Health, Human Rights, and Advocacy Nexus Course
FALL 2017: 9/11/17 – 12/11/17
Created in 2011, this student-run course is intended to provide students with a space for building critical thinking and community around social justice work. It is also a core component of the Human Rights and Social Justice Scholars (HRSJ) program for first year medical students though the course is open to all students. The course goals are to examine how social processes influence health; to provide a forum for thinking critically about a variety of health and human rights issues; and to empower students to improve local and global health systems.
Ground Rules and History: Getting Started
Monday, September 11 | 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Annenberg 5-212
This class will ground the rest of the course in East Harlem and provide students with foundational knowledge about the neighborhood. The class will seek to uplift the different narratives and challenges found in East Harlem and connect them to similar challenges found in other neighborhoods in New York City; including Bushwick, Bedford Stuyvesant, the Lower East Side, and Central Queens neighborhoods. It will also serve as an opportunity for students to set the ground rules as a learning community for how they want to conduct the class.
- To Be Determined
Race, Racism, and Medicine: A Living Legacy
Monday, September 25 | 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Annenberg 5-212
This class will teach students about the role that race and racism play in medicine and other systems. In addition, the class will give students some starting points for how they can engage with and deconstruct these racist systems.
- Amy Garvey, Mount Sinai, MS3
- Seshat Mack, Mount Sinai, MD/PhD
Community Health: Community Organizing
Monday, October 2 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Hess 9-101
This session will introduce students to the idea of community-oriented primary care and expand it to show why healthcare requires organizing and how that is done by professionals in the community, specifically in East Harlem and New York City.
- Anthony Feliciano, Commission on the Public’s Health System, Director
Healthcare Outside the Hospital: Mount Sinai and East Harlem
Monday, October 16 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Hess 9-101
This session will introduce students to the many sources of healthcare that exist outside the hospital and will encourage students to think about where healthcare is provided and why. Students will have the opportunity to map out existing non-hospital health centers in East Harlem and discuss why they are where they are.
- Ray Lopez, Little Sisters of the Assumption, Director of Environmental Health Services
- Dr. Warria Esmond, Settlement Health, Chief Medical Officer
Housing, Homelessness, and Gentrification: Who Lives Where?
Monday, October 23 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Hess 9-101
This class will engage students with information about the changing East Harlem neighborhood and the importance of zip code. In addition, students will learn about individuals who are experiencing homelessness and the unique challenges in providing healthcare to this population.
- Monica Thompson, LCSW, Mount Sinai, Social Work
- Dr. Andrew Coyle, Mount Sinai, Internal Medicine
Substance Use and Addiction: Crime or Health Problem?
Monday, October 30 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Hess 9-101
This session will compare and contrast the different responses to the crack and opioid epidemics as well as the impacts of each on East Harlem. This class will seek to make connections between past and present epidemics. In addition, students will think about how medicine deals with substance abuse and whether it does a good job of doing so.
Terrell Jones, New York Harm Reduction Educators, Outreach and Advocacy Manager
Marilyn Reyes, Peer Network of New York, Activist
Mass Incarceration: The New Jim Crow
Monday, November 6 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Hess 9-101
This class will discuss healthcare within the incarceration system as well as the impact of mass incarceration outside the prison. Students will be encouraged to consider why mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow, as described by Michelle Alexander, and how we ended up with this system. In addition, the class will try to lift up narratives that haven’t received as much attention, such as the impact of mass incarceration on Latinx, immigrants, and LGBTQ folks of color.
- Dr. Jonathan Giftos, Einstein College of Medicine, Clinical Director of Substance Use Treatment at Rikers Island
LGBTQ Healthcare: A Changing Landscape
Monday, November 13 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Hess 9-101
This session will look at how LGBTQ individuals interact with the healthcare system and the challenges they face receiving care. This class will also seek to make connections to the class on mass incarceration and its impacts on LGBTQ individuals with a focus on LGBTQ folks of color. Students will also be encouraged to consider the situation of young LGBTQ individuals.
- Larry Tantay, Community Awareness Network for a Drug-Free Life and Environment, Youth Pride Coordinator
Immigration and Health Status: A Case for Single Payer?
Monday, November 27 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Hess 9-101
This class will look at how an individual’s immigration status impacts their health status and how this has changed since President Trump took office. In addition, the class will seek to make connections between mass detention centers and mass incarceration. The class will also encourage students to think about the possible impact that a single payer system would have on the health of individuals with varied immigration statuses.
- Lauren Quijano, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
Students as Advocates and Activists: How Is It Done?
Monday, December 4 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Hess 9-101
This session will try to provide examples of student advocates and activists and answer the question of how to serve as in these roles as a medical student. In addition, students will be encouraged to think about self-care and allyship and the role that these ideas plays in activism.
- Stephen Beasley, Musician and Organizer
- Kamini Doobay, Bellevue/NYU Emergency Medicine PGY1, Mount Sinai MD 2017
Moving Forward: Where Do We Go?
Monday, December 11 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Hess 9-101
This session will serve as an opportunity for students to reflect on the semester and process. Students will be encouraged to decide what is feasible for them to do versus lift up and support.
- Sandra Kim, Everyday Feminism, Compassionate Activism
Health, Human Rights, and Advocacy Syllabus, Fall 2016
The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s student chapter of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) created HHRA as an elective in Spring of 2011. This student-run course, now in its sixth year, functions as a space for building critical thinking and community around social justice work. It is also a core component of the Human Rights and Social Justice Scholars program for first year medical students. The course goals are:
- to examine how social processes influence health and illness
- to build a framework for understanding human rights advocacy work
- (3) to provide a forum for thinking critically about a variety of health and human rights issues
- (4) to empower students to improve local and global health systems.
Course expectations include preparation for each session through readings and periodic formulation of questions to present to the group. Students are also encouraged to be active members of critical discussion. The course will meet for ten sessions held on Thursdays from 6:30-8pm in Hess Room 9-101, from September through December. For questions, please contact MountSinaiPHR@gmail.com.
- Wednesday, Sept 21: Anti-Racism Workshop
- Amy Garvey, MSII, Anti-Racism Coalition
- Seshat Mack, MD/PhD student, Anti-Racism Coalition
- Sept 29: Dying in America
- Rebecca Johnson, MS, MFA, Professor of Health Advocacy at Sarah Lawrence College
- Oct 6: Gentrification and Health
- Cinthia de la Rosa
- Oct 20: Intimate Partner Violence
- Victoria Frye MPH, DrPH, Asst Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia Mailman
- Oct 27: Mass Incarceration
- Miyhosi Benton, Associate, Women & Justice Project
- Nov 3: Structural Competency and Structural Violence
- Helena Hansen, MD, PhD, Asst Professor of Psychiatry and Anthropology at NYU Langone
- Nov 10: TBA
- Dec 1: Students as Advocates Panel
- Dec 8: Healthcare for Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People
- Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, LGBT & AIDS Project at the American Civil Liberties Union