The threats to children’s health and well-being are often multiple and complex. Children are at greater risk for adverse environmental factors because they are growing and developing.
Today, health concerns for children, such as asthma, obesity and its complications of hypertension and diabetes, and neurodevelopmental disorders are often caused or exacerbated by environmental factors.
This is a challenge, not only at an individual level, but also at the level of the family and community, and, ultimately, it also has an impact on society in terms of the potential loss of human potential, the need for prevention and management strategies, and the utilization of resources of necessary resource to promote health. Additionally, there is a societal impact in terms of the cultivation of its future citizens, workforce, and leaders.
Break the Cycle is a multidisciplinary academic program that focuses on cultivating future leaders in all academic fields that have an impact on the social, economic, and environmental determinants of health.
This program offers a broad look at the relationship between social and economic disadvantage and developmental disabilities and other chronic medical conditions.
BCHD Cohort 13: Paul Nguyen
My name is Paul Nguyen. I was part of the Break the Cycle program in 2016 where I worked with LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness to create a music and arts program. As I draft my personal statement for residency, I began to reflect upon the moments that significantly impacted my life. I just wanted to thank you for allowing me to participate in your program because it sparked my interest in health disparities research, which I plan to continue in my career.
I am now a 4th-year medical student at Penn State College of Medicine and am concurrently obtaining my Masters in Education. Break the Cycle introduced me to the concept of environmental health disparities. I wish I had learned about it earlier, so I am now working with a local high school in Pennsylvania to incorporate more content about environmental health disparities into their curriculum. I still refer to the infographic from your website.
I also continue to use my background in music and the arts, most recently in my global health work where I assisted with HIV research in Zambia and became friends with an underground LGBTQ community there. I attached a recording of my presentation here if you are interested. Because of this work, I was then recruited to join a committee of artists to help design the Hampden Medical Center, a new community hospital in Pennsylvania set to open later this year.
I am still deciding between emergency medicine and anesthesiology, but I know that I want my career to address the cycle of environmental health disparities in a global setting. I wanted you to know the impact Break the Cycle had on me because I would not be where I am now without it, and I attribute much of my interest to your program. Thank you again, and I hope you are doing well!
We have established a Facebook group to offer an opportunity for members of the Break the Cycle community to communicate information, experiences, ideas, and thoughts on Break the Cycle Projects. We look forward to this unique forum for learning about past, current, and especially future projects directed at reducing children's environmental health disparities.
Click here to join the group
We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to become part of the Break the Cycle community.