Twenty M.D./M.P.H. Students Receive Global Health Scholar Awards

The Department of Public Health Sciences has awarded almost $40,000 in Global Health Scholar Awards to 20 M.D./M.P.H. students in the Class of 2016 who will explore a variety of public health issues around the world this summer.

Selected for their demonstrated ambition to address global public health issues, the students will spend four to six weeks pursuing service, research or capstone projects in 13 different countries on four continents. Their projects range from assessing the prevalence of a parasitic disease in Bolivia to evaluating the feasibility of employing community health workers in South Sudan.

“As the world becomes increasingly globalized, it is necessary to think about health in a global context and approach solutions from an interdisciplinary approach,” said Julie Kornfeld, Ph.D., M.P.H., Assistant Dean for Public Health, who joined other faculty and senior administrators in recognizing the global health scholars at a May 6 luncheon. “We designed these awards so first-year M.D./M.P.H. students can experience diverse health systems and issues and enhance their ability to prepare for and respond to the major health threats facing our world.”

Upon their return, the students will present their projects at a poster session.

The recipients and their projects are:

  • Shelly Birch and Erryn Tappy, to assist in the development and improvement of educational materials and campaigns focusing on sexual and reproductive health in Quito, Ecuador.
  • Stephanie Blankenship, for an evaluation of the regional HIV/AIDS surveillance system in Guatemala, Honduras and Panama with the Central American regional office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Tonia Branche, for a social medicine course and rotations through the Maternal Health and Pediatric Hospital in Managua, Nicaragua.
  • Matthew Cagliostro and Priyanka Mehrotra, for a comparative analysis of alternative medicine techniques in allopathic hospitals and alternative medicine clinics in India and the United States.
  • Jamie Diamond, for an analysis of Israel’s healthcare system and the impact of national policies on healthcare delivery, particularly for underserved immigrant populations.
  • Joanne Duara, for an assessment of the attitudes of Nicaraguan women toward HIV testing and prenatal care with partner Atencion Primaria de la Salud in Managua, Nicaragua.
  • Faheem Farooq, for a project in the United Kingdom with the European Center for the Environment and Human Health examining the role of chronic low-level exposure to toxins and emerging threats on human health.
  • Robert Fell, for a community health assessment of the prevalence, impact and knowledge of Leishmaniasis, a disease caused by protozoan parasites, in a remote community in Bolivia.
  • Jillian Halper, for a comparative analysis of the U.S. and Israel’s public health system with a focus on obesity research and prevention programs.
  • Elizabeth B. Honeycutt, for an emergency preparedness and response project with the Central American regional office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Guatemala.
  • Audrey Jacobsen and Jie Jiao, for a project with Project Medishare evaluating the current prevalence and treatment of hypertension in the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince and the rural region of Thomonde.
  • Alexandra Levitt, for a project with Project Medishare assessing access to and uses of information technology by residents and healthcare providers in Haiti’s central plateau.
  • Alison Moody, for an analysis of the International Rescue Committee’s community health worker programs in South Sudan and Northern Uganda, and to explore the feasibility of implementing a community health worker program in Kajo Keji County, South Sudan, with Ministry of Health and community leaders.
  • Christian Morris, for an exchange program on medicine and public health with MICEFA, a consortium of universities in the Paris region. The program includes an observorship in public Parisian hospitals, particularly those serving immigrant populations, and medical courses to help better understand the Parisian healthcare system.
  • Michelle Picon, for a number of maternal and child health projects with Argentine medical students, faculty and Fundacion Barcelo in a remote community of San Tome, Argentina.
  • Chase Socha, for work with underserved children in Oaxaca City, Mexico, formulating health education programs and campaigns focusing on both infectious and chronic disease.
  • Rachita Sood, for an assessment of the causes, burden and prevention of chronic diseases in low-income communities in Barranquilla, Colombia, through el Centro de Investigaciones Sanitarias.

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