13 Feb Leading with compassion to promote youth and women’s heart health
Helena is a doctor that strives to promote the heart health of youth and women, which is often overlooked. With Wedu’s support, she is able to live out her passion and shape the leadership journey she has longed for.
Meet Rising Star Helena from Indonesia
Helena has been a practising general physician since 2019. Currently, she provides urgent care for emergency cases at a state hospital in Indonesia.
When she helped combat the surge of COVID-19 cases, it left a valuable mark on her journey as a doctor. Helena shares, “That humbling experience taught me a lesson about humanity, simply reminding me of the oath I pledged.”
But it was ultimately her exposure to cardiovascular health cases from patients across different backgrounds led to her curiosity and passion for shaping her leadership journey towards preventing health problems among youth and women.
Making a difference
Helena’s experience with Wedu began with taking the Introduction to Leadership course to becoming a Rising Star and Rising Star Ambassador. To Helena, these experiences helped her identify her inner strengths and elevated her will to embrace the opportunities life has to offer.
One of these opportunities was to lead Heart Heroes ASEAN, a grant-winning youth movement to promote cardiovascular health in the Southeast Asia Region funded by YSEALI.
As Project Coordinator, she leads a team of young multinational professionals to deliver community programmes and build an international network of health advocates. One of their projects is to develop an integrated mobile app that assists people to self-assess their heart health, including their vulnerability to cardiovascular and metabolic risks.
The challenges of being a woman medical doctor
For Helena, being a medical doctor assigns a dual duty: to be a clinician and a lifelong learner. “The medical field is ever-evolving,” she says. “There are always the latest updates on disease approach and management that I think a health professional should continuously catch on to. This has been a bold task as is.”
Beyond this already bold task, women in medicine face challenges that are unique to them. She finds inspiration from women in the field who overcome challenges while still excelling in their professional goals.
“Although I have not experienced it by myself yet, I observe my women colleagues expertly managing their professional work with personal duty as mothers, nurturing their children while also maintaining daily chores in the household. Other than that, I have seen a women colleague carrying her pregnancy to work in hospital shifts, exposing her to fatiguing tasks and health risks from the infectious nature of the work environment. Recent policies aim to address this issue, but it differs in the workplace.”
The future of women in medicine
Helena continues to pursue her mission, encouraged by her experiences as a doctor and the support of Wedu’s community. “Wedu helped shape me into who I am today, and I will appreciate that by always carrying the Wedu spirit in my future endeavours.”
Currently, she is pursuing further studies to become a global expert in preventive cardiology, focusing on the heart health of youth and women.
She shares this piece of advice with other women considering a career in medicine and the sciences. “[…] Due to the multiple responsibilities that come with the field, any woman who wants to pursue a career in medicine should be resilient and compassionate not only to others but also to herself. They also should realise that women are a powerhouse. They have the innate strength to pursue their dreams and nothing could hinder them from becoming successful in whichever career they choose.”
Connect with Helena and support her work here:
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/helenaakc
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/helenaakc?igshid=ZmZhODViOGI=
- Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/helenaakc
Heart Heroes ASEAN:
- Website: https://heartheroes-asean.com/
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/heartheroes.asean?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeartHeroesASEAN/
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