Week Three PCGL On-campus High School Summer Program – Inequitable Access to Healthcare & Impacts of the Pandemic

Monday, July 25, 2022

Today is the first full day of our PCGL Program, Week 3! This morning for breakfast, there were blueberry pancakes which were very delicious! After breakfast, we went into the periodicals room, which is in the library,  where we have our speakers and discussions. We spent some time learning about our speaker, Rachel Gasana. Rachel works with Partners in Health, an organization that helps with health care accessibility worldwide. Rachel spoke to us about her personal experiences with Partners in Health, how she’s gone to Haiti, and other countries, and how the organization works. After that we did an activity led by McKenzie, one of our Teacher Assistants or TA’s, about healthcare in our states, or countries and how accessible it is to people. After our workshop we were introduced to our Challenge by Choice projects this week. 

We then ate dinner. After that, we had s’mores by the campfire! We regrouped at the dorm to place our order for Dunkin Donuts, since we are going on a trip tomorrow. 8:30 p.m. is our phone usage hour, so we scurried to the gym to listen to our music and work out. Once we got back into the dorms at around 9:30 p.m., our phones were collected, and we started to wind down for quiet hour.

-Shaina and Ellis

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Today, we went to the architecture firm Centerbrook Architects and met with one of the firm’s partners, who explained how accessibility is defined from a designer’s perspective. We learned a lot about how sustainability is a factor within accessibility. We got a tour around the firm and saw how they incorporated renewable energy resources to run the building. In fact, solar panels run ⅓ of the entire firm’s electricity.

Later today, we listened to a lawyer working with the National Women’s Law Center who explained in depth the overturn of Roe v. Wade. From that experience, we gained a new perspective of how the Supreme Court had taken advantage of its civil justices and how this can affect other supreme court rulings in the future.

In the evening, a couple of the campers watched a documentary about Partners in Health in Haiti, which was extremely engaging and allowed us to understand more about the country and in general how the cycle of poverty can affect the physical health of peoples’ lives all over the world. We also engaged in a discussion with Sophie Paris, the Director of PCGL, who used to be a UN photographer and lived in Haiti for many years. She shared some of Haiti’s history as the first Black republic after the revolution and talked about how Haiti has been forced to pay France over the years for its freedom. This gave us a lot of context for why Haiti struggles with funding infrastructure like roads and healthcare and why the cycle of poverty continues there.

 – Elle and Inaya

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Today we had two speakers and one workshop. The topics were child pregnancy, public health, and mental health, respectively. All of them were interesting to listen to. Something I found surprising was the difference in the teenage pregnancy rate between women of color and white women. We also went to the iLab and designed our own  hospital rooms that would improve accessibility for the patients. Our room was made for people who have difficulty moving around physically.

After that, we took a nature walk and saw some sheep at the Hill-stead Museum. It was very soothing, and we were able to completely relax. After dinner, we went to mini-golf and had ice cream, which was fun even though we are very bad at golf! Overall, it was a very adventurous Day!

– Sawako & Keisa

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Today is Thursday, the 5th day of the PCGL Summer Program. We started off with ACLU’s Jess Zaccagniano on reproductive justice. She was the legislative lawyer for the ACLU and talked about the injustices of healthcare in Connecticut; she also talked about social work and how it’s not only helping people but breaking the barrier to help even more people. 

Later in the afternoon, we went on a field trip to Hartford Hospital to the Center for Education, Simulation, and Innovation. We had various speakers who were all women and discussed their roles in the hospital and how there is more than just a doctor and a nurse. Following the speakers, we had a station of four different health training simulations that medic students use to prepare for their careers. We learned CPR, how to deliver a baby, and how the sim robots work, it was really cool! We also learned how to use the million-dollar surgical technology they use as a simulation for medical students. In conclusion, we learned that there are so many important roles at a hospital, whether that is social work, clinical work, teaching, and administrative jobs. They have inspired us to consider jobs in healthcare.

– Callie & Paloma

Friday, July 29, 2022

Today was a very productive day as we worked very hard to get our projects done for our final presentations. We also wrapped up our projects in the iLab, where we made our own versions of equitable and accessible healthcare clinics. My group worked on making a makeshift clinic in mountainous areas in Haiti. 

To finish up the end of this year’s program, we all went around and answered the question: “What does Porter’s Center for Global Leadership Summer Program mean to you?”  Everyone’s answers were  very heartwarming as we all felt a common theme of friendship, sisterhood and kindness. At the very end of the day, we went to the talent show where there were many acts. 

To celebrate our last night together, we all got boba tea and hung out all together in our dorm. We are very saddened that it had to end, but we reminisced about all of the things we did together during  our time here.

– Sumalee and Lynae

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