National public health issues spark student responses

Vik Shirvaikar and Janhavi Nemawarkar

As the national debate on healthcare heats up (again) this week, we feature student perspectives on public health topics that have a national scope but clear local effects: access to contraceptives, the opioid crisis, and preventative healthcare.

Isabelle Archer makes the case for contraception to be covered by standard health insurance. She tells her story of living with endometriosis, pointing out that women have a wide range of unique reasons for using contraceptives. 

Claire Zagorski, who works as a paramedic with the Austin Harm Reduction Coalition, relates her experiences providing treatment to opioid and drug users. She argues that the stigma surrounding opioid use creates a hostile environment, making recovery efforts more difficult, and that empathy is needed both in healthcare and in society.

Finally, Joanna Chyu outlines the structures within our healthcare system that lead to reactionary treatment being emphasized over preventative care. She argues that this has negative effects for both individuals and society as a whole.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on these topics or anything else. Please reach out to us at [email protected]

Nemawarkar is a Plan II and government junior from Austin. Shirvaikar is a math and economics junior from Frisco.