Students report on efforts abroad at OHSU Global Health Center Symposium

symposiumAt the Ninth annual Global Health Center Student Symposium, five School of Medicine and three School of Dentistry students reported on their efforts in Mexico, Nepal, Ethiopia, India, Zambia, Venezuela and The Philippines.

The keynote speaker was Jin In, founder of 4Girls GLocal Leadership (4GGL), a social change organization for girls. Jin spoke about the many social and economic disadvantages facing girls throughout the world, especially in poor countries. Her organization is leading a global movement to empower girls in gender repressed societies. 4GGL envisions a world where “every girl’s inherent worth and leadership potential is recognized, providing her the opportunity to empower herself and change her world.” For more information, watch the Girl Effect video.

“The Symposium was a grand success, highlighting the impressive efforts of our students,” said Jay Kravitz, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health & Preventive Medicine. “The Global Health Center is very pleased to support endeavors that enhance OHSU’s role as an institution actively contributing to health and well-being in our ever-shrinking and increasingly inter-connected world. Student participants were recipients of competitive travel scholarships, which originated 10 years ago with a generous donation by OHSU alumnus, Dr. R. Bradley Sack and his family.”


School of Medicine students who presented

Lindsay Braun, MS4, traveled to Puerto Escondido, Mexico, where she participated in clinical rotations and assessed community views on type II diabetes. While there, she practiced medical Spanish and saw a wide range of patients. “I was most impressed with the intensity of follow up and strict management of diabetes under this system,” said Lindsay, “as well as with the level of patient education and support—especially in the setting of limited resources.”

Brett Davis, MPH student, traveled to Andhra Pradesh in rural southeast India to work at a locally founded and directed NGO, where he studied the prevalence of intestinal parasites and associated symptomology and behaviors in local schoolchildren. “Throughout the summer working in India I discovered the importance of partnering with members of local communities to allow them to inform and participate in the direction and progress of research,” said Brett. “I also developed an appreciation for how important locally active buy-in and native community health worker collaborations are to the necessary public health education component that should accompany developments in infrastructure.”

Vanessa Lee, MS2, MPH student, traveled to Ethiopia to work at Gimbie Hospital in rural Ethiopia to do a research project on women's health. Her internship was part of the OHSU Center for Women’s Health collaboration with Ethiopia. “I learned that it takes a long time to foster meaningful change,” said Vanessa. “Getting students involved and partnering with organizations is an effective way to improve global health equity.”
Read more about Vanessa’s summer in Ethiopia at OHSU StudentSpeak

Keegan McClary, MS2
, traveled to the Philippines to work with a development foundation on Negros Island. His main objective was to research the impact and effectiveness of the Ram Pump water distribution technology on the island. “After spending time there, I realized that improving water access can change people’s lives overnight,” said Keegan. “While doing my survey, I found that most people would choose better water access over electricity and roads as the most important need for the community.”

David Noyd, MS2, MPH student, traveled to Venezuela to do an epidemiological project related to Dengue, a serious mosquito-borne viral infection that is seen in many parts of the world, including Asia and Latin America. He worked at a county public health department.

Read more about David’s summer in Venezuela at OHSU StudentSpeak 

Jay Kravitz, MD, MPH (left) and Peter Spencer, PhD, Professor of Neurology (right) shown here with student presenters and Jin In (wearing blue scarf); L to R: Vanessa Lee (SOM), Lindsay Braun (SOM), Alanna Mozena (SOM), Megan Willis (SOD), Brett Davis (SOM), Noor Khaki (SOD), Keegan McClary (SOM), Tesha Grangaard (SOD), David Noyd (SOM)

About GHC Travel Scholarships

These competitive travel scholarships are available to all OHSU health professional students, with awards given to about half of the applicants through the generous support of the Reuben W. Hills III Medical Ambassador Program in cooperation with the School of Medicine, The Foundation for Medical Excellence Global Ambassador Program, with thanks to TFME President Ed Keenan, Third World Medical Research Foundation, with thanks to TWMRF President Valerie Palmer, the School of Dentistry, with thanks to Dr. Ellie Schwarz, and the Global Health Center Student Interest Group, with thanks to Stacy Sprando and Miranda Lanning. Congratulations to all the travel scholars!