By: Kiera Wood ’12
I have spent the last two summers interning at Danbury Hospital’s development fund working on small projects. My focus has been to reach out to the local community of schools, kids, parents, and patrons to raise money for the new neonatal intensive care unit. The fundraising that was done at the hospital is the traditional way by which invitations to charity events and galas are sent out through the mail. I began thinking about ways that fundraising and awareness could be modernized online for instant communications on the issue.
During the summer of 2010 I visited the township of Kayamandi in South Africa. I was shocked by the lack of sanitation, education, and medical facilities. On the other hand, I was also shocked by the fact that nearly everyone living in the township had a cell phone, granted not a smart phone, almost every home I visited had a television, and many of the children who attended school had a Facebook account.
I was inspired by these observations and GFA’s World Prospective Program to investigate my interests in the global healthcare crisis through modern technology and social media. With the help of my advisor, Mrs. Freeland, I have been able to research and discuss the powers and impact of mobile communications and social networking on both high-income and low-income nations.
After reading books such as Shift and Reset by GFA alumnus Brian Reich and The Future of Nonprofits by David Neff and Randal Moss, I have been able to get a clear view into what the future may hold for solutions to the crisis. I believe the future of health care delivery has shifted into the hands of entrepreneurs and innovators. For example, innovators are creating strong online communities and support systems for doctors and patients by linking them together by similar ideas or diagnosis.
Like any major project, my global thesis has taken a lot of time and energy. However, I have enjoyed studying and researching a topic that I am very passionate about. Although it is only the beginning of the second semester, I look forward to wrapping up my project and conclusions and most importantly giving my presentation at the World Perspectives Symposium on April 24.