The Indiana University Center for Global Health convened the first Global Health Scholars Day on May 2. The event featured poster presentations and the opportunity for those interested in global health throughout the university to network and share information.
“The purpose of Global Health Scholars Day is to showcase the excellent work being done by the IU community to improve the care of patients worldwide, research the complexities of global health, and educate learners about the care of local and global populations,” said Jenny Baenziger, MD, assistant director of education for the IU Center for Global Health.
Jason Hoard, IU School of Medicine
“Bullous Impetigo in the Setting of Antibiotic Shortage in El Salvador: A Case Report”
Mentor: Ruben Hernandez, MD
Ryan Smith, IU School of Medicine
“Chamas for Change: A Community-Based Strategy for Pregnancy, Infancy, and Women Empowerment”
Mentor: Laura Ruhl, MD
Nora Gilliam, IUPUI undergraduate
“Distribution of ApoE polymorphisms in Ugandan children with severe malaria”
Mentor: Chandy John, MD
Global Health Scholars Day was one of the last Indiana activities for Hoard who graduated this month from IU School of Medicine and is heading to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis to start a residency in internal medicine-pediatrics. He would eventually like to work in the U.S. and abroad as a combined adult and pediatric infectious disease physician and credits his experiences at IU School of Medicine with broadening his perspective on his future work.
“The opportunities to engage in global health activities at IU School of Medicine, as well as travel abroad to El Salvador, have opened my eyes to the breadth of global health careers available to young physicians. I am especially passionate about working with Hispanic-Latino communities, and my mentors at IU School of Medicine helped foster that passion and encouraged me as a bilingual provider,” Hoard said.
Smith spent the summer of 2018 as a Slemenda Scholar with the AMPATH program in Kenya working with Chama Cha MamaToto groups (Chamas). Chamas provide education, peer support and microfinance to expectant mothers and those with young children. One of the impacts of this program is that women who participate in chamas are five times more likely to deliver their babies in a health care facility, which is associated with improved infant and maternal mortality.
Smith is a third-year medical student and is not yet sure about his specialty, but believes that it will include academic medicine and global health. Reflecting on his time at IU School of Medicine, he said, “In preparing for a future in global health, I believe you need to spend time with people who inspire you, stay involved with problems that burden you, and try to keep the fire alive during the years of training. The global health department and student group, as well as my time in Kenya last summer with AMPATH, do a great job at spurring on and teaching students like me with aspirations for a future in global health.”
Gilliam is a rising junior at IUPUI majoring in chemistry and epidemiology. She has already gained global health research experience in Dr. Chandy John’s lab at the IU School of Medicine. The lab focuses on malaria and sickle cell anemia in collaboration with Moi University in Kenya and Makerere University in Uganda. “This experience will help me achieve my career goals by allowing me to see firsthand how an internally-collaborative lab is run and how communication and trouble-shooting in these types of collaborations work. It is a great privilege that I am learning these skills now that I can continuously build upon as I move further along in my career trajectory,” said Gilliam. Gilliam aspires to enter a combined MD-PhD program and eventually perform research that studies genomics in the context of infectious diseases in regards to environmental changes. She also hopes to promote and inspire diversity and inclusion in the sciences.
Global Health Scholars Day was the final activity for this year’s interdisciplinary Global Health Residency Track that engages highly-motivated medical residents to better understand the social, economic, cultural and environmental factors that contribute to health and disease throughout the world. The program equips residents to address health disparities and encourages long-term commitment to global health issues domestically and internationally. For more information about Global Health Scholars Day or the residency track, contact Dr. Jenny Baenziger. Application for the track are accepted each year in December-January.