Members of the AHEC Scholars Program across Northeast Ohio came together at NEOMED Dec. 1, 2018 to better understand the importance of community health. Focusing on community health helps those living in a geographic area receive the resources necessary to continue living a safe and productive life without the fear of major health concerns.
Kim Trowbridge, M. Ed., program coordinator for the Department of Family and Community Medicine, spoke about public health. Her presentation highlighted the history of previous diseases and reasonable explanations as to why the diseases spread so rapidly and affected so many: a lack of sanitation, changes in genetic codes, secondary infections, and various people and animals migrating to different areas around the world. She also emphasized the value of collaborating with all health professions to ensure the best service possible is provided and to prevent future diseases from greatly harming society.
After the presentation, we played The Plague, Inc., which is a simulation game that allowed us to work with our partner to create a pathogen that would destroy the world. The game required us to strategically pick a country somewhere in the world, mutate the pathogen, and choose different ways for the pathogen to spread across the globe in hopes that a cure would not be found. My partner and I were not very successful at creating a disease to destroy the world, which we were thankful for since we are both hoping to go into a field that prides itself on helping others.
When reflecting on the “Plague” event at NEOMED, I see the need for creating a bridge between public health and medicine. By joining forces and creating preventative measures, our community is staying ahead of possible outbreaks and the quality of life improves for all. Overall, the AHEC Scholars program offers irreplaceable opportunities that continue to better prepare me for my future career as a primary care physician.
-Submitted by Abigail Beaver
Abigail Beaver is a member of the AHEC Scholars program. She is currently a junior at Youngstown State University, where she majors in biology with a minor in chemistry.