Good healthcare is a global need as well as an individual one. Systems that create and maintain good health have to operate within a community, and as the world grows more interconnected, the need for a healthcare model that spans the challenges of geography and culture increases. From public health decisions about global outbreaks to clinical work done in culturally diverse communities, every aspect of healthcare is affected by the resources and the lack of resources found across the globe. Increasingly, healthcare workers are embracing the philosophy that global healthcare equity is a requirement for unlocking the true potential of healthcare systems.
It's a philosophy embraced by physician assistant Matthew Pierce, PA-C, 2020 alumnus of DFPM’s Utah Physician Assistant Program (UPAP). Along with his busy clinical practice, Pierce is highly active in the non-profit sector, tirelessly advancing the cause of global health by the formation of programs and groups that focus on practical solutions to global health concerns. As part of this work, Pierce founded Social Medicine International, which focuses on expanding and developing mobile heath outreach systems to help bring greater freedom, peace, and healing to the people of the world. Currently, the program has a pilot mobile clinic operating in Salt Lake City, working with underserved members of our local community and developing systems that will soon be taken worldwide. In another high-impact project, Pierce heads a consulting project called HealEx which focuses on bridging gaps between health care and human trafficking, using research and consultancy to help create systems that aid survivors of trafficking and exploitation. He also provides consulting services to community health workers across the world in places as diverse as the DR Congo, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic.
Pierce’s wide-ranging activism about global health is supplemented by his passion for increasing health outcomes locally. Despite his busy schedule, he spends every Wednesday morning at the Hope Clinic in Midvale, a free medical facility serving uninsured and underserved people in the Salt Lake area. He also works at Salt Lake Behavioral Health, inpatient psychiatry, and at CareNow Urgent Care.
Despite the extent of his accomplishments, Pierce remains excited about the possibilities that lay ahead. “I am still very young in my career so I am taking on what comes and enjoying it,” he says.