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Author Archives: Naomi Bonman

San Bernardino Boys and Girls Club Hosted Covered California Enrollment Workshop

Community members signing up for affordable health care (Photo by Naomi K. Bonman).

Community members signing up for affordable health care (Photo by Naomi K. Bonman).

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- In an effort to get citizens enrolled in a healthcare plan by the February 15, 2015 deadline, the San Bernardino Boys and Girls Club opened up their doors on Monday, February 2 to host an open enrollment workshop with Covered California. The workshop was held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and guests were able to learn about their healthcare options through a presentation which answered any concerns or questions that they had.

“We are happy to host Covered California, and to provide such a wonderful opportunity to individuals and families in the local community.” Dr. Lolita Lyles, Director of the Operations at the Boys and Girls Club of San Bernardino, stated. “It is essential that members of the economically challenged communities, like San Bernardino, have greater access to affordable health coverage. Our organization promotes healthy lifestyles, and we are happy to take the lead in assisting to improve access to quality coverage, and to improving overall health outcomes in our community.”

Full Circle: How I Discovered a Passion for Public Health

Quiana Lewis

Quiana Lewis

(Quiana Lewis joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2014 as a program associate, working to build a Culture of Health by helping all American residents attain stable, affordable health coverage.)

By Quiana Lewis

I am one of the more than 22,000 alumni whose careers have been shaped and lives changed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP).

For me, medicine was a logical decision: my academic performance in science was good, I liked interacting with people, and I didn’t want to be a lawyer.

Clearly, my perceptions of medicine and careers in health were limited.

Then came my SMDEP summer at UCLA, one of the most transformative experiences of my college education. A pipeline program for students who typically are underrepresented in health care fields, SMDEP exposed me to the study and practice of medicine and dentistry that enriched my understanding for both fields. I shadowed physicians, received enrichment in core science subjects, and learned how to excel in medical and dental school. I also received hands-on laboratory experience to create dental models and conducted health screenings at community fairs.

The unexpected lessons from the program, however, were the ones that stuck with me most.

The core science classes were structured using case-based learning methods. This was a departure from the didactic way I was used to learning science. The curriculum used patient case studies to teach biology, anatomy, and physiology. The lessons were investigative in nature and discussion-based. We discussed not only patients’ medical issues, but also the socioeconomic factors affecting them. This piqued my interest. Until then, I had not thought deeply about the impact of systems on the health of individuals. Throughout that summer, I read books and journal articles about the social determinants of health, medical anthropology, and epidemiology. The more I read, the more questions I posed, and the more I realized this was the career path for me.

After SMDEP, I continued to explore the vast world of public health at school and in subsequent summer programs. I graduated from Fisk University, and went on to obtain a master’s degree in public health from Yale University. Since graduate school, I have worked in state and local health departments, community organizations, and health consulting firms.

My public health journey has come full circle. I discovered my passion for population health with the help of RWJF, by way of SMDEP. Now, as an RWJF employee, I work with the Foundation to build a Culture of Health across the nation.

Without SMDEP, I might never have discovered my passion.


 

SMDEP is currently recruiting for its 2015 summer program through March 1, at 12 sites across the country, including Case Western Reserve University, Columbia University, Duke University, Howard University, Rutgers University, University of Texas, UCLA, University of Louisville, University of Nebraska, University of Virginia, University of Washington, and Yale University.

For more information, visit http://smdep.org/apply-to-smdep/

 

The NAACP Images Awards Prepares for the Big Day with Luncheon

 

Imani Hakim

Imani Hakim

PHOTOS AND WRITE UP BY NAOMI K. BONMAN

 BEVERLY HILLS, CA- The stars of Hollywood, along with authors, poets, screen writers, and directors came dressed to impressed as they stepped on the red carpet prior to the 34th annual NAACP Image Awards luncheon. The private luncheon was held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California on Saturday, January 17. The 34th Annual NAACP Image Awards will be held on Friday, February 6 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium located at 300 E. Green Street in Pasadena. The show starts at 8 p.m. and is a black tie affair. To purchase tickets, please visit www.naacpimageawards.net. To view more photos, visit sophisticatedrelations.com/naacp-luncheon.