Health Behavior Global Health Roundtable, summer 2017

There is no substitute for international experience for our health behavior students who want to work in global health. This year six master’s students in the Department of Health Behavior have opportunities to complete the summer practicum requirement outside the U.S. This is very exciting news. Some students have partial funding secured from departmental, university, project or other sources. However, most students still need modest amounts of financial assistance – generally between one and two thousand dollars – to be able to take advantage of the placements they have been offered. Read about students’ global practica in summer 2016.

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Read about some of the students

Photo: Allie Munson

Allie Munson

Ali Munson

This summer I will work with a team at MEASURE Evaluation to conduct retrospective assessments of the Partnership for HIV Free Survival in South Africa and Tanzania. The partnership initiative was implemented in six countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to strengthen the integration of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, maternal and child health and nutrition services through quality improvement approaches.

Throughout the summer I will interview key stakeholders in South Africa and Tanzania and write summary reports intended to capture key outcomes and lessons from the partnership’s implementation that can contribute to the scale-up of activities in participating countries and other countries in the region.

I am excited about this practicum as it will provide me with the opportunity to develop my skills in interviewing, rapid assessment, and report writing while contributing to the knowledge base on quality improvement approaches in international settings.

Photo: Meagan Meekins

Meagan Meekins

Meghan Meekins

This summer I will be working with Clare Barrington, PhD, professor of health behavior, and the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala on a study that works to address the many barriers of HIV treatment for men who have sex with men in Guatemala. The intervention is working to decentralize care and decrease stigma to get more of these men who are HIV positive into continuous care. I will spend six weeks working with the team in Guatemala City. I will continue the analysis upon returning home and throughout the next year. We will also initiate formative research with Colectivo de Amigos Contra el SIDA, a community-based organization, to expand their pre-exposure prophylaxis program and support their goals of increasing awareness of this recommended approach to prevention.

I’m excited to gain more experience and understanding of HIV prevention and treatment in Latin America while expanding my qualitative interviewing and analysis skills.

Photo: Claire Sadeghzadeh

Claire Sadeghzadeh

Claire Sadeghzadeh

This summer, I will partner with Chronic Care International, an organization that provides program design, education, information technology, medications, medical equipment, supplies and operations funding for chronic disease prevention and management in the United States and abroad.

For my health behavior practicum, I will conduct qualitative field research on how diabetic patients in two rural community clinics in the Dominican Republic communicate their experiences of diabetes-related distress and depression. This research will be used to inform a provider training focused upon how to identify local language and idioms in conversations about distress and depression.

I am passionate about improving community-clinical linkages and enhancing the capacity of providers to support their patients’ chronic care management.

Photo: Thomas_Reanna

Reana Thomas

Reana Thomas

During the summer of 2017, I will be completing my health behavior practicum working with the Comprehensive Rural Health Project and its partner organization Jamkhed International, based out of Jamkhed, India and Chapel Hill, NC, respectively. The health project was started by two doctors of Indian descent who were also trained in public health. Their goal was to use a community-based primary health care approach to provide health care to rural, poverty-stricken villages in India.

Since the 1970s, the Comprehensive Rural Health Project has had immense success in improving major health indicators in Jamkhed through the process of empowerment and reinforced sustainability.

My practicum experience will focus upon helping the project document their behavior change process based on a case study of a current diabetes project underway in Jamkhed. I will start my project in Chapel Hill and then spend four weeks in India gathering more details and learning the way the project’s approach works. I am looking forward to delving into the project’s vision of public health.