Summer is all about sun, sand, and…science research? For Sacred Heart Greenwich student Jennifer Di Capua ’23, that’s certainly the case! Jenny is participating in the Regeneron Science Talent Research competition and this summer has been hard at work perfecting her own contribution to science research through the creation of an app that helps people in the Latinx community find adequate healthcare.
The idea behind Jenny’s app, called Salud Por Todos, stemmed from watching her grandmother’s friends struggle to find healthcare options as immigrants. “My dad’s an immigrant from South America, so when he came to the United States he moved to New Rochelle, NY which has a large undocumented immigrant population,” Jenny explained. “Growing up and visiting my grandmother there, I became very close friends with tenants in my grandmother’s home and they would tell me about the struggles they had accessing healthcare and basic needs in general.
When I got old enough to understand what that was all about, I realized that that’s what I wanted to focus on when I started my science research project as a freshman [at Sacred Heart],” Jenny said. “I realized that I was so lucky to have this access to healthcare and the idea really stemmed from the fact that I believe that healthcare is a fundamental right.”
Salud Por Todos works to alleviate some of the barriers both documented and undocumented immigrants face when attempting to get access to healthcare (such as language, identification requirements, payment models, and more) by creating a database of available physicians that can work directly with this population. The database currently focuses on professionals in the Westchester and Bronx counties of New York and Fairfield County of Connecticut, but Jenny is hoping to expand the database to include more of the tristate area in the future. This work is especially important and forward-thinking because no central database for primary care providers currently exists in the United States. Jenny is already receiving traction for Salud Por Todos; read an interview she did with GirlTalkHQ, a site dedicated to female empowerment, here.
Jenny stresses that the support she received at Sacred Heart Greenwich motivated her to continue on this science research journey. “Everyone at Sacred Heart has been so generous and great with me,” she said. “Multiple teachers have come up to me and congratulated me. That’s really what makes a place like Sacred Heart so wonderful, because it really is a tight knit community where the teachers really know what the students are up to and support them.”
To learn more about Salud Por Todos, check out these YouTube videos explaining the origin of the app along with a demo of how it works in both English and Spanish. Make sure to follow Salud Por Todos on Instagram and TikTok. The iPhone and Android apps are already available in the Apple Store and Google Play, respectively.
Congratulations on this incredible accomplishment, Jenny!