Teresa Tomassoni | Before I ever knew I wanted to become a journalist, I spent three years living in Latin America and Asia while earning my bachelors degree through the four-year study abroad program, Global College of Long Island University. During this time, I interviewed sex workers and human trafficking survivors around the world who were afflicted with HIV/AIDS and the stigma associated with the disease. I also spent time talking with Costa Rican banana plantation workers whose health was compromised by the pesticides being used on their crops. When I returned to the U.S., I began working as a counselor for American girls ages 12-24 in New York City who were sexually exploited and trafficked. Many of them suffered from severe mental and physical issues as a result of the trauma and abuse they endured.
These experiences fueled my desire to become a journalist, to educate people about these types of critical global health issues, and help them make more informed decisions in their daily lives. Therefore, I am very excited to report on this year’s GBCHealth Conference.
So far, I have been working towards my goal of becoming a full-time reporter on global health and humanitarian issues by earning my masters degree in journalism from the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. I also spent the last seven months reporting on hunger, housing and the 2012 presidential primaries for The Washington Post and NPR as a Stone and Holt Weeks Fellow.
Now I am interested in learning about how I can continue informing the public, politicians and business professionals on global health issues using other creative journalistic tools like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. I will be covering the conference session: Social Health: The Future of Disease Awareness, Prevention and Treatment. The session’s speakers will discuss ways in which social media is being used to effectively track global health trends, raise awareness and disseminate information about health topics. I will be examining how social media can be used to continue the conversation around global health, even once the breaking news headlines die down about cholera, malnutrition, maternal health and AIDS.
Learn more about Teresa here and be sure to follow her at @TTomassoni