In collaboration with Dwight Hall, Lilia Potter-Schwartz led the establishment of the newest chapter of Partners in Health Engage, an organization dedicated to training and empowering volunteers in the pursuit of global health equity. Potter-Schwartz, along with Danielle Frankel, Isabel Rancu, and Surabhi Kumar, built the club’s foundation on campus, focusing on the core belief that healthcare is a universal human right.
The group adopted PIH’s mission, which aims to bring the “benefits of modern medical science” to those in need, with a focus on curing not only patients but also addressing the root causes of rising inequality. PIH Engage operates nationally with more than 500 members across 61 cities, organizing campaigns related to advocacy, fundraising, and community-building.
This year, the group’s fundraising efforts are directed toward the Maternal Center of Excellence in Sierra Leone, while their advocacy efforts focus on the Paul Farmer Memorial Resolution and Community Health Worker Access Act. The Maternal Center of Excellence is a 143-bed facility providing outpatient, inpatient, and surgery services to expectant mothers in the Kono region. The Paul Farmer Memorial Resolution serves as a global health strategy to address poverty, ensure healthcare as a human right, and tackle structural, economic, environmental, and colonial harms that undermine well-being worldwide.
The Yale PIH Engage leadership board is working to build an interactive network across various schools on campus, including Yale College, the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, and the School of Nursing. They aim to engage with a wide variety of perspectives and involve students with diverse academic interests beyond pre-medical studies. Additionally, the group plans to collaborate with local nonprofits and community organizations interested in advancing access to adequate, affordable, and sustainable healthcare.
Throughout the year, PIH Engage at Yale intends to organize various activities, including a Giving Tuesday fundraiser, global health professor panels, and a polar plunge fundraiser. The group is excited to build the chapter from scratch and brainstorm activities to contribute to the reduction of medically avoidable deaths and global health inequality.