I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful fall weather! We certainly did this past weekend at GlobeMed at Columbia’s Hilltop Conference in New York City. We had the great privilege of meeting with over 100 GlobeMedders from the Northeast and bond over our love of GlobeMed and everything that it stands for. There were several breakout sessions where we discussed the unique challenges that each chapter faces, what works, what doesn’t, and how to keep the Network growing.
Some highlights from Hilltop:
An Alumni Panel, consisting of five prominent GlobeMed alums, answered questions about their current activities, whether that be going for a degree in medicine, a masters in public health, or running an up and coming NGO. The Alumni also spoke about how GlobeMed impacted their lives and how to cope with life after GlobeMed. Although each of them had different experiences to speak about, they each shared a clear love for GlobeMed and an appreciation for the energetic, enthusiastic community that it provides. One Alumna even went so far as to say that she enjoys returning to the GlobeMed community for that sentiment of excitement about public health equity and the pure thrill of being surrounded by hundreds of people who share your enthusiasm, even if you don’t know them. The Alumni Mentorship program, which allows current GlobeMedders to reach out to Alums and network or just have someone to connect to, is going to be a great way to keep the Network alive and propagate the GlobeMed spirit from undergraduates to post-graduates around the country.
Another favorite moment of mine was a speech given by Pamela Barnes, CEO and President of Engender Health and the Keynote speaker at this year’s Hilltop. She is truly one of the most passionate speakers I have ever had the privilege of meeting and has such a kind spirit. She spoke about maternal healthcare and its importance in the larger realm of global health, despite the fact that it is often one of the first areas to be subjected to budgetary cuts in times of financial stress. Her stories about Engender Health’s programs in Bangladesh and Tanzania were absolutely inspiring. The delegates from our chapter were buzzing with excitement during her speech, as our chapter focuses its energy on maternal healthcare at our partner clinic in Rwanda. Eliza and I approached her after her speech to ask if she would be interested in speaking at our Benefit Dinner in February and she agreed! Hopefully we can make the logistic details work out so that we will be able to meet her again.
The last highlight of Hilltop, though there were many for me, was when the GW delegates all went out to eat at Flor de Mayo, one of my favorite restaurants in the city. We had amazing Cuban/Chinese food and talked about everything we had learned and everything that was on our minds. I was once again astounded by the way that GlobeMed brings people together in such a close and intimate way.
Looking back to life at GW, we are hosting a photography exhibition from this past summer’s GROW Trip called “Face to Face”. We will be giving away free hot chocolate and hot cider, selling baked goods, and sharing pictures and stories of five Rwandan mothers that our GROW team met. We’ll be set up in Kogan Plaza from 9am to 4pm and admission is free! So come by, warm up with some goodies, and take a closer look at the people who directly benefit from our work.