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Black Mental Wellness Intern Introduction & Spotlight Interview

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Guest Contributor:

Ihunanya Muruako, Black Mental Wellness Intern

Ihunanya Muruako was born in Cleveland, OH and raised in the Cleveland metropolitan area. She currently resides in Ann Arbor, MI where she is pursuing her B.A. in Community and Global Public Health at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.

All her life, her health and the healthcare she receives has always been an important part of her life. Physicals were never missed, recommendations from her dentist were always taken into consideration, and seasonal colds and coughs were always taken very seriously. Growing up in close proximity to Cleveland Clinic while also receiving care from its providers quickly influenced her career aspirations. For as long as she can remember, Ihunanya knew she wanted to one day be one of the many healthcare practitioners in a system helping people gain access to and receive the top quality care she received growing up.

Living in close proximity to the Clinic’s main campus also offered her a privilege not many Black people throughout the city had: understanding her provider. Ihunanya recalls, “The first time that I was ever admitted into the hospital, I remember the doctor using complex terminology that I was able to understand because of my educational background and research experience, but this would’ve been very complex for the average 17 year-old. I was also at an advantage as my mom was one of the Cleveland Clinic’s many registered nurses.

Experiencing the inability of many of my doctors to use understandable terminology shocked me. I was left to make sense out of their many diagnoses and medical orders. At many times I also felt that the doctors lacked the empathy to help me through my traumatic hospitalization.” This instance highlighted the failure of medical systems to be responsive to the identities of their patients that can hinder how they understand and receive their healthcare and diagnoses.This experience fueled Ihunanya’s aspirations to improve the fractured health policies and healthcare systems that do more harm than good to this country.

Following graduation, Ihunanya plans to pursue her Masters Degree in Public Health. Ihunanya has many interests that include learning about and working with racial relations and socialization, advocating for public health and healthcare reform, and fighting for the rights of Black people. Ihunanya’s future career goal is to ultimately improve the quality of care and health outcomes of Black people throughout the Diaspora.