Robert Down, a second-year nursing student at Adventist University (ADU), is a dedicated student leader who is involved in multiple facets of service and advocacy to make a positive impact for social change. For nearly two years, Robert has participated in efforts designed to serve and encourage vulnerable populations, including serving the local community as a health worker at health fairs, participating in international medical missions, and advocating at the Florida Nursing Association for health care for at-risk populations. Robert also volunteers for the American Red Cross on a regular basis and actively serves as a member of the ADU Student Nurses Association, the National Student Nurses Association and the Florida Nursing Students Association. Robert is dedicated to improving patient care through innovative technology and is a software developer and board member for an open-source electronic medical records (EMR) system that provides quality EMR to community providers around the globe who can't afford corporate systems.
Robert is a committed leader. He responds to needs he sees in others and collaborates on ways to improve quality of life. His dedication to action and advocacy to serve the most vulnerable populations render him an exemplary candidate for the Newman Civic Fellows Award.
Life is sacred. This basic assumption guides my beliefs regarding war, famine, poverty, foreign and domestic aid, as well as aid within my own local community. I struggle to understand the relentless wars waged around the world, or the fact that a wide majority of the world lives in poverty. And while I know it is unrealistic to think I can end poverty, homelessness, or human trafficking by myself, I am committed to help those most at-risk.
I believe that access to health care is a fundamental human right. I believe that the essence of humanity is expressed most clearly when we refuse to leave the sick or wounded behind to die - when we come together to ensure those in need are granted a fighting chance. Embracing the role of an advocate, I have learned to use my voice to speak for those who may otherwise remain voiceless. I have also developed a considerable passion for informatics and developing license-free, electronic medical record software for providers in developing countries. Focusing on the intersection of my information technology skills, role as a nurse-advocate, and empathy for emerging populations has helped me to become a more influential healthcare professional.