Class of 2020
Alexis del Vecchio
On April 8, 2017, Greenville Health System hosted the 11th Annual Minority Health Summit (now known as the Community Health Summit). The Summit is a yearly health education initiative held during National Minority Health Awareness Month. The Summit’s purpose is “to educate and increase awareness of major health disparities that disproportionately affect the lives of minorities in our community.” This special day featured keynote speaker Tajh Boyd, healthy lifestyle presentations, health-risk assessments, physician-led talks on diabetes and mental health, and powerful survivor stories and testimonials. I had the privilege of attending the event and got to meet and share stories with people aged 12-100 (seriously, I took a 100-year-old woman’s blood pressure, and it was better than mine!).
One of the things I noticed about the Summit was the array of educational displays that brought explanations of disease processes to life with anatomical structures and other engaging visuals. People without medical backgrounds may hear words and be able to understand that smoking is bad and can do damage to your lungs and other body parts. But a visual of exactly what that means brings a different understanding and a stronger impact. Two lungs ridden with disease illustrating the effects of COPD, cancer, or asthma is an invaluable resource for patients to gain a better understanding of what specifically can happen as a consequence of a habit such as smoking. I heard one individual at the Greenville Family Health Partnership booth exclaim “I had no idea my lungs could look as horrible as those do!”
A picture really does “tell a thousand words” to illustrate anything from the consequences of smoking to the importance of breast health. When someone can see what’s happening to their body, as opposed to just hearing about it, they can’t “un-see” it and will hopefully be compelled to make lifestyle changes, get screenings, and take other steps to live healthier lives. Thanks to the Minority Health Summit for opening my eyes to the raw truth in the saying “seeing is believing.”
The 12th annual Community Health Summit is this Saturday, April 7, 2018. Please join us!
I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina before moving to Chapel Hill to spend my undergraduate career as a Tar Heel. I majored in biology, with a minor in chemistry, and consider myself extremely fortunate to have had many unique experiences in my life thus far. I worked as a research assistant at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center and in the Department of Genetics at UNC, interned with Carolinas Laparoscopic and Advanced Surgery Program (CLASP) at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, and spent time as a member of a Global Medical Training team that set up temporary rural medical clinics in Panama. I thrive on adventure, am a travel enthusiast, and enjoy kayaking and exploring new places in my free time. I am passionate about improving quality of patient care, and I am honored and excited to be a part of the USCSOMG Class of 2018, a group of truly compassionate, intellectual, and driven individuals.
Copyright 2014 USC School of Medicine Greenville