We are so happy to welcome Rawan to Global Heart Network team. We wanted to introduce Rawan to the GHN community by asking her a little bit about herself and what she is learning about global health and cardiac care in general. Rawan explains how her stories changed not only her own perspective on disease treatment and prevention, but her perspective on life in its entirety. Rawan is going into her final year at UC Berkeley and now has a dream to work in healthcare, and to serve in the field of policy and management to develop strategies that combine all of these perspectives – and more – to ensure access to care for all.
We hope you enjoy meeting Rawan. Thank you Rawan on behalf of GHN for your commitment and hard work for our mission.
“During my internship at the Global Heart Network Foundation, I’ve learned quite a lot about perspective.
Before joining GHN, I was new to global health and nonprofit organizations. In the three years I spent at UC Berkeley completing my major in English, I had gained little knowledge about health systems at the local level, much less on the international spectrum. That all changed when I decided that I shouldn’t limit myself to the obvious career paths that my academic choices suggest. I wanted to write and analyze, communicate and build, but I also wanted to apply myself and use my skills in the field that demanded my attention the most: healthcare.
I joined GHN as a business development intern in February, expecting to gain some quality experience in the fields of healthcare and nonprofit organizations, and with the high hopes of making a difference – somehow. What I gained was more than just experience; I gained perspective.
I had the opportunity to work closely with Annabel, a GHN co-founder, board member, and nonprofit expert. With Annabel as my guide and dear mentor, I saw through the eyes of transnational patients who reached out to GHN, asking for help from regions like West Africa and South India. I heard about their cases, read their messages, and understood their plights. Their stories changed not only my own perspective on disease treatment and prevention, but my perspective on life in its entirety. Seeing the unique needs of each patient that go unaddressed and unresolved by local healthcare administrators inspired my work. Being able to help others and see them benefit from the care GHN provides – whether it’s subsidizing surgery, educating students, or connecting patients to the doctors and resources they need – has instilled in me a love for global service and a passion for serving others in the healthcare field.
Cardiovascular disease is something that affects everyone. Whether you’re someone born with a congenital heart disease or impairment, or if someone close to you lives his or her life in and out of the hospital due to unsustainable cardiac treatment, or if you’ve joined your loved ones in the struggle to find access to healthcare, or if you live in a region where heart disease raises child, maternal, and infant mortalities and lowers life expectancy by decades, we are all part of the same community. The shocking disconnect between us is what impedes access to healthcare. It’s on us – doctors, caretakers, nonprofit managers, interns, and volunteers – to reach out and offer our support, and to remedy the ailment that we all suffer together.
The Global Heart Network is creating something that we all in desperately need: a network, a linkage, a means to connect us to one another in the pursuit of cardiac care and the longevity of life. This network is the one, cohesive solution that connects people to care. If we consolidate our efforts onto one single platform, the possibilities for cardiac care will be endless. Mothers in Senegal won’t lose their children to rheumatic heart disease before they graduate from elementary school. Parents in India won’t lose their babies to ventricular septal defects, or holes in their hearts, before they have a chance to live. If we can’t prevent a disease, we will bring ourselves closer to curing it. Whether you join to provide healthcare or to ask for it, GHN is a healthcare necessity to the world.
Going into my fourth and final year of school with new experiences under my belt, I now have a dream to work in healthcare, and to serve in the field of policy and management to develop strategies that combine all of these perspectives – and more – to ensure access to care for all.”