Club prognosis is health focus

Milana Ballard, Opinions Editor

Freshman Mithali Mehta was inspired by a photograph shared on Facebook that gave her the idea to create AshaVida.

AshaVida is a new campus organization dedicated to health care issues.

“I want this organization to be a way for people to get experience and build valuable contacts in their career field, build awareness on global health care issues (and) serve the community on a local and global scale,” said Mehta.

“Our proceeds go toward funding projects and events at local hospitals, and toward funding and obtaining the necessary supplies to host medical camps for the underprivileged in Honduras in partnership with the national organization Global Medical Brigades.”

The name of the organization AshaVida was created with a hidden meaning. In Hindi, asha means hope while in Spanish, vida means life. Together they create a global way of having a hopeful life.

As of right now, the club has 70 members.

“People of all majors are welcome and this club is beneficial for absolutely everybody. There is something for everyone,” said Mehta.

AshaVida members are divided into three different committees, allowing students of all majors to have their own purpose in the organization. There is the event committee, trip committee and communications committee.

One trip the members are planning on taking is a seven-to-10 day trip next summer to Honduras. They plan on volunteering at a medical camp site while visiting different cities, helping local citizens.

For students to be eligible to attend any major trips, members must have at least a 50 percent attendance record to all fundraising events and meetings put on by organization leaders.

Organization members must put on multiple fundraisers throughout the school year, to make trips happen.

Two major fundraiser’s members are working include the Color Festival, inspired by the Indian Holiday Holi and a breast-cancer awareness carnival. Members also plan to hold bonfire parties, themed movie nights and an African dance party.

The first event members participated in was the Light the Night walk held this Saturday at the Pitt-Johnstown Campus Mall. The event was to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“I have no doubt that the club will offer worthwhile experiences for its members, especially those pursuing careers in medical fields, said faculty adviser Luis Bonachea.

“The mission of providing assistance through Global Medical Brigades is an admirable one,” said Bonachea a biology professor.

Any students interested in becoming involved with the organization can email [email protected] Ashavida-UPJ is the Facebook page available to the public.