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VUSM’s Umutesi, Shemwell land Global Health Corps fellowships

Aug. 9, 2018, 10:17 AM

Two alumni of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Master of Public Health (MPH) program have been awarded highly competitive fellowships with the Global Health Corps (GHC).

Grace Umutesi, MPH

Grace Umutesi, MPH, and Shellese Shemwell, MPH, will work in Rwanda during the upcoming year.

GHC is a nonprofit leadership development organization based in New York City that provides year-long fellowships for young professionals with organizations promoting health equity in East Africa, Southern Africa and the United States.

The focus is on strengthening health systems and improving health outcomes in impoverished communities. Since its founding in 2009, GHC has deployed 900 fellows to work in seven countries.

Shellese Shemwell, MPH

Umutesi, who is from Rwanda, formerly was associate program manager for the Department of Anesthesiology. She coordinated the Vanderbilt International Anesthesia Program and the ImPACT Africa Program, which focus on improving anesthesia care, training and research in low resource settings.

Umutesi’s MPH Program practicum included a fellowship in the Global Immunization Division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she won an award for Excellence in Public Health Protection.

From this fellowship she also co-authored a paper published in February by the New England Journal of Medicine on fractional-dose vaccination during a 2016 yellow fever outbreak in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Shemwell, a Kentucky native, designed and implemented a survey while working on her MPH to measure social and economic determinants of health for participants of a microenterprise program in Haiti.

After graduation, Shemwell interned at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, where she helped develop an immunization survey training curriculum for epidemiologists and statisticians.

She also co-authored a paper on determinants of full immunization status among children under age 2 in Mozambique that was published last year by the journal International Health.

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