As a pre-medical student watching a public health crisis develop, I wanted to find a way to take action in a meaningful way…from my bedroom. After seeking guidance from mentors in medical school, I was connected with the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project. This project is a student-led collaboration with Harvard Health Publishing, curating accurate COVID-19 health information into fact sheets and translating them to 35+ languages. I had already experienced the challenge of keeping up with rapidly changing information surrounding COVID-19, and limited access to health information in one’s native language could be an avoided added stressor.
My role with the project is directing social media to disseminate our free resources and engage with project partners. Coming up with new infographics and post ideas will be challenging as time goes on, as our message and service will remain relatively constant. I am excited to get creative, however, as our efforts so far have had a great response. Through social media and outreach, the project has already been promoted by groups like the American Medical Association, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and more. Our online presence has been increasing our reach with people that may be in need of our resources.
In order to make optimal use of my available time this summer, I joined another student-led initiative. The National Student Response Network (NSRN) was founded by medical students in response to COVID-19. NSRN organizes over 5,300 health professions student volunteers across the U.S. to meet the needs of local health departments and hospitals. Inspired by their mission, I joined NSRN as a national strategy coordinator alongside a fellow Duke undergraduate student. I am coordinating media outreach, filing NSRN for non-profit status, designing graphics, and co-managing social media accounts. Working with numerous executive members, we will practice effective task-sharing and regular communication. Remote work requires a great deal of personal accountability, and I hope to organize my efforts by setting goals regularly and adhering to a schedule.
Overall Outlook: I am eager to see how these projects develop throughout the summer and am thrilled to be working alongside such driven, passionate students.