The Complexity of Care: Healthcare Access for Immigrants in Los Angeles
Saturday, March 17th – Saturday, March 24th
Leaders: James Williams and Carrie Diamond
Healthcare reform and immigration have become two of the most polarizing issues in American politics, and an unfortunate consequence of this split has been the failure to provide healthcare access to “underserved” immigrant patients. From March 17-24, trip participants will travel to Los Angeles County, home to roughly 3.5 million immigrants, over 60% of whom are uninsured. By meeting with healthcare workers at community clínicas, hospital administrators, public officials, and religious and advocacy organizations in the greater Los Angeles area, participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the range of social, economic, and linguistic factors that make healthcare inaccessible to immigrants, and gain insight into some of the innovative solutions that help put healthcare access in the hands of the underserved immigrant community. By speaking with individuals actively engaged in combating healthcare inequality, participants will look to gain an understanding of the American healthcare system from the vantage point of patients left outside it, assess the unique needs of immigrant communities, and map the viable avenues of care available to these patients. Key issues to be explored include the status of healthcare as a commodity or a basic human right, the economic strain put on the healthcare system by uninsured patients, public policy debates surrounding healthcare reform, particularly with regards to illegal immigration, and the personal impact this issue has on marginalized patients. During leisure time, students will have the chance to explore the sites, experiences, and food of sunny Los Angeles. You don’t need to speak Spanish or be pre-med; just be excited to spend a great week in LA learning about this complex issue.