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TED Talk: Investing in Healthcare Workers Strengthens Communities

Raj Punjabi, a doctor who serves communities that have little or no health care in western Africa proposes that the Community Health Care workers be paid to do the work they are already providing in these underserved areas.  These Community Health Workers are normal everyday lay-people, trained to be the go-to person in the village or community to provide preventive care and to be the liaison, through the use of technology, for the community by accessing the expertise of doctors and nurses at a bigger health care clinic which may be far from that community.  Many times, these Health Care Workers are women who grew up in the communities and usually do not get paid for their dedication and work.  Dr. Punjabi wants to meet these injustices head-on and works to elicit pledges from the governments in these places to provide pay for the Community Health Care Workers, whether it is in the remotest villages in Africa or in the Appalachian mountains in the U.S.  An investment in the Workers is an investment in keeping all people healthy.


About the author: Debra Beck, Ph.D. is the former director of the Health Professions Programs at the University of North Texas where she served as the inaugural JAMP Faculty Director. After her retirement, she served as a consultant to TXHES where she established the Courage Sessions series to address the fast-changing landscape of admissions to professional school during the pandemic.

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