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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

New Global Health Club ‘thinks globally, acts locally’

“How can [Stanford] be the prevalent medical school in the country, and not know what’s going on in 98 percent of the world outside of [its] communities?” asked Stanford professor Evaleen Jones, medical doctor, at the Global Health Club meeting on Oct. 10.

The club, newly created by sophomore Alexandria Tso, allows students to learn about global health disparities by serving international communities under the guidance of volunteer local medical professionals. Meetings will take place on Thursdays as needed in adviser Kristofer Orre’s room, 1021.

The club plans to work hand in hand with Child Family Health International (CFHI), a nonprofit organization founded by Jones in 1992 that offers community-based global health education programs for students. Jones, who is Tso’s family doctor and has known Tso since she was born, will serve as a mentor for the club. She is unable to attend most meetings but will supervise as many club events as possible.

Tso and Jones jointly came up with the idea to create the club several months ago. After outlining the club’s goals and projects, they selected club officers a week before Club Day and worked hard to publicize the club.

“[The officers and I] had a club flyer designed and posted a bunch of them around school,” Tso said. “We also spammed all our friends [to try] to get them interested in our club.”

Global Health Club will model CFHI’s structure, in which students work with medical professionals in internship-style programs to develop better health care for international communities. But whereas CFHI has always been limited to college-level students, Tso and  Jones hope to open opportunities for high school students.
The club will raise awareness by completing four main projects with CFHI: adopting a CFHI community, blogging on the CFHI platform, reconnecting with CFHI alumni and fundraising. Each project will be led by one of the club’s four vice presidents.

Currently, the club is looking to adopt a community in Bolivia to aid pregnant teenage girls and women there.  For this project, the club will correspond with the community through CFHI, whose bilingual head of operations will get to know the leaders and locals of the community in order to understand what help is needed. The club will then decide the best way to provide assistance.

Members learn about these projects at club meetings through videos, presentations and guest speakers related to CFHI. In addition to the lecture that Jones gave during lunch on Oct. 10, Tso and Jones will coordinate which additional guests come throughout the year, including professors, doctors, medical professionals, students in medical school and alumni from CFHI. Lectures will not necessarily take place during club meetings on Thursdays, since it is difficult to accommodate the speakers.

This year Tso and Jones will focus on kickstarting each project and spreading the word about the club. If the projects are successful, they will work to expand Global Health Club to other schools.

Tso and her officers anticipate that the club will be filled with interested and committed students. The club has already attracted about 30 members.

“I’m really excited to work with people who have a similar interest to me,” Tso said. “I'm just really thankful that I've been given this opportunity.”

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