GlobeMed Students Fundraise for Medical Services in Ghana and Take Part in Global HealthU Curriculum

by Pavitra Krishnamani

GlobeMed is a nationwide organization designed to teach students about the world today and help them use the knowledge they have to effect change in society.

USC junior Alice Kim, a pre-medical student majoring in gerontology, is a co-president of USC’s GlobeMed chapter along with junior Jane Hwang, a pre-medical student majoring in biological sciences.

GlobeMed encourages students to use “our intellect, our energy, and our passion” to connect with one another and others around the world, Kim said.

With headquarters located in Northwestern University, GlobeMed currently has thirty-three chapters nationwide. The organization consists of two main components – Care Net and Global HealthU.

GlobeMed for instance partners with Care Net, an organization that aims to provide primary health care and reproductive health and rights education to citizens in Ghana

To help Care Net, GlobeMed conducts many fundraisers, including monthly cookie and Ghana-inspired handmade jewelry sales. On a seasonal basis, GlobeMed members also make personal holiday cards for friends and family asking for individual donations. Annually, GlobeMed hosts a multicultural showcase called “Global Get Down” every spring. The event consists of a series of performances for which donations are collected as votes for the best performance. The performance group that garners the largest sum of donations wins an award presented by GlobeMed, called the “GlobeMed Globie Award.”

GlobeMed is in constant communication with Patrick Akhumah, the director of Care Net,

“We are using Skype on a regular basis to communicate with both Patrick in Ghana and our chapter advisor in the National office as well as other members within the network, and this has helped enormously in staying connected with our overall mission as GlobeMed,” Kim said, referring to GlobeMed’s mission to promote a well-connected global community and better address global health issues.

The other component of GlobeMed is GlobalhealthU, which is a series of discussions that general members and the executive board of GlobeMed participate in to increase awareness about current global health issues. Kim said.

“It is a program taught by students, for students,” Kim said

“This is particularly helpful when we begin to dig deeper into the social injustices and health inequities pervasive in the Volta region of Ghana where CareNet is located,” Hwang said.

GlobalHealthU’s curriculum was one of the main reasons Kim joined GlobeMed as a freshman during the spring semester.

“I was inspired by one of my fall semester classes to educate myself with a cross-cultural perspective in mind, and GlobeMed’s GlobalHealthU curriculum really interested me,” Kim said. “Plus, to think that we are applying our own resources at home to help others abroad was inspiring for me.”

Kim still believes that GlobalHealthU is what makes GlobeMed most unique.

“As a former GlobalHealthU coordinator, I can only say that these weekly discussions we have on a wide variety of topics relating to global health—infectious diseases, philosophical frameworks, religion, nutrition, mental health, and so much more—really provide the core foundation of our knowledge as students and residents of this world we call home, and give us the drive to make a difference,” Kim said.

According to Hwang, “the biggest frustration of leading GlobeMed is the lack of awareness and enthusiasm I witness in my life at USC as a student.”

However, despite frustrations like this that the GlobeMed co-presidents may face, they are optimistic about the future of GlobeMed. “I was really inspired by just reading the application responses of our new members and what motivates/interests them about global health,” Kim said.

“The most important thing for a GlobeMed member to have is the realization that what we are doing is directly impacting actual people who live in Ghana. With that, everything else—passion, energy, determination, dedication—follows,” said Kim.
To find out more about GlobeMed or get involved, students can contact Kim at aliceyki@usc.edu or Hwang at janehwan@usc.edu.

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