Isabel Beshar (SY ’14) is a pre-medical student, double majoring in Biology and History of Science, History of Medicine. She was born and raised in New York, but has spent some of her life in Perth, Australia. As an undergraduate at Yale, Isabel served as president of Yale’s Public Health Coalition, worked with the New Haven-León Sister City Project to plan a service trip to Nicaragua, and organized a research project with the Yale-Ecuador HIV Clinic Initiative. Isabel has a specific interest in chronic diseases, such as Type II Diabetes and hypertension, and hopes to use her position as a Global Health fellow to expand long-term resources for these patients. She is also focused on Latin America: Isabel has volunteered in Panama, Nicaragua, and Ecuador and hopes to use these experiences to one day organize chronic disease programs for the developing world.
Understanding Risk Perceptions of Communicable Versus Non-Communicable Diseases in Manglaralto, Ecuador with the Yale-Ecuador HIV Clinic InitiativeSanta ElenaEcuador2013Research
In summer 2013, I collaborated with a student-run Yale organization, the Yale-Ecuador HIV Clinic, to combat HIV/AIDS rates and provide HIV/AIDS education in the Ecuadorian province of Santa Elena. As a group, we ran HIV/AIDS tests at the regional hospital and surrounding clinics and delivered HIV/AIDS “charlas” (brief educational messages). As a group, we have observed a fall in prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS, accompanied by a dramatic rise for those of chronic disease. With this information, we decided to also address the important issues regarding diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. I conducted a research project on risk perceptions of HIV/AIDS versus diabetes, in hopes of evaluating cultural attitudes towards infectious versus non-infectious diseases. I look forward to evaluating this research in the fall semester and sharing its conclusions with the hospital administrators, which will hopefully aid in the construction of future diabetes interventions.