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Victor Roy

Setting a Standard of Care

Victor Roy promises he is not out to save the world.

“Lots of students want to talk about saving the world,” he says. “I emphasize that it’s not about us. It’s about the communities we’re trying to help. This way the focus becomes building relationships with people.”

Roy, a political science major who is also completing the Honors Program in Medical Education, is president of the University’s chapter of the Evanston-based Global Medical Relief Program, a national nonprofit founded by John Broach Jr. (C02, FSM06, GFSM06) at Northwestern in 1999. He is also president of the organization’s national executive board, which is composed of university students who provide the day-to-day leadership and execution for GlobeMed.

When Roy first joined GlobeMed, the student group sent medical supplies to clinics in developing countries. Now under Roy’s leadership the group has incorporated with 12 other universities’ chapters to develop long-term initiatives in support of these clinics.

“We wanted to rethink our strategy,” says Roy. “We weren’t sure if supplies were being used properly, and there really wasn’t much long-term impact.”

Now Roy and GlobeMed are building relationships with clinics overseas. During summer 2006 Roy traveled to Africa to visit the GlobeMed health center in Ho, Ghana.

Roy, a finalist for both the Truman and Fulbright scholarships, also visited Kolkata, India, with the help of an Undergraduate Research Grant, where he researched how nongovernmental organizations can move beyond systems of aid and relief toward more sustainable models for empowering street children. While there he worked with the local NGO SMILE to teach English and math and provide basic first aid to the homeless children who live in slums or train stations, often without any family.

Roy, who calls Bridgewater, N.J., home, is looking forward to his career in medicine. “Whatever I do,” he says, “I’m sure I’ll be able to use my medical skills to do global health work. My goal is to have clinical skills, but my larger goal is to use those skills toward a broader goal of systemic change. My vision is to make sure that health is viewed as a human right and that all people, no matter where they live in the world, have access to a high standard of care.”

— Caitlin Henning (WCAS07)

Photo by Bill Arsenault