Visiting Chennai – an overview from GHN Intern Prithi Polavarapu

A story about GHN Intern Prithi Polavarapu and her work in Chennai, India this summer – Thank you Prithi for your engagement with GHN

Personal story

561623_4474548615969_1076826548_n I am an undergrad studying molecular cellular biology at UC Berkeley. While my primary interest lies in science, I am also looking to pursue my interest in business as I begin my career. I have thus been actively looking for an organization that would allow me to work on the management side of healthcare, and GHN has been an ideal place to do so.

How you got involved with GHN?

I first came to learn about Global Heart Network when I was looking for a full time job on my university’s career website. Thinking that I wouldn’t hear back for a while if I applied that day, I submitted my resume online to GHN. Much to my surprise, I opened my email the next morning to find a message from Annabel asking if I could interview with her at the end of the week. I was thoroughly impressed with GHN’s work and considered it an honor to have received an offer to work with Annabel. However, I was in school at the time and could not make the time for GHN during the semester. Nevertheless, I reconnected with Annabel 8 months later when I could travel to India and work on the Chennai project for GHN!

Why do you feel compelled to serve this organization?

 As I have mentioned before, the nature of this work is what drew me to it at first; healthcare management is the industry I want to work in. The wonderful thing about working for GHN is that it is both professionally and personally gratifying. The work I do is complex, yet extremely interesting and has helped me refine a lot of my skills. I am constantly motivated to face the challenges that my projects bring by just the thought that my work has the potential to save someone’s life in the future.

What is your vision for GHN?

 I see GHN expanding its work beyond India and Africa, and reaching out to as much as the under developed world as possible to save the lives of many more young children with heart disease.

 Your experience in Chennai?

 

Dr. Sreemati with Ranjini 3 weeks after her surgery
Dr. Sreemati with Ranjini 3 weeks after her surgery
Dr. Prem Shekar from Kauvery hospital examining a patient being helped through Samahope
Dr. Prem Shekar from Kauvery hospital examining a patient being helped through Samahope

 

 

A shot from the pediatric ward of Madras Medical Mission. Special thanks to Dr. Harapriya for showing me around
A shot from the pediatric ward of Madras Medical Mission. Special thanks to Dr. Harapriya for showing me around
Me with a couple of Dr Sreemathi’s patients
Me with a couple of Dr Sreemathi’s patients

 I had been so inspired and proud to work with Global Heart Network from the start on projects in India and Senegal, but not until I visited India was I able to fully recognize the impact that GHN was making. I was closely in touch with four hospitals this summer, Public Health Center, Madras Medical Mission, Frontier Lifeline and Kauvery hospital – all of which had doctors that were closely involved with GHN. These doctors shared GHN’s vision to reach out to as many under privileged families as they could around the Chennai area and facilitated our efforts to achieve the goal. With the help of our donor organization and these wonderful doctors, we were able to successfully help perform more than 50 surgeries in less than 6 months.

 What do you feel are the biggest barriers to increasing global access to cardiac care?

Poverty, unawareness and inefficient healthcare systems.

How do you envision an online platform (like GHN) that aims to improve communication and collaboration amongst stakeholders being able to help you achieve your goals in your respective field?

The career field I want to enter, Healthcare consulting, survives on thriving pharmaceutical companies. If GHN can achieve its fullest potential to increase access to cardiac care, it would mean that more patients are being treated and there is a greater need for more and better drugs in the world. This pushes for evolution and innovation of drugs within the pharma industry, and makes for healthier world for tomorrow’s children.

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