2019 Award Recipients

Fall 2019 Faculty Travel Awardees

Eunice Areba, Clinical Assistant Professor, Population Health and Systems Cooperative, School of Nursing, UMN Twin Cities

As part of her research activities in Kenya, Dr. Areba will be working closely with and visit the in-country partners from the University of Nairobi, Craig Paris at the Refugee Coalition of East Africa (RefCEA) and the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK). In this initial phase of the project, they are focused on a prevention science program of research. Specifically, on the discovery, relationship building, and gathering preliminary data necessary to eventually inform an intervention framework. This work will allow the development of the next phases of the project, which aim to develop a behavioral intervention that addresses the safety and inclusion of those most marginalized in the LGBTQ+ community, acknowledging the socio-cultural factors at the intersection of refugee status and sexual orientation/gender identities and will explore these in the context of community-based violence prevention. 

Zobeida Bonilla, Assistant Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, UMN Twin Cities

In May 2018, the Maternal and Child Health Program of the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health (EpiCH) at the SPH-UMN and Batey Relief Alliance (BRA), a NGO in the Dominican Republic working primarily in the bateyes, signed a five-year agreement to establish a collaboration in the following areas: student training, mutual capacity building, and academic exchanges. This collaboration aims to establish an applied practice experience in Maternal and Child Health within the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health for MPH students who will participate in public health activities in the Dominican Republic that support BRA’s mission, and to provide technical assistance to BRA’s Women Empowerment Program through the establishment of ongoing Monitoring and Evaluation activities. For the past 20 years, BRA helped deliver comprehensive health services and essential medicines to more than 120,000 people who are at high risk of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cholera, tuberculosis, diabetes, and malnutrition in the Dominican Republic. Batey Relief Alliance has a strong history and trajectory working with vulnerable communities, and especially working with the bateyes and rural areas in the Dominican Republic and the Dominican-Haitian border, for which it has developed over 20 projects in the areas of health, education, capacity building, and community development.

Zachary Kaltenborn, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Medical School

Dr. Kaltenborn will travel to Soddo and Adama, Ethiopia to network with local collaborators and to assess the progress of an ongoing rheumatic heart disease screening program based out of the Soddo Christian Hospital. Rheumatic heart disease is the leading cause of cardiovascular death among children and young adults globally. Early identification and initiation of secondary prophylaxis with penicillin help prevent the progression of the disease. The primary purpose of this visit is to formally establish their research team focused on the development, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive rheumatic heart disease screening program in Adama, Ethiopia, to attend a week-long school-based rheumatic heart disease screening session in Soddo, Ethiopia; and to build expertise in the use of handheld ultrasounds for the purpose of screening for rheumatic heart disease, collect preliminary data which will inform future directions for this project, and strengthen the academic and educational relationship between the Adama Hospital Medical College and the University of Minnesota.


Spring 2019 Faculty Travel Awardees

Carrie Neerland, Assistant Professor, Center for Child and Family Health Cooperative, School of Nursing, UMN Twin Cities

In collaboration with five other collaborating faculty from Public Health School, Medical School at Duluth and Minneapolis campus, she will host Elizabeth Ayebare, who is a nurse and midwifery researcher and educator. Elizabeth is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Nursing at Makerere University, College of Health Science, in Kampala, Uganda, where she participates in teaching and course coordination. She completed the Afya Bora Consortium Fellowship, an international program connecting US and African universities, where she gained valuable knowledge and experience in collaboration, implementation, and program evaluation. The goals of this visit are to explore research collaboration regarding care practices in labor and childbirth, training and skills development in maternal and newborn health care. In addition, there are areas for educational opportunities and student involvement in the future including research and continued study abroad experiences.

Jose Debes, Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine, School of Medicine, UMN Twin Cities

To visit Addis Ababa University-Black Lion Hospital (AAU) in Ethiopia. The goals of this visit are to discuss new studies to understand early-onset colon cancer in the region, based on the concerns rised up by the collaborators at AAU about the high incidence of colon cancer. The studies which would include staining of biopsies for genetic mutations, and visit a new partner site in Harar (Hiwot Fana Hospital), which is where a significant portion of patients both with liver and colon cancer are sent from.

Raymond Christensen, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and BioBehavioral Health, Medical School, UMN Duluth

To visit Kampala and Tororo, Uganda. Raymond is currently working on establishing a bilateral student exchange between the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus and the Makerere University School of Medicine. The goal of the program is to establish a sustainable, ethical, skill-appropriate global health experience for University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus students to participate in between their first and second year of medical school. This work is in collaboration with Dr. Innocent Besigye and Dr. Josh Rhein on developing the curriculum and activities for this exchange, which will include not only clinical observation, but also exposure to research, and visits to local NGOs and specialty clinics to provide students a broader view of health and health care in Uganda.