Spartan Showcase: Julian Narvaez

Photo of Julian Narvaez

Major: Electrical Engineering
Year: Senior

Julian Narvaez distinctly remembers the moment he sat in his dorm room tabulating the financial impact CWRU MedWish made in a single year. As president of the organization, he stared in awe at the spreadsheet showing that their work amounted to $250,000. The organization—an extension of MedWish International—seeks to improve health care equity worldwide by repairing discarded medical devices and sending them to underserved regions.

While Narvaez’s spreadsheet inspired him, it also gave him pause: Were the figures more representative of the organization’s success or the high costs for medical devices?

That question shaped the direction in which Narvaez has led the organization during his time at CWRU. After initially starting as a volunteer with what was then called Medical Instrumentation for Nations under Development, Narvaez saw the opportunity to expand the organization’s mission, calling upon members to dig deeper into the issues surrounding medical device costs.

The question also inspired Narvaez to reconsider his career plans; he looks to complete a master’s program in engineering and then attend law school.

“Trying to get to the heart of what makes medical devices so expensive forced me to consider the cost of health care in the U.S. in general,” he said. “So far, the reasons I have found center on policy and regulation; law school [will] provide a valuable toolkit for picking through policy challenges related to health care costs.”