How Women’s Health Volunteer Work Informs Health Systems Career – Gabrielle Lamourelle

How Women’s Health Volunteer Work Informs Health Systems Career – Gabrielle Lamourelle


Erik: How did your volunteer work help you
establish a career in reproductive health? Gabrielle: When I was an undergrad in Berkeley
I started out volunteering with an organization called ACCESS, the Women’s Health Rights
Coalition. They feel very strongly that reproductive rights are very important but you can’t
actually access those rights they are irrelevant. So, I started with them as a practical support
volunteer driving women to health appointments, helping them arrange transportation, helping
them figure out how to get from more rural areas of California into the cities where
the reproductive services are really available. People think of California as a liberal place
but actually your ability to utilize reproductive health services are limited by your location,
even in California. So, that experience really informed my decision
to go into this health systems area and help people – help connect people to the services
that are there and understand sort of what makes a service truly useful. Just having
the product there really is not enough. You need to figure out what motivates people to
use them, what barriers do they face in their life that prevent them from being able to
access those services, and how do you make a good fit between sort of the services and
the products that exist and people’s real needs.

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