Saturday, December 19, 2009

Another semester done...

Thank goodness!! Finally free to pack and clean and get ready for my adventures with Mike in Panama and Nicaragua!!! So, so very excited. :)

Check out my final paper, on child marriage and pregnancy. I think it turned out pretty good...could've been better with less procrastination, but overall I'm happy its done, and I'm homework free for the next month!

If you read it, drop me a comment and tell me your thoughts. I welcome comments and criticisms! I'm always trying to get more insight into my writing. :)

Happy Holidays and stay warm!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Density Equalizing Cartograms

I'm a big fan of maps -- I find that they can be a great tool for illustrating a point, and for better understanding a concept. Gapminder is one of my favorite websites for this. In class the other day, one of my professors was using a different kind of map, which I found to be quite useful for his points.

Density Equalizing Cartograms are maps where sizes of countries are illustrated according to whichever variable you are, land area obviously shows a regular map:

Nothing you haven't seen before, I know. But check out these other ones.
Total population:

Total wealth distribution in 2002:

Distribution of girls in the world not enrolled in primary school:

Those with lack of basic sanitation:

HIV prevalence:

Malaria Deaths:

Diarrhea Deaths:

Lack of Nutrition related deaths:

Water Use:

Military Spending in 2002:

Public Health Spending:

Check out more at:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Immigrant Health

I have been volunteering this semester at a health clinic in South Philly that primarily serves Mexican immigrants. It is a great program, and seems to provide great services to a community who otherwise would probably not have access to health care, which translates to them waiting until they have serious medical problems landing them in the ER. This program encourages prevention health care and easy access to doctors, so that ER visits are minimized and the population stays healthier.

Almost all the workers in the clinic are volunteers, myself included. With a few attending doctors, and then medical students and a mix of others such as myself. I decided for 2010 that I want to commit myself more to this program, as I really believe in their mission, and it will also give me a great opportunity to develop my skills in public health outreach and hopefully Spanish!!

So, I applied and was accepted as one of the Programming Coordinators. Which basically means that I will be on a team who develops and organizes health education and outreach programs for the community. I think this will be a fantastic experience for me, and I hope to develop relationships with the other volunteers as well as members of the Mexican community.

My ideas right now include workshops such as:
Agriculture / migrant workers healthy habits
Stress management, including learning about blood pressure, anxiety, depression, etc.
Women's health
Parenting healthy children

we shall see what can be developed. I'm very excited for new challenges and experiences in 2010!

Learning it:

Unlearning it: Over committing myself -- I think this program is a great fit for me, because I will be working with other people to develop programs, I won't be on my own. I think I'm establishing a good balance: work, school, yoga/exercise & volunteering (with some socializing in the mix!)