Center for Global Health 2016 Travel Grant Finalists Announced

Trainee Travel Grant Awardees

Bailey Beauclair, College of Health Professions
Project: "Implementing an Electronic Health Record System in the Heart of Africa"
Bailey Beauclair is working with her classmates in the Masters of Health Administration (MHA) program to develop an electronic health record (EHR) system implementation plan for Palmetto Medical Initiative’s facilities in Uganda. Paper medical records are inefficient, difficult to read, and time consuming to update, making it challenging to share information among clinicians, patients and their families. This project will allow Beauclair to gain first hand experience in developing a plan in collaboration with clinicians, residents and administrative staff in transitioning the Uganda hospital from a paper-based medical record system to an EHR.  Beauclair will utilize her MHA training to explore management issues related to the adoption and use of health care information technology. While being immersed in another culture, she will gain insight into different socio-cultural perceptions, and the unique needs of the clinicians and the patients they serve.

“What is unique about helping to implement this system is that even after I leave it will be sustainable and continue to help others for years to come,” said Beauclair.

Kathryn Bradburn, College of Medicine 
Project: "A Medical Expedition to the Trans-Himalayan region of Spiti"

Kathryn Bradburn, a first year medical student, will join The Himalayan Health Exchange (HHE) this summer to travel with a large mobile medical team to provide medical care to underserved populations in the remote interior regions of the Himalayas. The team will work closely with local physicians, nurses, and ancillary staff to provide medical care and education that acknowledges and respects the local customs and cultural beliefs. The trip will provide a unique clinical experience, posing the challenge of diagnosing and treating patients with limited supplies of testing equipment and medications. In particular, she hopes to gain an understanding of regional health topics such as wilderness medicine, altitude sickness, and HIV and STDs in northern India.  She is also looking forward to exploring the traditional medical practices, specifically the impact of Ayurvedic Medicine on the local perception of health and healing.

“Setting up and running clinics will require teamwork, organization, and a willingness to learn and adapt from each participant,” explained Bradburn. “This will challenge me and increase my ability to be an effective communicator and team member. I am determined to use my medical training to invest in a community of need and develop international service throughout my career.”

Julia Haston, College of Medicine
Project:  "Global health experience in pediatric medicine in Arusha, Tanzania"

Pediatric resident Julia Haston is traveling to Arusha, Tanzania this spring for a one-month rotation at Arusha Lutheran Medical Center, an urban medical center, and the Selian Lutheran Hospital, a community hospital, where she will work in the pediatric wards, caring for and learning about the healthcare of children in Tanzania. She will assist in treatment of common, but often fatal infectious diseases including malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, pneumonia and parasitic infections. Haston plans to complete a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases after residency, making this rotation an even more valuable opportunity to strengthen her skillset and learn firsthand about tropical medicine and infectious diseases that are not commonly seen in the United States. She looks forward to being immersed in the Tanzania culture, and gaining a deeper understanding of the health care issues and resource-constraints facing the local community.

"When I was interviewing for my pediatric residency, I asked each institution about their involvement with global health and the opportunities allowed for international travel,” said Haston. “Because I plan to practice medicine internationally in some capacity once I complete residency and fellowship, I felt that it was very important to train in a program where travel was supported and encouraged."

Kate Measom, College of Medicine
Project: "Increasing Cultural Competence and Improving an Ethics Curriculum for Medical and Pharmacy Students during a Primary Care Service Trip to Haiti"

Measom is traveling to Thomonde, Haiti with Project Medishare , a non-governmental organization dedicated to providing comprehensive health services in Haiti, and Service Learners International (SLI), an MUSC student-led organization established in 2011 to create sustainable, healthcare in Haiti. As a third-year medical student, Measom will be working in mobile clinics in rural communities throughout the Central Plateau region.  During previous trips to Haiti, Measom became keenly aware of the value of understanding how local cultural perceptions impact patient care.  As the team’s interactions with the local staff and community grew, it became clear that cultural differences were presenting challenges in organization and communication. As director of SLI, she became concerned that team members might make assumptions in clinic and miss key opportunities to provide adequate counseling to patients. Measom’s project this summer will lay the groundwork for a culture and ethics curriculum that can be implemented for future trips.

"As a leader, it is my job to make sure we are continuously improving and equipping ourselves with the necessary cultural knowledge to deliver the best quality of care we can,” said Measom. “Striving to improve cultural competence applies not only to Haiti, but also to all of our future patients. If we are able to understand our patients’ lives a little better, we can treat the whole person, and not just the disease.”

Marvesh Mendhi, College of Nursing
Project: "Investigating facilitators and barriers to implementing neonatal airway management practices in Uganda"

Marvesh Mendhi, a nurse anesthetist pursuing a PhD in the College of Nursing, will address a significant health priority in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Millennium Development Goal - reducing neonatal deaths caused by hypoxic events - by capturing the voices of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) and midwives in Uganda to better support neonatal resuscitation training in resource-poor settings. While at Palmetto Medical Initiative’s clinic in Masindi, Uganda, Mendhi’s research will focus on evaluating the barriers, facilitators, and specific learning needs for implementation of neonatal airway management among rural community maternal child health care health workers. Her project will assess current neonatal care practices and the need for education resources tailored to the learning needs, preferences, and cultural traditions of midwives and TBAs. This approach will guide Mendhi in the future development of tools and techniques that are culturally appropriate and tailored to the local culture.

“My passion to serve the developing nations continues with a focus on developing and testing a new strategy for preparing traditional birth attendants to carry out simple neonatal airway management, which can have a profound effect on infant survival and developmental outcomes in developing countries,” stated Mendhi.

Max Mondestin, College of Medicine
Project:  "South Carolina Orthopaedic Association Mission Trip in Haiti"

Haiti is more than a destination on the map to Max Mondestin, a third year orthopaedic resident at MUSC, whose parents were born in Haiti and immigrated to the U.S., where they both became nurses. Watching his parents give back to communities in need during their careers was a driving force in his decision to enter the medical field.  This summer, Mondestin will travel to Haiti through the South Carolina Orthopaedic Association’s Global Resident Education Initiative, a training program designed to promote the global training of South Carolina orthopaedic residents, and to support training of Haitian orthopaedic residents. Mondestin will spend his time at two partner hospitals: Hôpital de la Paix, a 150 bed private teaching hospital in Port-au-Prince and Hôpital Lumière, a 120 bed missionary hospital in Bonne Fin, where he will work directly with local medical staff and nurses to provide consultations to inpatients and outpatients.  In this global medicine experience, Mondestin will gain the cultural experience of interacting and caring for patients in a foreign country and learning how to best provide treatment in resource-constrained settings.

“I understand that there are many underserved patients in the United States, but the patients that we will help in Haiti are beyond underserved and potentially have no one to service their orthopaedic needs at all,” said Mondestin. “This trip will be a constant reminder of the importance of providing care to the underserved while in the United States.”

Lutfiyya Muhammad, College of Graduate Studies
Project: "HIV Partner Testing in Uganda with Makerere University"

Lutfiyya Muhammad will be working this summer on a randomized controlled trial, evaluating the effect of HIV oral self-test kits for partner testing in Uganda. While many pregnant women in Uganda are tested for HIV, current data shows that their partners have a very low rate.  Pregnant women represent an extremely important population due to the opportunity to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV during delivery and breastfeeding. During her internship, Muhammad will work directly with in-country collaborators at Makere University School of Public Health and Mildmay Clinic on a research intervention focused on increasing HIV testing rates among the male partners of these women. As a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Biostatistics in the Department of Public Health Sciences, this internship will allow Muhammad direct involvement in identifying and overcoming the difficulties connected with data collection.

“My future career plan includes becoming a lead biostatistician for a governmental agency such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or World Health Organization,” shares Muhammad. “I hope to gain a sense of the qualities it takes to conduct research on an international level by participating in this internship.”

Regan Stewart, College of Medicine
Project:  "School Mental Health Screening: Developing the Tools for a Total Educational Environment"

Regan Stewart’s project focuses on youth mental health care in Honduras, a significant area of concern identified by the World Health Organization (WHO). Mental health problems affect approximately 20 percent of children and adolescents worldwide, and failure to address these issues is a significant public health issue with wide-ranging negative consequences.  This is of particular importance in Honduras where 35 percent of the population is under the age of 15.  Schools are uniquely positioned to provide mental health services because children spend the majority of their day in school and the environment provides a good context for prevention and intervention.  Stewart, a resident in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, will work with her collaborators at The Lamb Institute in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to assess the mental health needs of children and adolescents via school-based screening and then use those screening results to develop teacher training, which will be delivered via telehealth. 

 “I am working to develop my career as an independent health disparities researcher, with both domestic and international lines of research,” stated Stewart.

Jessica Wade, College of Medicine
Project: "Establishing a Medical Site in Ecuador: Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children"
Jessica Wade has been involved for several years with The Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to quality healthcare to communities across the globe.  As an undergraduate at Clemson University, Wade participated in volunteer trips aimed at developing micro-health insurance programs, pregnancy counseling, water sanitation and diabetes prevention programs.  This summer, as a first year medical student, Wade will work directly with FIMRC’s field operations manager to plan and develop the opening of the organization’s new site in Ecuador. As part of her project, she plans to conduct a comprehensive community needs assessment to identify the health and educational needs that are currently undeserved in the community. This analysis will help drive the decisions and development of future FIMRC public health programs at the site.

“I never wanted to pursue a career that I could ever completely master - I want to be in a field where good isn’t good enough,” explained Wade. “Global health is that incredibly complex field I’ve been looking for to turn me into the best doctor I can be. The amount of needed education around the world, the thousands of cultures and subcultures that exist, governmental differences, and the daunting health challenges that many underserved countries must face all combine to form an almost insurmountable challenge.”

Emily Whitman, College of Health Professions
Project: "Telemedicine Project at Masindi-Katira Medical Center in Uganda"

Telemedicine is currently changing the availability of medical advice and treatment around the world. It allows remote locations with limited medical resources to receive consultations from medical staff in different regions and countries.  Whitman, a student in the physician assistant program, will spend her internal medicine rotation in Masindi, Uganda with Palmetto Medical Initiative, as part of a team dedicated to providing access to clinical specialists via telemedicine, between the clinic in Uganda and MUSC.  Given the challenges - such as a 12-hour time difference and low bandwidth - involved with real-time telemedicine consultations between the two sites, Whitman and her team developed a solution.  While in Uganda, she will serve as the on-the-ground facilitator, working with the local physicians to decide which complex patients need consultation with MUSC specialists.  She will record a video of the patient’s case, summarize the case report with attached photos or imaging, and upload them to an online portal where a team of MUSC physicians in Charleston, led by MUSC Chief Strategic Officer Mark Lyles, MD, will review the cases and offer a consultation within 12 hours.  Whitman will then work with local physicians at the Masindi clinic to review the consultations advice sent back from MUSC to determine the medical management needed.

“With this experience I will gain further interprofessional experience coordinating with physicians, medical students, physician assistant students and the IT department,” explained Whitman. “I am interested to see firsthand the impact that telemedicine can have on a community.”

Faculty Mentor Travel Grant Awardees

Mark Lyles, MD
MUSC Chief Strategic Officer, Clinical Enterprise; College of Medicine
Mentoring MUSC College of Health Professional Students in Uganda

Wally Renne, DMD
College of Dental Medicine Associate Professor
Leading an Experiential Service Learning Trip of MUSC Dental Students to South Africa


Cynthia Swenson, PhD
College of Medicine Professor
Mentoring Students in an Immersive Village Health Outreach Program in Ghana