Last week, the entire 9th grade devoted a day to community engagement in the East Bay. Students first reflected on the issues closest to their hearts: from sustainability and the housing crisis to public health and education. The Class of 2022 then divided across eight sites––including East Bay Regional Parks, Glenview Elementary School, and Union Point Park’s homeless encampment––ready to listen and volunteer.
Each organization gave the students insight into problems facing Oakland residents, empowering them with the knowledge required to enact change and access to the minds of those professionals already at work.
At Highland Hospital, Head-Royce alumna and resident Dr. Rebecca Gologorsky '06 greeted the students, along with HRS parents Dr. Greg Victorino, Dr. Taft Bhuket, Dr. Indhu Subramanian, and Dr. Eric Snoey. Head of School Crystal Land, who accompanied the group, explains that "Highland Hospital is one of 21 public hospitals in California and serves the East Bay's most vulnerable populations.” Highland Hospital lives up to its mission of “Caring, Healing, Teaching, Serving All”––regardless of insurance status.
“It’s important for young people to learn about the community hospitals that their parents’ tax dollars support and the consequences of inadequate access to health care,” says Dr. Rebecca Gologorsky '06. “With greater understanding, students will be prepared to champion and improve healthcare.”
On the Emergency Room tour, Hollis W. ’22 was “very surprised at the access granted.”
Lindsay C. ’22 echoed the sentiment: “I didn’t expect to see patients there, or even be allowed to go in. In my group, we were informed that a patient had just passed away…I definitely didn’t expect to hear about anything like that. Although it was very sad, it made me realize how strong and courageous doctors have to be.”
Students wore white coats––typically given to medical students when they take the Hippocratic Oath, swearing to do no harm––and tried their hands at a CPR/intubation simulation and a laparoscopic surgery training.
The patience and skill required really stuck with students. “I appreciate the work doctors do even more now,” said Daniel B. ’22.
The group also practiced techniques to stop the bleeding from gunshot wounds, an especially grave training that Crystal Land called “eye-opening and inspirational.”
Another inspirational moment came when Dr. Indhu Subramanian “encouraged the girls,” as Kylan Y. ‘22 wrote, “not to let other people or our own shyness ever keep us from pursuing what we really want.”
What a privilege to learn from the brilliant minds at Highland Hospital and all across Oakland. Click through this slideshow of photographs which highlights the Highland experience along with the entire 9th Grade Community Engagement Day.