The Frist Global Health Leaders (FGHL) program affords young health professional students, residents, and fellows the opportunity to serve and train abroad in underserved communities for up to one semester. In doing so, they will bolster capacity in clinics in need of support as well as offer training to community health workers to promote sustainability upon their departure from these communities. As part of the program, they blog about their experiences here. For more information, visit our program page.

Chris Bush Christopher Bush is an undergraduate senior in East Tennessee State University’s Midway Honors Scholar Program studying Public Health with a concentration in Community and Behavioral Health and a minor in Applied Spanish. He transferred to ETSU in the fall of 2013 from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and immediately became involved in various public health organizations. Chris currently serves as the State Chair for the Student’s Section of the Tennessee Public Health Association, representing over 60 students from across the state, and is a member of ETSU’s Public Health Student Association. His research interests include minority health and is currently researching the local perception of healthcare from the perspective of Latino mothers.  He has been a part of on-campus events such a tour guide for Hispanic Student Day and an attendant for the AIDS Quilt that was on display during ETSU’s World AIDS Week. This fall he will intern with Project HOPE in two clinics in the Dominican Republic. He and another student will work as community health interns providing clinical and administrative support to various health programs in the two communities and is excited at the opportunity to gain a wide breath of knowledge and practical experience through this internship. After graduation, Chris plans to remain in public health through graduate school in either Epidemiology or Nursing. Chris enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, movies, and traveling. He has loved his time at ETSU and will be a proud alumnus in May of 2015. 

Katrina Byrd is  a fourth year medical student at Meharry Medical College. Her career interests include completing residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics and a fellowship in Med/Peds Infectious Disease.  She grew up Detroit, Michigan, but graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana with a BS in Microbiology, and from The George Washington University with a MS in Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases.  At the end of the day, she has always wanted to incorporate practicing medicine internationally into her career.  She will be going to Clinica Esperanza, a clinic in Roatán, Honduras, as a medical student volunteer.  Infant malnutrition is a significant problem on the island; therefore, she will be preparing a teaching session to educate mothers on the importance of breastfeeding. In the future, she sees herself practicing academic medicine and spending a couple of months per year doing medical mission work globally.

Lamar Johnson

Lamar Johnson is a fourth year medical student at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN.  His career interests include completing residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics and possibly a fellowship in Adolescent Medicine. His father was in the air force so he moved around a lot as a child, but he calls San Antonio, TX, home. He graduated from Howard University in Washington, DC, with a BS in Biology.

He has always been deeply invested in helping those who need it most and the field of global health allows him to do this, while also feeding his hunger to travel and learn about different cultures. He will be volunteering at a clinic in Roatan, Honduras, called Clinica Esperanza. He loves working with children of all ages, so in addition to providing medical care with the clinic, he will also be visiting schools in the area to perform eye exams and do vision screenings. Ultimately, his goal is to have a career that incorporates providing primary care, teaching medical students, and traveling abroad at least once every year to continue to serve underserved populations.

Milca Nuñez is a Mexican-American, born in California. She has been living in East Tennessee for 11 years. Ever since she was a little girl she knew she would dedicate her career to protect people, specifically those who need it the most. Since early on in high school she has been involved in diverse volunteer work that focused on public health, in one way or another. For example, she took additional health classes, obtained her CNA, and volunteered in nursing homes. she credits her mother for planting that seed of charity and service in her mind. As a result, she chose a degree in Public Health at East Tennessee State University with concentration in Community Health. During her life, she has seen the raw reality of poverty and the consequences of a lack of education and employment chances in communities in developing countries. As she is passionate about global health, she chose to pursue an international field experience in the Dominican Republic. She wants to learn about the most efficient ways to deal with community health problems, facing a limited capital. Project HOPE has two clinics in the DR which are self-sustained and provide a broad scope of health care in two different low-resource communities. In culmination of this experience, she aspires to leave better equipped for a career in global health.

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