Elis form health care group

Patel, Jairam, and De hope that YUHS will inspire discussion of healthcare policy among undergraduates.
Patel, Jairam, and De hope that YUHS will inspire discussion of healthcare policy among undergraduates. Photo by Claudia Martinez.

A new organization on campus hopes to spark debate on a number of health care issues, the group’s founders said.

The Yale Undergraduate Healthcare Society hopes to bring together physicians, politicians, professors, students and economists to discuss various topics such as health care disparities and prescription drug costs, founder Brian De ’10 said. The organization, which consists of a 12-member executive board and has 40 to 50 members on its mailing list, hopes to attract more members through biweekly debates, panel discussions and speakers’ series, he said.

While Yale offers plenty of opportunities to explore science and health topics within an academic setting, De said the organization hopes to give a more general overview of the health care system, compared to topic-specific groups such as the Yale Biomedical Society and the Minority Association of Premedical Students.

“Our goal is to foster vibrant dialogue among students interested in health care,” said Jaymin Patel ’12, the group’s operations director.

As co-founders of the organization, both De and Vikram Jairam ’10 said they hope to inform the student body about health care reform without political bias. By bringing in a range of speakers from different areas of health care, the organization looks to represent as many viewpoints as possible, Jairam said.

The group is also trying to get the New Haven community involved with a number of events, beginning with a health care conference April 10 co-sponsored by the Health Camps Organization, De said. The event is fulfilling part of the organization’s mission, which is stated on its Web site, to present information about developments in health care to a broad range of people.

“This is an event to increase information and knowledge about health care services for the public,” Jairam said.

The organization, which is advised by Yale School of Public Health professor Andrew Epstein, has received assistance from the Yale Public Health Coalition, Dwight Hall and the Yale Business Society. In addition, the organization has been receiving $600 per semester from the Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee.

As an organization that is just now establishing its place among a number of health-related groups on campus, it is looking for people who will show initiative and make a contribution to the group, Jairam said.

“It’s not about career building or networking, it’s just about learning,” Patel said.

The organization’s next discussion will be held the week of March 29 and will be focused on the topic of health insurance.

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