Colors for Coats club aims to raise awareness on healthcare issues

Colors for Coats is an organization founded by two high schoolers in Florida last year that “aims to spread awareness about health care disparities that affect the medical community and general public,” according to the Colors for Coats website. Junior Kailash Menon applied to create a Colors for Coats chapter at HHS in January. 

Menon said in a Zoom interview if ASB approves their application, they will be able to start club activities in March; however, there is no set date currently. He said his officer team had an interview with ASB recently, and are still waiting on a response.

The cross in the Color for Coats organization’s logo represents medicine. The buckets pouring out paint represent the paintings the founders painted for a local hospital, which marks the starting point of the foundation of the organization. (Photo courtesy of Colors for Coats )

“Since middle school, I have been very passionate about medicine and interested in biology,” Menon said. “[I] have been wanting to gain experience [in this field], so when I found out about this organization, I immediately did some research and applied.” 

Menon said the club will be interactive and allow members to learn about various aspects of the medical field. For example, the club is planning to feature guest speaker Dr. Robert Soufer, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine and the head of the cardiology department. 

Menon said the professor will discuss a wide range of topics regarding his profession, racial disparities within this field and will be showing footage of open heart surgeries. 

“[The main goal] is to raise awareness in our community about healthcare issues and take initiative to make a positive difference,” Menon said. “Another goal is to let our members talk to healthcare professionals so they can further their knowledge of the broad field of medicine.” 

The club also plans to raise awareness about health care issues through various projects run by the club, Menon said.

Menon said they have ideas for club projects to immerse the participants in the issues at hand, which include making professional flyers to emphasize the importance of prenatal care, advertising different programs for pregnant women and creating infographics on how and why COVID-19 is impacting women’s healthcare.

Although the club is in the early stages of gaining district approval, Menon said he has recruited  several students to be officers for the Colors for Coats club. 

Vice President and junior Surbhi Yadav said in a Zoom interview she was interested in becoming a veterinarian since she was a young child. After talking to family members who went into medical school, she learned about the exact disparities in the medical field which the Colors for Coats organization addresses. 

“Every month [Colors for Coats] gets a topic that we talk about, which comes straight from the Colors for Coats organization, and then we discuss [that topic] for about a month,” Yadav said. 

The club focuses on numerous disparities in the medical industry, such as disparities between races, variations in treatment for African American women, implicit bias in the industry and coverage for the underprivileged, Menon said.

Colors for Coats recognizes the difficulties of studying medicine in college, and is dedicated to helping students understand and thoroughly prepare for it, junior and club secretary Jacquelyn Cao said in a Zoom interview. She said the club also strives to help them discover personal interest in the industry and recognize the importance of raising awareness on the disparities that occur in medicine. 

Overall, Menon said he believes Colors for Coats club will be beneficial to Homestead since there are not many clubs like it and there are numerous people interested in these topics.

“Since there are many students at Homestead who want to go into medicine or may be interested in these topics, I think it will be a great contribution [to the school],” Menon said. “[Through this club] we hope to create more opportunities for [students] to learn about all the aspects of the medical field.”