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Drive behind pursuing concurrent degrees

first_img“I wanted to explore issues beyond the boundaries of health and health care,” says Elorm Avakame, M.P.P./M.D. ’18.Avakame chose to pursue a concurrent M.P.P./M.D. degree at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and Harvard Medical School because “in Medical School, we are all training to be doctors, but here at the Kennedy School, people are training for so many different walks of life,” he said. “From anti-poverty policy to transportation and criminal justice, the Kennedy School has been a fertile environment for this exploration.“At HKS, I’ve had the opportunity to take courses in areas I’ve never studied before, such as safety net policy and behavioral economics.”During his time at HKS, Avakame was a Sheila C. Johnson Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership. “This fellowship has been what I had hoped it would be: a group of like-minded peers working on the issues I’m passionate about. It’s been really great to be around a group of smart, passionate African-American students who share not only my identity but also my aspirations and sense of obligation to our community.”It’s an obligation Avakame doesn’t take lightly.“My story is the story of what it means to have a community to lean on,” he says. “My parents were immigrants from rural Ghana, and now my dad is a tenured professor at Rutgers and my mom is a certified public accountant.”The family’s journey began when Avakame’s father, a subsistence farmer in his home country, went off to university with just two pairs of pants and one bar of soap. He later earned a scholarship to study in Canada for his Ph.D. but didn’t have the funds for the plane ride from West Africa. His family and community pooled their money so he could pursue his dream. “I don’t think about my work as creating solutions to other people’s problems. Instead, I think of empowering people to solve their own problems.” — Elorm Avakame, M.P.P./M.D. ’18 “My parents taught me and my brother that we are who we are not just because of our own efforts but because of the people who invested in us,” he says. “And the only way to pay these people back is to pay it forward. We owe it to them to invest in others.”Avakame wants to invest in underserved communities, particularly in black children.“I know that black children have worse outcomes across so many measures of health,” he says. “Beyond that, as a black person in America, I understand that the opportunities I have were won for me by the black people who came before me. Black people were once murdered for assembling to learn to read; they have died fighting for the right to earn an education and to vote. I am obligated to continue fighting for a better life for my people.”Racism is a fundamental public problem that, he says, should be more central to the curriculum at Harvard Kennedy School. While he is grateful to his black professors whose courses addressed racism as a deep-seated challenge affecting people’s health, well-being, and prosperity, he says the School must add to their ranks. Similarly, he is thankful for his fellow black students but says, “There aren’t enough of us to bear the burden of everything from the Journal of African American Public Policy to the Black Policy Conference. If the Kennedy School wants these things to continue, we need more African-American students to come.”As he prepares to move to Washington, D.C., to begin a residency program in pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center, Avakame says, “I don’t think about my work as creating solutions to other people’s problems. Instead, I think of empowering people to solve their own problems. It’s very easy to go into communities and impose what we think is the right answer. Over and over again at the Kennedy School, I’ve been reminded that public leadership is public service, and that this notion of service means assuming a position of humility relative to the people you’re trying to serve.“It’s clear to me that what makes people sick and unhealthy are things that happen far before they get to a doctor’s office,” he says.With his degrees from Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Medical School, Avakame is poised to influence the upstream factors that cause ill health among at-risk populations.This article was originally published on Harvard Kennedy School’s Student Life web page in May. It has been lightly edited.last_img read more

Irfan Pathan paves way for life to return to normalcy for J&K cricketers

first_imgKolkata: The boys from Jammu & Kashmir are sweating it out at the Moti Bagh ground in Baroda as they prepare for the upcoming domestic season of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Till a couple of days back, they weren’t even sure what the future had planned for them. After all, it wasn’t any normal time in the life of these cricketers from the Valley.The abrogation of Article 370 by the Indian government and the advisory before that saw the boys being asked to leave the state. There was a month of inactivity from early August till the start of September when the players did not have a place to stay. It was then that mentor Irfan Pathan spoke to officials of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, including CEO Ashiq Ali Bukhari and planned to give advertisements on television which drew the Kashmiri players to report to the JKCA office in Jammu.”The plan worked after we put out the advertisement in late August. Then we decided to bring them to Baroda and hold a camp before the Vijay Hazare Trophy,” Irfan told IANS.Due to the curfew in many parts of the valley after the state got special status, the players could not be contacted and it was then that Bukhari and administrator C.K. Prasad finally met in Delhi to create a solution.The camp has been underway from August 6 at Baroda under the watchful eyes of Irfan but to come this far, it was nothing short of a struggle. First, the JKCA had to stay away from the Vizzy Trophy after it failed to connect with the players due to a communication breakdown in the valley.”We had started the camp in mid-June and we had made good progress. When the camp got called off in early August, it was time for the matches and training. We know that we are running behind time but we needed to find a way to make sure boys stay in a good frame of mind to play a certain level of cricket,” Irfan said highlighting the problem they faced in the lead up to the Vijay Hazare Trophy which begins on September 24.There is only one ground in Jammu and it became impossible to practice there as other age-group players also needed to train. Usually, the team trains in Srinagar till early November and then shifts to Jammu during winters.”It is not an ideal situation. We are slightly under-prepared but we will try our best,” Irfan said after the boys — 26 of them led by captain and India international Parvez Rasool, trained for the first time in Baroda.It was a five-hour-long session with a lunch break in between but the highlight was a bonding session as Irfan stressed there will be a lot of fun games done to keep their mental health in the right space.”When I met them, they did look rusty due to lack of training. But in the next couple of weeks they will pick up hopefully,” said Irfan, who has been doing a lot of personal talk with each of the players to keep them in the zone.With preparations not being ideal, Irfan, who has played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is for India — and won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, said the aim is to take one day at a time and ensure the boys perform to the best of their abilities. IANS Also Read: Would Love to Coach England One Day: Andrew FlintoffAlso Watch:Digboi MLA Suren Phukan inaugurates houses under PM Awas Yojana- Graminlast_img read more

Man who went berserk after ‘shots promotion’ jailed for three months

first_imgA man who abused ambulance staff and then nurses and doctors at Letterkenny University Hospital after taking part in a ‘shots promotion’ with friends has been jailed for three months.Richard Rice appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with a number of incidents. The court was told that Rice, of Fairgreen, Letterkenny, had been struck outside Voodoo Nightclub.He had been put into an ambulance for treatment but became abusive to ambulance personnel.He was taken to Letterkenny University Hospital but began to abuse staff there also.Garda Inspector Barry Doyle told the court how Rice kept jumping off the bed in the treatment room.At one stage he called a doctor a “bald Aborigine f*****er” and then called a nurse an “ugly bi***.”Solicitor for the accused, Mr Patsy Gallagher, said Rice and his friends had been out with friends and had drunk “copious amounts” of shots in a two for one promotion.“He was totally palatic,” said the solicitor.The court heard that Rice, a 25-year-old father-of-one, had 27 previous convictions including nine for public order and eight for burglary as well as another for drink-driving.Mr Gallagher added “He apologises profusely and has no recollection. His comments were totally inappropriate and he is disgusted by his behaviour.”He asked Judge Paul Kelly if he would consider getting a probation report on Rice and allow his client to make recompense to medical staff for his behaviour.But Judge Kelly refused saying “He has been treated relatively leniently in the past. It is unacceptable to treat hospital staff and Gardai like that.”He sentenced Rice to a total of three months in prison and also fined him €250.Man who went berserk after ‘shots promotion’ jailed for three months was last modified: July 12th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtdonegaldrunkletterkennyRichard Riceshotslast_img read more