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Student Feature: Health Behavior Global Health Roundtable

hb_bluedot_mapMany health behavior students are interested in global health. Many of them use their practicum experience to get involved in global health and give back internationally.

The Health Behavior Global Health Roundtable brings together students and faculty with global interests.

The roundtable aims to create opportunities for Health Behavior students to gain knowledge and experiences in global health research and practice. In fall semester 2016, about 45 active members participate in the roundtable’s activities, including social potlucks, speaker events, and field trips to local global health organizations.

In spring 2016, the roundtable led a fundraiser that helped master’s students complete a master’s practicum in a global setting. And in summer 2016, twelve students completed practica on global health issues, eleven of these in international placements.

The group is currently looking at ways to support Masters students who are interested in completing global practica in summer 2017. If any students, alumni, staff, or faculty members have ideas about placements or funding, please email us here.

Featured Global Practica, Summer 2016

Bailey Herrington completed a practicum in Haiti in summer 2016.
Bailey Herrington

Bailey Herrington completed a practicum in Haiti in summer 2016.

I completed my practicum in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, where I worked with the Institute Mixte Shalom des Freres (IMSF) to determine the feasibility of adding sexual health education to the school’s curriculum. I administered a youth survey to determine the students’ knowledge and attitudes surrounding sexual health and conducted ten qualitative interviews with staff, teachers, and parents. As arespected organization in the community, IMSF has a unique opportunity to pave the way for sexual health education in schools in the Croix-des-Bouquet area.

I am currently working with the organization to implement some of my recommendations and expand the reproductive health knowledge of the students in the area.

Amy Rusch completed her summer practicum in Amsterdam
Amy Rusch

Amy Rusch completed her summer practicum in Amsterdam

This summer I spent my practicum doing research at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. My research focused on the intersection of diabetes and depression as well as differences in the prevalence of both depression and diabetes among various ethnic groups in the Netherlands.

One of the best parts of my practicum was being able to take concepts I learned in the first year of my program and apply them in a real-life, global setting. It also gave me a new global perspective to view health, which will be helpful in my remaining time at UNC and beyond.”

Katie Souris has tea with a focus group in Bolivia.
Katie Souris

Katie Souris has tea with a focus group in Bolivia.

Words in neither Spanish nor English can express how grateful l am to all who helped make my practicum in Bolivia possible.

In a whirlwind three-week experience, I completed 26 interviews with youth and their families, 11 interviews with providers and clinic volunteers, and five focus groups with over 50 youth!  I worked with the international non-profit Life for a Child, which provides beneficiaries in Bolivia with life-saving diabetes-related supplies, and El Centro Vivir Con Diabetes, a diabetes center in Cochabamba.

As a person living with Type 1 Diabetes,  this work is meaningful to me and I am excited to stay connected to the organizations and individuals I worked with.”

Additional Students’ Global Practica

  • Alexis Hoyt developed a toolkit for cervical cancer prevention and  communication materials for HPV vaccination for the American Cancer Society in Bangalore, India
  • Chris Moore conducted preliminary qualitative research on the effects of spiritual possessions on the mental and physical health of the living, due to ‘improper’ burials in Gulu, Uganda.
  • Barbara Muffoletto developed an organizational and capacity assessment, progress report, and beneficiary portfolio for Curamericas Global in Sierra Leone.
  • Em Pike conducted HIV/AIDS research with men who have sex with men for UNC Vietnam in Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • Morgen Palfrey performed a community needs assessment, developed, administered and analyzed a survey, and performed electronic medical record readiness research that resulted in recommendations for HAC in Haiti.
  • Whitley Raney participated in monitoring an immigration health program for the International Organization for Migration in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Amy Rusch conducted diabetes and depression research for the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Cathlene Webster performed qualitative data collection for Puentes de Salud in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Faculty Sponsor

Our students are amazing at finding great global health practicum opportunities, but all too often, they have to forego these opportunities because of cost. We want all of our students who want to apply their health behavior training in global settings during their practicum to be able to do so, without a question of resources. We are trying to establish a pool of funds that will be available so that all students who find global practicum opportunities can leverage these opportunities

–Professor Suzanne Maman, faculty sponsor of the roundtable

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