National Blog

"Three months ago, I packed up my Grand Prix with all of my possessions, left Michigan, and started driving east. What first struck me was the view. Driving into Pittsburgh on 376-E takes you through the Fort Pitt Tunnel. As soon as you leave the tunnel, the beauty of the city strikes you — you’re dumped out onto the Fort Pitt Bridge, headed directly for downtown; sunlight reflects off PPG Place buildings, and all is right with the world. To your right is the Monongahela River and Smithfield Street Bridge. To your left is the Point Park fountain and the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, from which the Ohio is born. Pittsburgh truly is a beautiful city, textured by three magnificent rivers, 90 distinct neighborhoods, 446 bridges, and all the hills and ridges characteristic of Appalachia."
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"Friday, November 17th was the official beginning of the 2017-18 Pennsylvania High School winter sports season. It is also the beginning of something much more. Arguably the most competitive state in the nation, Pennsylvania has a very deeply-understood culture around the sport of wrestling. Individuals from all over the state are now officially beginning their training. What this often looks like is students wearing trash bags, layers upon layers of clothing, spitting into empty bottles to lose minute amounts of water from their body and starving themselves to get to a ridiculously low weight. Historically, these actions were accepted norms and continue to be thought of as an integral part of the sport, resulting in a negative impact on the health of wrestlers."
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"I joined because I wanted to devote a year of my life to service. No school, no distractions, just complete dedication to communities in need. It felt like this was a perfect opportunity to do just that."
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"On World AIDS day I stood with my JASMYN family, reading the names and stories on each quilt, reflecting upon the importance of turning statistics into souls in combatting the HIV crisis."
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"When I realized I could not explain preventative health screenings in a way that patients would understand, I consulted my mentors. I thought back to one of our first trainings with Becky Carpenter of the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Center. She spoke about the current state of literacy in Allegheny County and how low health literacy can be a barrier that patients faced when interacting with the healthcare system. We discussed how low health literacy could appear during a typical office visit: not completing check-in questionnaires, difficulty understanding visit summary/diagnosis papers, or misunderstanding prescriptions and how and when to take them."
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