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A Student's Perspective: 2014 Western Forum for Migrant & Community Health

Wednesday, March 12, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joy Ingram
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by Tim Lemaire, NWRPCA/ATSU-SOMA OMSII, Portland Campus

Conferences are interesting and exciting gatherings. The attendees are passionate and well informed, and the exhibitors are targeted to the topic. If, like me, it is your first time attending, you might not know anyone or feel a connection with a group so sincerely dedicated to its cause. Thankfully the community that gathers at these events is as passionate about sharing the vision as they are about spreading change. As a student I felt welcomed and included. The presenters were experts in their fields and many of the attendees were just as knowledgeable.

Dr. Rishi Manchanda's keynote address about his approach to solving social inequity by addressing the upstream" causes set the tone and became the catch phrase for the event. There were two presentations that were most impactful for me. The first was a lecture on Social Determinants. It was heartbreaking and eye opening. The systemic, calculated social roadblocks put in place by those in power perpetuate the current situation of inequity. However, there are many ingenious programs using the power and resources at their disposal to make real upstream changes that positively affect lives and communities.

The second was a lecture about how the ACA will help empower the future changes that community health centers are working for. This one was a little beyond my current needs and understanding but was a valuable first look at future structures. The opportunities for new financing models and creating real upstream change are available in this legislation.

As a student looking for my place in the larger healthcare family, I find conferences a vital resource for exploring the options. If you are interested in a topic, a population or a field of study, I guarantee there is a conference dedicated to that idea. Take advantage of the time you have now and in the coming years to attend a conference or two. There are likely local conferences or events that you can attend to expand your understanding of the bigger context in which we will be operating. I want to thank NWRPCA for the opportunity to attend, and I hope to see some of you at a conference in the future.

NWRPCA welcomes and regularly publishes white papers and articles submitted by members, partners and associates with subject matter expertise. The appearance of any guest publication in our Health Center News database represents the views of the author and does not constitute endorsement by NWRPCA of the stated opinions or perspectives, nor does it suggest endorsement of the contributor's products or services.


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