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Six VUSN, VUSM students selected for global health effort

Jul. 26, 2012, 9:26 AM

Three students in Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s Master of Science in Nursing program and three rising fourth-year Vanderbilt University School of Medicine students have been selected as 2012 Frist Global Health Leaders.

The program was established by Hope Through Healing Hands, a Nashville-based non-profit organization founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., and provides young health professional students, residents and fellows the opportunity to serve and train abroad in underserved communities for up to one semester.

“Working in the resource-limited settings among underserved communities in global health is absolutely the best training one can get in leadership, as it demands immense resourcefulness, creativity, patience, sensitivity and communication skills,” said Quentin Eichbaum, M.D., Ph.D., assistant dean for Program Development for VUMC.

With interests including surgical delivery systems, emergency medicine, health literacy and program improvement, women’s health and HIV treatment and prevention, this year’s Vanderbilt Frist Global Health Leaders will spend up to four months working in low- and middle-income countries such as Haiti, Kenya and Guatemala.

“These students have already accomplished much in their chosen areas of expertise and are committed to providing service in a global community,” said Linda Norman, DSN, MSN, senior associate dean of Academics for VUSN. “They are wonderful representatives of Vanderbilt and of the future of health care.”

The 2012 Frist Global Health Leaders from Vanderbilt are:

• VUSM student Katharine Burns, who hopes to contribute to the global community by pursuing primary care work within an underserved population in rural Bolivia.

Elizabeth Harris, MBA, a VUSN Family Nurse Practitioner program student who will collaborate with communities to design and implement self-sustaining health literacy and health initiative programs.

Courtney Massaro, MSN, MPH, who graduated from VUSN’s Nurse-Midwifery/Family Nurse Practitioner program in 2012 and wants to focus on women’s health in resource-limited settings.

• VUSM student Ravi Patel, who serves as co-executive director of the Shade Tree Clinic and plans to investigate general surgery systems in a developing country.

Kayla Thielk, an MSN student at VUSN who will continue her work in HIV prevention and treatment.

• VUSM’s Tyler Winders, who is considering emergency medicine and wants to become an effective agent of change in improving health outcomes in resource-limited settings.
Since 2008, the Frist Global Health Leaders Program has supported eight VU students and recent graduates who have served and trained in underserved communities in Guatemala, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Thailand.

The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health administers the program.

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