The Office of Global Health Education has selected its 2021-2023 cohort of Global Health Scholars. The competitive two-year program supports the career and leadership development of UNC fellows and resident physicians who have a strong interest in global health. The scholars’ selection includes $8,000 to support research proposals.
Supporting the scholars as second advisors are Martha Carlough, MD, MPH, Director of the Office of Global Health Education and a professor of family medicine; Shay Slifko, MA, Assistant Director of Global Health Education; Sylvia Becker-Dreps, MD, MPH, Director of UNC Program in Nicaragua and Associate Director of Global Health Education; and Justin Myers, DO, MPH, FACEP, Associate Director of Global Health Education and a clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine.
The five scholars are:
Oludamilola “Dami” Aladesanmi, MD, MPH
Aladesanmi earned a BA in history and science (with a focus on medicine and society) from Harvard College, an MD at Duke School of Medicine, and an MPH in health care and prevention at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He is interested in cardiovascular health and disease prevention among the sub-Saharan African diaspora, where the rates of cardiovascular disease are rising. As a global health scholar, he will work with the Bugoye Hypertension Improvement Program (BHIP) in rural western Uganda to analyze a cohort of patients with under-controlled hypertension regarding the safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of adding thiazide diuretics to maximum-dose amlodipine with minimal lab monitoring. His primary mentor is Raquel Reyes, MD, MPA, associate professor of hospital medicine at UNC who helped establish the BHIP.
Alessandra Angelino, MD, MPH
Angelino, a pediatrics resident, is passionate about the health of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children, with a special interest in adolescent health and the health of gender diverse youth. Angelino earned her MD at Rutgers and an MPH in global health from the University of Washington. She continues to work with community organizations, tribal epidemiology centers, and the Indian Health Service to create guidelines, curricula, and policy that build upon community strengths. She has worked in Indigenous communities in Washington, North Carolina, and Australia, and hopes to continue engaging in clinical, policy, and advocacy work in AI/AN communities during and following her training. Outside of work, Alessandra enjoys cooking (and eating!) and spending time near the water swimming, surfing, or seashell hunting.
John Barber, MD
Barber is a second-year internal medicine/pediatrics resident. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine in 2019. Prior to medical school, Barber spent five years working on diagnostics for resource-limited settings, initially focusing on HIV diagnostics in East and Southern Africa, then Ebola rapid diagnostic tests in Sierra Leone during the 2014-2015 outbreak, and later on other non-malarial fever projects. This background in diagnostics led to his interest in clinical medicine and system-strengthening work. As a global scholar, John will evaluate a Community Health Worker program in the Kasese district of western Uganda to identify gaps in pediatric care and improve guideline adherence. He will be working with Raquel Reyes, MD, who cofounded P-HEALED, an NGO which trained the cohort of Community Health Workers in partnership with Mbarara University and the Uganda Rural Health Fund.
April Evans, MD
Evans is a pediatric hematology oncology fellow at UNC. She will spend a UJMT Fogarty fellowship year at UNC Project Malawi in Lilongwe under the mentorship of Kate Westmoreland, MD. Evans’ research will focus on implementing patient-reported outcome measures to assess health-related quality of life in children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer in sub-Saharan Africa; ultimately reducing symptom burden and mortality. While traveling the world for the last decade, learning about different cultures and witnessing healthcare disparities, Evans has built a foundation and skill set to ultimately improve child health globally.
Seth Morrison, MD
Morrison, a fellow in pediatric gastroenterology at UNC, is interested in the study and alleviation of the global burden of childhood malnutrition. His training includes diverse experiences in clinical and cross-cultural medicine at the Medical School for International Health in Beer Sheva, Israel, and as an American Society for Nutrition clinical nutrition intern. Morrison practiced primary care for adults and children for four years during an internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine and served as chief resident prior to starting his fellowship. He is working with Sylvia Becker-Dreps, MD, MPH, and the UNC Project Nicaragua on the potential risk-modifying effects of certain genetic traits on childhood enteric microbial disease and malnutrition. He has also begun working on a forthcoming review and metanalysis on the effects of giardiasis and cryptosporidium infection on clinical outcomes such as childhood growth faltering worldwide. In fall 2021, he begins a master’s of public health degree with a nutrition concentration at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.