Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My outing to East New York, Brooklyn

I attended a mythbuster panel sponsored by Organizing for America out in East New York, Brooklyn. (I saw "out in East New York" because I hopped on to 3 line at its penultimate stop here in Harlem and then took it to its penultimate stop in Brooklyn.) The last time I had been out there was as a 4th year medical student working at a community health center.

There had been a mix-up about the date and time of the panel so only five of us total showed up but what I quickly realized was that more important than the numbers of people who turn out is the spirit and energy of those who do. I met three residents from East New York who were devoted to their neighborhood and wanted to do whatever they could to spread the word about heatlh care reform.

We spoke for about hour and a half starting with health care reform but then moved on to obesity and hypertension as well as other medical conditions that disproportionately plague communities of color. In addition to learning about and supporting health care reform efforts, these inspiring residents wanted to be informed about preventive care and staying healthy. I was glad I could be a source of information for the residents and plan to remain in touch as they continue their efforts to create a healthier community.

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