issues many of the organizations faced before beginning work.

 

The Duke Global Health Institute has some interesting speakers/events, which could be found on their website.

Books

  • The New Jim Crowe – Slavery by Another Name – Michelle Alexander
  • Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Anything relating to Jazz music in the south, and in the city of New Orleans

Articles

I read some news articles on Hurricane Katrina prior to the program, which were helpful.

Nola.com – The Times Picayune

Films

Hurricane on the Bayou Documentary

 

TED Talks

Vicki Arroyo – Let’s Prepare for our New Climate (Speech relates to Hurricane Katrina)
Verna Myers – How to Overcome your Biases? Walk boldly toward them

Know Your Status – Students in this organization test and counsel clients in the Durham area for HIV/AIDS, and provides education on sexually transmitted infection

Students for Sustainable Living – Students work 3-5 hours per week (paid) to learn about and optimize sustainability efforts at Duke.

Professional Organizations

  • Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • International AIDS Society

Online Resources

  • Forums on HIV.gov
  • Thestdproject.com

Cajun Café & Grill
AIDS Committee of Durham Region
STD testing through Durham County