How Does The U.S. Healthcare System Affect You?

Table of Contents

Project Summary

The U.S. Healthcare System is one of the most expensive in the world, but when compared to other nations, it is one of the least effective. Through this project, we wanted to make sense of the U.S. Healthcare System, understanding how we are affected as a community and as individuals. We created an intimate and interactive diagram that models the social determinants affecting the quality of care each individual receives from the U.S. Healthcare System. The model strives to give people a better understanding of their own situation, but also to educate them about different perspectives. With that being said, the model allows anyone to "choose their own story" by taking the time to reflect, in an effort to hopefully learn something new.

Our Project

To create this model, we primarily used Thinglink, a technology platform that allows users to easily lay out images, videos and virtual tours into a visually unique interactive map. In addition, we used the website Animaker to create short animated videos integrated throughout the project, and within those videos we displayed infographics made with Infogram, a website dedicated to created those comprehensible diagrams. We've conducted extensive research to bring this model to life, dedicating 80 hours in total to building this project.

To access the project, either click the link below or click through the embedded image. Begin at the exclamation point icon where it says 'START HERE!'. From there, follow the numbered/lettered icons by clicking on each. Each icon either elaborates on a different social determinant that is linked to health, shares anonymous personal experiences with the U.S. Healthcare System, or gives further insight through data analysis in video format.

How Does the U.S. Healthcare System Affect You?


Lead Author

Joanna Agana

Joanna Agana is currently a senior at Holy Names Academy. She is interested in public health, research, racial justice, and the interplay between society and preventative medicine. She plans to further her education in college by majoring in either biochemistry or public health. Joanna Agana hopes to pursue an interdisciplinary career that will allow her to inspire and engage with her community.

Contributors and Supporters

Esperanza Gonzalez-Toribio

Esperanza Gonzalez-Toribio is currently a senior at Marysville Pilchuck High School. She has always wanted to be a scientist and feels that this workgroup has brought her closer to her goal. Her passions lie in cancer research, chemistry, astronomy and activism. She also participated in another project gene-editing technology and how it can be used as cancer therapy: CRISPR, Car-T cells, Leukemia

Dante' Morehead, MPH, CHE

Dante' Morehead, MPH, CHE works as the Community Health Educator/Researcher for African-American/African Descent Populations at The Office of Community Outreach & Engagement at the Fred Hutch/Univ. of Washington Cancer Consortium. His work focus on outreach, education, engagement, and community-based participatory research to address cancer-health inequities among African-American populations in western Washington.

Isaiah Brown

Isaiah Brown is a postbaccalaureate fellow conducting intramural research at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Under the guidance of Dr. Sharon Jackson, Isaiah primarily is involved in research focused on identifying the relationships between health access and health seeking behaviors to explain the disparities among those living with chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

Jamie Larsen

Jamie Larsen’s research and development work is primarily focused on finding ways to integrate STEAM content, nature experiences, collaborations and educational technology like augmented and virtual reality through the use of science-infused games and project-based learning. Past projects for TERC included the Astrobiology Curriculum, Martian Boneyards (a scientific collaboration in a massively-multiplayer online game), Leveling Up, and Earth Science by Design.

Claudia Ludwig

Claudia Ludwig is the Director of Systems Education Experiences (SEE). Her research focuses on enabling high quality STEM experiences for secondary students and teachers through systems biology research. To accomplish this, she establishes interdisciplinary teams of scientists, engineers, teachers and students to learn about current systems research. The team then translates that research into curriculum, activities, lab kits, and new training experiences for others.

Rachel Calder

Rachel Calder is the Education Coordinator in the Systems Education Experience (SEE) team at ISB. In her role, she seeks to support equity in STEM education through collaboration between scientists, students, and educators. Her areas of expertise include bioinformatics, website design, environmental science, and microbiology.

Works Cited

Cartoon of forest background with dirt road Vector Image. [accessed 2020 August 9].

CDC Health Disparities & Inequalities Report (CHDIR) - Minority . [accessed 2020 August 7].

Communities in Action - NCBI Bookshelf. [accessed 2020 August 9].

Health Disparities by Race and Ethnicity - Center for American . [accessed 2020 August 9].

Health Insurance Coverage by Occupation Among Adults Aged 18 . [accessed 2020 August 7].

HEDA: Conducting a Health Equity Data Analysis: A guide for local . [accessed 2020 July 21].

HEDA population step: Demographic and socio-demographic data . [accessed 2020 July 21].

Housing And Health: An Overview Of The Literature | Health Affairs. [accessed 2020 August 9].

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). [accessed 2020 August 5].

National Health Interview Survey, 2010 and 2015 | MMWR. [accessed 2020 August 7].

National Health Interview Survey, 2012 and 2017 | MMWR. [accessed 2020 August 7].

NHANES Questionnaires, Datasets, and Related Documentation. [accessed 2020 August 4].

QuickStats: Average Age at Death by Race/Hispanic Origin and Sex . [accessed 2020 August 7].

QuickStats: Percentage* of Uninsured Persons Aged <65 Years With . [accessed 2020 August 7].

QuickStats: Percentage of Youths Aged 10–17 Years Who Did Not . [accessed 2020 August 7].

QuickStats: Percentage of Youths Aged 2–19 Years Consuming Any . [accessed 2020 August 7].

QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged 18–64 Years with a Usual . [accessed 2020 August 7].

The Influence Of Income On Health: Views Of An Epidemiologist . [accessed 2020 September 17].

The Sum of the Parts: Social Determinants of Health | Texas Impact. [accessed 2020 August 7].

The content of these pages was created by students for students with the help of educators and scientists. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF or ISB.