Recently I led a mission trip to Central America were we provided medical, dental, and behavioral health services to a local orphanage, and surrounding community. We had a large group of students and families, with a variety of backgrounds in age range, faiths, and roles. I found myself stretched thin as not only the trip leader, but also as one of the few Spanish speakers.
School of Public Health News
Let’s set the stage:
The sun is setting in a deep, dusty haze. The sunset resembles the cross section of a blood orange; the vibrant hues painting a picture so complex, only the human eye can properly capture it. The never-ending horizon is dotted with sparse acacia trees, torched grasses, and a termite mound or two.
There is a cure for one of the top five causes of death in inner city children. And best of all, this cure is not a new drug or surgical procedure: it is a kick board and goggles.” These are the words of Ben Damazo (pictured above, left), the man who made a mere vision become reality on our Loma Linda University campus. Ben is a student in the School of Medicine and barely has enough time to study, but has chosen to devote himself to a new program sponsored through the CAPS office and Healthy Neighborhood Projects (HNP) this year: TIGERS Water Safety.
“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” –Hafiz of Persia
Had I done harm by claiming to get the flu from the flu vaccination? Was I perpetuating a false, yet commonly held belief? Would my tale cause others to avoid the flu vaccination and subsequently fall ill?
It's a running joke in my family that no one is really that stubborn when in reality, everyone is stubborn. It's a wonder that we can get together long enough for one holiday sometimes. There are a couple of different types of stubborn. For a long time, I only understood the classic obstinate, get-out-of-my way stubbornness. That is, until I realized that smiling politely and doing the opposite of what is told is also one way of being stubborn. That's me. Lots of people tend to think that I need buckets of advice on all aspects of my life when they don't always understand what's going on.
(Photo: Not Africa.) As I looked outside the other morning, I saw a white dusting had fallen. Everything was covered! The sky was grey and I could barely make out the distant palms. Could it have been? Had Sub-Saharan Africa succumb to the climate change and we had snow? It was almost Christmas! Did Santa come early? That would be great but no, it cannot be snow. It is a literal dusting. The winds from the north (the Hammadamramlam winds or something like that) are bringing down sand and everything is covered.
Loma Linda University School of Public Health Alumna Dr. Ogbochi McKinney, received the Emil Bogen Excellence in Research Award at the 2014 Southern California Public Health Association. Dr. McKinney received the award, given annually, for research in Malawi she conducted as part of her dissertation entitled “Examining the Impact of Food Access and Medication Side Effects on Intentions to Adhere to Antiretroviral Therapy”.
I’m just a normal person. I never majored in disaster preparedness, though it’s always been a field of interest. And I never even seem to be in town when the ubiquitous mini-earthquakes hit Loma Linda. But I am definitely my father’s daughter. Working in an ER for 30 years, he’s seen some awful emergency situations in his time that could have been avoided with some preventive measures, which is probably why he felt compelled to instill both of his daughters with a strong sense of preparation and self-sufficiency.