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The Healthy Appalachia Institute Scholar Award for students at the UVa College at Wise

In 2009, UVa's Center for Global Health and the Healthy Appalachia Institute (HAI) at University of Virginia's College at Wise joined in establishing the Healthy Appalachia Institute Global Health Scholar Award. The Healthy Appalachia Institute is a collaboration between critical thinkers, scholars, system planners and leaders at UVa-Wise, the University of Virginia, the Southwest Virginia Graduate Medical Education Consortium, the Southwest Virginia Health Authority and key partners in government, education, business and healthcare.  HAI's mission is to improve the health and prosperity of the residents of central Appalachia and, as part of that mission, seeks to encourage promising students to pursue careers in health and health-related fields. All HAI Global Health Scholars conduct field studies in association with the Water and Health in Limpopo Project in South Africa. Students are mentored collaboratively by UVa and University of Venda (Univen) faculty.  The Global Health Scholar award is supported and administered by the Healthy Appalachia Institute  and the UVa-Wise Department of Natural Sciences.

2016 HAI Scholar, Bailey Herbert, and 2015 HAI Scholar, Nathan McGlone, trained with the Minority Health International Research Training scholar cohorts which provided extensive faculty oversight, programmatic structure and in-country collaborative mentoring in community-based health issues at key international partner sites.

2014 HAI Scholar Madison Compton teams with interprofessional faculty from the UVa Schools of Medicine and Nursing to advance work focused on education and professional training for community health care workers in Limpopo.

The 2013 HAI scholar, Laura  Stamper, Biology, worked with a collaborative team including medical, graduate nursing, public health and policy students. The team was led by medical and nursing faculty leaders working as part of an interprofessional initiative.  Laura is completing the coursework necessary to apply to medical school.

2012 HAI Scholar Jessica Shartouny, UVa-Wise, Chemistry, 4th Year, conducted an inquiry on maternal-infant heath and development based on the resources and work of the ongoing Malnutrition and Enteric Disease (MAL-ED) project. Jessica is currently applying to graduate programs; her goal is to earn a PhD in Immunology or Molecular Pathology.

Rachel Hensley, UVa-Wise, Biochemistry, 3rd Year, was the 2011 HAI Global Health Scholar. She worked in Limpopo Province for 6 weeks in association with the Agent-Based Modeling Project which aims to advance an innovative training and research tool to address critical global health challenges presented by the devastating toll of early childhood diarrhea (ECD). An ABM will be developed to simulate the complex system of ECD, water supply and quality, enteric infection, and other environmental factors. Also, in 2011, Hunter PoarchUVa School of Medicine, 2nd Year, was supported by the HAI to work in Wise, Virginia, on various projects including Remote Area Medical.  Rachel is currently a second year medical student at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University.

In 2010, HAI Global Health scholar Spencer Adams, Jr., Biochemistry,  worked in South Africa as part of the Malnutrition and Enteric Disease (MAL-ED) project. The MAL-ED study is a multi-faceted study being conducted at eight international sites. It is funded by an award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). He was mentored by faculty from the University of Virginia and the University of Venda (Univen), South Africa.  Spencer is pursuing a Ph.D.in biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts.

In 2009, Rachel Belcher, Biochemistry, of UVa-Wise was the initial Healthy Appalachia Institute Global Health Scholar. She worked in Limpopo Province in collaboration with UVa and Univen students and faculty.  She graduated in the class of 2014 from the University of Virginia's School of Medicine.