FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            Contact: Jenny Dyer

April 17, 2009                                                                            (615) 818-5579

Frist Global Health Scholars Program Offers Funding for

Students to do Service, Training Abroad

Nashville, Tenn. - Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. has committed to providing fellowships for students at Vanderbilt School of Nursing (2 students), Vanderbilt School of Medicine (1 student), and Meharry Medical College (1 student) to commit to providing health service and training in underserved communities for one semester during the 2009-2010 academic year.

Frist states, "We are excited to launch this program right here in Nashville. We have stellar students who represent America's concern for the world's poorest. From my own experience on medical missions in Sudan and Congo, providing health to a community can mean establishing a foundation of peace. And where there is peace, commerce and society can begin to flourish. These students will not only transform the lives of those whom they will touch with their care, but they will also transform the way others see America."

Sten Vermund, Director of the Instutute for Global Health at Vanderbilt's School of Medicine notes, "The Frist Scholars fill an important gap in opportunity for Vanderbilt and Meharry medical students and Vanderbilt nursing students, namely the opportunity to work overseas in a focused service capacity."

"The Frist Global Health Scholars program is an exceptional opportunity for Vanderbilt medical and nursing students to expand the scope of their training beyond traditional settings, while providing much needed care for underserved communities in resource limited countries. The mentored training affords students invaluable insight into healthcare delivery systems in challenging settings that can be applied around the world as well as here in the United States," reports Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Jeff Balser.

Susan DeReimer, associate professor of biomedical medicine and Director of the Center for Global Health at Meharry Medical College explains, "The Hope Through Healing Hands Global Scholars program is providing students, already dedicated to Meharry's mission of service to underserved communities, an invaluable opportunity to extend their vision beyond the borders of this country.  Their experience abroad will make them better doctors and better able to meet the health care challenges of an increasingly interconnected world, whether they are practicing in Tennessee or Tanzania."

Colleen Conway-Welch, Dean of Vanderbilt University's School of Nursing commends, "Hope through Healing Hands is an overwhelming example of health as an instrument of peace. I cannot think of a more effective tool of diplomacy."

The students selected this year will be traveling to Guatemala, Peru, Rwanda, and Tanzania working on issues of infant mortality/maternal health, child survival, diabetes, and infectious disease. They will bolster health services in clinics needing additional support, and they will be offering training to local community health workers with a goal toward sustainable health care.


 Hope through Healing Hands is a 501(c)3 promoting improved quality of life for communities around the world using health as a currency for peace.