A global take on healthcare

For GW students involved with GlobeMed, fighting AIDS is not just about wearing a red ribbon or passing out condoms – it’s about selling doughnuts too.

Last week the members of GW GlobeMed sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts outside of the Farragut West Metro stop to raise money for FaceAids, an AIDS support group that works to fight the disease in Africa.

GlobeMed is a nonprofit organization with student led chapters across the country, including one at GW, which works to connect grassroots health organizations across the world to improve global health, according to the GlobeMed Web site.

Sophomore Amanda Paternostro said that her favorite part about being a member of GlobeMed is helping people.

“When we did the HIV testing at the Marvin Center a couple of weeks ago, I was taken aback by how many people showed up,” Paternostro said. “I could really tell we were actually making a difference.”

GlobeMed has 75 members, said the group’s president, Adrianne Dorsey. The organization only registered with the University last spring.

“A lot of the people involved are in the School of Public Health, so health clinics are something they feel passionate about, which is great,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey, a junior, led the initiative to bring GlobeMed to GW because of her close ties to her hometown, New Orleans, and the healthcare situation that arose after Hurricane Katrina.

“People were so excited to help out for the first six months after it happened, but then there was a drastic drop in the help being provided, like people forgot about the situation in New Orleans,” Dorsey said. “It’s not by any means better, but people don’t realize. It’s not even on the national agenda anymore. I felt like we had to do something to help out.”

One of the reasons Dorsey said she was drawn to GlobeMed was because of the work it does to keep free healthcare clinics in operation.

“So many people in New Orleans don’t have health insurance post-Katrina, since they had to spend so much money rebuilding their houses. Those people have nowhere to go other than free health clinics,” she said.

In addition to selling doughnuts on Friday to raise money for FaceAids, the group also sold FaceAids pins in Kogan Plaza earlier in the week. For their next event, GlobeMed is planning on holding an open bar at Rhino Bar to raise money for health clinics in New Orleans.

There are 13 university chapters of GlobeMed, according to the national Web site. The group’s objective is to “improv(e) health in communities around the world,” and to “shape a generational commitment to social justice.” GlobeMed was started in 1999 by a group of Northwestern University students who worked with grassroots health organizations to send medical supplies to disaster zones. Throughout the years GlobeMed, originally named Medical Supplies Mission, broadened their objectives and began to provide more for their community partners, according to the Web site.

In working with GlobeMed, Dorsey said she can see the way she is affecting lives – instead of just sending money somewhere – which is different from other healthcare groups.

She said, “I really think of the organization as more of a community development project than as just an advocacy group.”

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