In Epidemiology, my group was chosen to study a health issue that affects Staten Island and we found on the Community Health Survey that Staten Island has a low percentage of people who have gotten tested for HIV and who used a condom the last time they had sex. In light of this, my group opted to open an HIV testing and sexual health clinic in Staten Island. This project opened my eyes to the serious lack of health care or inequity in the health care system faced by many boroughs in New York, and specifically in Staten Island. Many neighborhoods have only a small percentage of people with health insurance and many are not receiving the medical services that they need.
We got a tiny glimpse into just how difficult it is to set up a health clinic through this project. Finding a rental space cheap enough to reasonably afford that was also within commuting distance was challenging (especially in Staten Island where the public transportation is notoriously flawed) and keeping the budget relatively low also presented difficulty. However, we were able to find organizations that give grants to help fund health (and more specifically, HIV) clinics in New York and around the world, so our clinic might be able to receive some or all of its money from such organizations.
This project definitely made me more aware of the world around me, the inequities in health care and services, and of the health issues that afflict the boroughs. Seeing these issues and the inequity in those who receive health care has made me really motivated to try to improve the health care system in New York and help those who need assistance get the medical attention and services they need.