What is the Health Agency?
Health Communication students here at Emerson have recently teamed up to start a new organization, the Health Agency. The group will be hosting a series of forums to promote health discussion on the Emerson campus. They hope to improve relations between the students and the Center for Health and Wellness by facilitating an open dialogue. The Health Agency is currently conducting research in the form of surveys and focus groups to gain insight on the needs of students. After research is conducted, the Health Agency will launch health campaigns across campus addressing specific student issues. They also hope to bring various speakers here to Emerson to speak about Health Communication. They will utilize the various forms of media here at Emerson (the Emerson Channel, the Berkeley Beacon, etc.) to get the word out, and they will also use social media and networking to explore careers in Health Communication. The organization will also show civic engagement by personally connecting with individuals in the community to continue communicating health concerns.
Who is the Health Agency?
The group of six girls was founded by Kayla Pinto and Maya Wise, both executive directors. The rest of the Health Agency is comprised of Chelsea Eagle as Director of Public Relations, Samantha Sugerman as Director of Presentations, Chelsea Phillips as Director of Networking, and Briana Azar as Director of Community Engagement. The Health Agency’s faculty advisors are Dr. Angela Cooke-Jackson and Professor Tanya Dubro.
What do they have to say?
“The Health Agency student organization will bring a dynamic and needed presence to Emerson College. The organization’s goals create a space to facilitate conversations about health communication and the value of understanding concepts like health literacy, patient-centered care, health policy, and community activism. I am proud of the leadership from Kayla Pinto and Maya Wise… both see a need to provide a space that opens the dialogue surrounding health concerns specific to the Emerson community. I applaud both ladies on being so forward-thinking!”–Dr. Angela Cooke-Jackson, Assistant Professor
“Medicine in this country tends to focus on the disease, not the person. What we learn in health communication classes is that health is so much more than writing the body. [We need] individualized medicine, as opposed to one-size-fits all medicine and [we must be] hearing and sympathizing with health narratives. Our healthcare system calls for an exigency for a biopsychosocial model, that takes into account patients’ physical conditions (biology), their thoughts and beliefs (psychology) and their social expectations, rather than the biomedical model we have now. It’s about the two-way conversation and understanding the self’s journey, that’s how you properly heal a person.”–Kayla Pinto, Executive Director and Co-Founder
“So much of our lives revolve around health and all of the day-to-day, moment-to-moment decisions that impact it. All of these decisions are influenced by the messages we receive, the conversations we have, and the information we get. People often don’t realize how important the role of communication is in the world of health.”–Maya Wise, Executive Director and Co-Founder
–Maggie Morlath (Political Communication Major and Student Contributor)