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  • Healing Hands for Humanity President Chloe Lee on Promoting Health Equity

Healing Hands for Humanity President Chloe Lee on Promoting Health Equity

 

All individuals and communities should have a fair and just opportunity to be healthy. This belief in health equity for all is a core value of Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU), and something our students, faculty, and staff strive to live every day.

One way SCU educates and prepares students to understand and be empowered to impact determinants of health and reduce health disparities is through organizations such as Healing Hands for Humanity (H3). H3 is a humanitarian organization comprising of SCU students and faculty that provides free healthcare to underserved populations in Southern California with a focus on chiropractic care, acupuncture, and Ayurveda.

Providing Healthcare to Those in Need

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Health equity is the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health.” However, multiple factors impact health equity, such as historic and contemporary injustices, economic and social obstacles to health and healthcare, and health disparities experienced by disadvantaged populations.

Research published in May 2023 shows that “the economic burden of health disparities in the United States remains unacceptably high,” with racial and ethnic health disparities costing the U.S. economy $451 billion in 2018.

H3 provides free chiropractic, acupuncture, and Ayurveda services while also giving students essential experience treating patients. Under the supervision of licensed practitioners, SCU clinical students in H3 provide physical exams, nutritional advice, injury rehabilitation, massage therapy, pain management, chiropractic manipulation, and acupuncture treatments to those in need. Participating students not only have the chance to give back to the community, but are eligible to accumulate hours, credits, and clinical experience.

Interview with H3 President Chloe Lee

Chloe Lee, Term 10 Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine (AcCHM) student, is the current president of H3. “The mission and purpose of H3 is a great example of services that promote health equity,” she says. “Besides providing free acupuncture, chiropractic, and Ayurveda treatments, we also educate patients how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes diet modifications, exercises, stretches, and other ways to promote good health.”

As president of H3, Chloe’s role is to coordinate and plan H3 events to help the organization grow and expand. She has her hand in everything from communicating with event coordinators at different venues to contacting supervising clinicians for availability and ensuring all supplies and equipment are transferred to the venues.

Over the course of the fall 2023 term, which is generally the busiest for H3, the organization ran nine events that treated a total of 548 patients. Chloe says the highlight for her was the Anaheim Health Fair and Citizenship Clinic. This yearly event offers free medical, dental, vision, women’s, and other healthcare services to Anaheim residents. Over the two-day event, 2023, SCU Chiropractic, AcCHM, and Ayurveda students treated 299 patients.

“I had put in so much time and effort to make sure everything went smoothly weeks prior to the event. Thankfully, it was a great turnout,” Chloe says.

Outside of H3, Chloe remains committed to promoting health equity and giving back to the community and her fellow students. In 2022 and 2023, Chloe joined SCU’s chiropractic and acupuncture team to volunteer as a treating intern at the AIDS/Lifecycle event.

She also helped coordinate the 2023 AcCHM Study Abroad Trip with faculty in the Eastern Medicine Department, where she organized fundraisers to help students pay for travel expenses. As a team, they were able to raise $4,700 to go to Taiwan for two weeks to shadow doctors at China Medical University.

Chloe will celebrate her graduation this term at the SCU 2023 Commencement with her fellow students. Following that, her goal is to pass her board exams and then eventually open her own practice, where she will undoubtedly continue to live the value of health equity through her actions.

To learn more about how to get involved with H3 and other organizations at SCU, visit scuhs.edu/student-services/

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