Becoming a Health Care Policy Advocate
I always knew I wanted to be a nurse, then do non-profit work at some later point, but I didn’t think I’d have an opportunity present itself so quickly. As I cultivate and start to make progress down my career path, I find myself ill-equipped and inexperienced. Before starting this internship at The L.A. Trust, I knew very little about health care policy. Not knowing what to expect, I panicked inside wondering if this position was right for me. Soon thereafter, a fellow intern, who was going to start grad school, told me during my first week that “Not one person can know it all” and that “we are all here to make mistakes, to learn from them and each other.” Immediately my mind was at ease. In order for people to learn and grow, people require a partnership. With my scope of work, I’ve tried to do just that. I have been working on producing partnerships between The L.A. Trust and other organizations. My main focus is on the Champions for Change Geographic Information Mapping. C4C G.I.S. Mapping is the mapping of community resources. These resources are located throughout South Los Angeles as well as the 10 schools we work with. We are providing partnerships between 10 schools and multiple organizations in order to help fight the prevalence of obesity rates within LAUSD. Through this internship, the importance of advocacy has been brought to my attention. There are many aspects to advocacy, whether it be individual or systemic advocacy. The effort to change policy in hopes of solving problems that others share encompasses a great importance. It is our job as members of the community to speak up for what we believe in. Through this internship, I have discovered a new goal to set for myself. I want to help initiate how health care policy and nursing tie in together. Policy promotes and protects the health and well-being of individuals in a community, similar to a nurse, whereas the goal for nurses is to advocate for their patients’ health. To me, there is no better way to promote community health than by influencing nurses and future nurses to be the advocates.
Noelani Morin is a nursing major at Salem State University. To learn more about Noelani, click here!