Nov. 2, 2023
two men in class speaking to students

Dr. Victor Braitberg (left), HHV Program Director and Franke Honors Associate Professor of Practice, introduced President Robbins (right) to Franke Honors Health and Human Values students, and shared about the impact of the program.

On Monday October 30th, President Robbins paid a visit to the Honors Village, to meet with students from the Franke Honors Health and Human Values (HHV) minor and learn more about their experiences in the program.  

president robbins standing with students

At the heart of the HHV program lies a holistic approach to healthcare—bringing together the social sciences and the humanities, teaching students to think critically about health, medicine, and the human body.  

The principles of HHV resonated with Dr. Robbins, which is what inspired his visit to learn more about the minor. Prior to serving as President of the University of Arizona, President Robbins was an internationally recognized cardiac surgeon. During his visit to Franke Honors, he spoke with students about the value of taking a step back in the operating room, explaining that before performing a surgery, there is what’s called a time-out, where the doctors stop and run through the details of the patient. For example: Mrs. Smith, 55, mitral valve replacement, no allergies, etc. 

“But, let me tell you about Mrs. Smith. She’s a mother, she’s a daughter, she’s a sister; this is what she likes to do, and we’re in charge of taking care of her. When you’re in the operating room it can become dehumanizing, so it’s important to remember who the [patients] are,” said Robbins. 

As President of the University, Dr. Robbins draws parallels between his current role and his former. 

“Our jobs in higher education should always be student centric, just as healthcare providers should be patient centric,” he added.  

woman wearing purple sweater speaking to students

Franke Honors students shared how they have been personally impacted by HHV’s curriculum, from course material rooted in philosophy, spirituality, and psychology, as well as taking part in diverse local internships in Tucson. 

“We’re given the opportunity to have internships with local Tucson organizations and be put in situations where we have to learn and be uncomfortable and face real human hardship,” said junior Ava Ordog, “And we are developing intellectual humility...It’s a really wonderful minor.” 

HHV is quickly becoming the most high-demand minor within Franke Honors and continues to innovate and add new programming elements, beyond its highly valued internships. Just recently, students turned in drafts for proposals to be submitted to the Compton Lab for Exploration, and they are working on obtaining Exploratory mini-grants, between $2,500 to $10,00 for individual or team research projects.  

Choosing the HHV minor will offer students a more comprehensive perspective on health care, whether applying to medical school, pursuing public health, or looking for a unique career in your field. Those who are interested in learning more about the Health and Human Values minor can contact Dr. Victor Braitberg, HHV Program Director and Franke Honors Associate Professor of Practice, for more information.  

LEARN MORE ABOUT Health & Human Values