On Sunday, February 26,  Med Students 4 Haiti (MS4H) hosted an event called A Night at the Oscars in the student lounge of Aron Hall. This year’s Academy Awards was widely publicized for reaching a historic degree of diversity and inclusion among the nominees and the films that were recognized.

After a contentious year in American politics, in which globalization and immigration have become vilified and uncertain, the students of MS4H considered this to be a timely opportunity to organize a fundraising event that unified the Mount Sinai academic community under a shared love and admiration of beautiful films. Students were encouraged to dress up and fill out ballots with predictions of who would win each category for a small entry fee.

The first-place winner of the bracket received 10 percent of the overall entry fees while second place winner had their money returned to them. Eleni Drivas (ISMMS ’20) won the bracket; Joshua Loewenstern (ISMMS ’20) and Matthew Gallitto (ISMMS ’19) tied for second place.

The 2017 Oscars season was riddled with highs and lows throughout, ultimately ending with the most jaw-dropping conclusion in the history of the Academy Awards: In a shocking twist of events, we saw Moonlight win Best Picture—a film that poignantly displays the intersecting challenges of growing up black, gay, and poor in Miami.  Throughout the evening, we remained perched on the student lounge couches, witnessing the Twitter trend #OscarsNotAsWhiteAsUsual, Mahershala Ali becoming the first Muslim ever to win an Oscar, and Viola Davis taking home a well-deserved trophy for her performance in Fences—becoming the second black woman ever to win an Oscar, Tony, and an Emmy.

The proceeds from this event will support the 10 students traveling on the annual MS4H trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti from March 26 through April 2. This will be the fifth consecutive year that ISMMS students have traveled to Université Quisqueya to conduct a peer-to-peer training module. ISMMS students will be filling a curricular gap left by the 2010 earthquake and increasing emergency first responder capacity among Haitian medical students, by providing courses and training in Basic Life Support, CPR, and First Aid.

MS4H_Haiti

Haitan medical student completing primary and secondary surveys on Kieley O’Connor-Chapman (ISMMS ’19), a simulated unconscious patient with a possible cervical spine injury.

We will also be training Université Quisqueya medical students to train their peers and community members, which will allow them to expand the program and ultimately take it over entirely. These courses will be taught by first- and second-year medical and graduate students at the Icahn School of Medicine who have been instructor-certified by the American Heart Association. We will be accompanied by two Emergency Medicine residents from the Mount Sinai Hospital.

Unlike the type of instruction domestically provided to trainees in emergency first aid response, the MS4H curriculum focuses on implementing relevant training by utilizing materials widely available in areas where resources are limited. Previous “skills stations” have included crafting cervical spine collars for head and neck injuries using belts and water bottles, as well as making arm slings from bed sheets.

Stay tuned for upcoming details regarding MS4H’s final fundraiser. If you’d like to donate directly, please visit our GoFundMe page.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

MS4H_GroupKatleen Lozada, Jordan Francke, and Meygan Lackey (from left to right) are members of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MD Class of 2020.  They all share a passion for global health, social justice, YouTube videos of cute animals, and fine films—with champagne.

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