Massachusetts Medical Society Foundation Awards 7 Grants for International Health Studies

Contact: Jennifer Day, MMS&A Charitable Foundation
Email: jday@mms.org
Phone: 781-434-7044

Waltham -- Nov. 3 -- The Massachusetts Medical Society & Alliance Charitable Foundation has awarded a total of $11,900 in International Health Studies Grants to seven individuals, providing funding for medical students and resident physicians to pursue international education and assist in health care efforts focusing on underserved populations in foreign countries.  The grants range up to $2,000 and help to offset travel and lodging expenses for the individuals.  

Three medical students and four residents received grants for 2014.  The recipients: 

Prachi Godiwala, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Ms. Godiwala will study for three weeks in March and April in La Romana, Dominican Republic, where she and other medical students will establish travelling medical clinics in a different village each day, serving approximately 100 patients a day who are poor and lack access to regular medical care. 

Gregory Haman, a fourth-year medical student at Harvard Medical School.  Mr. Haman will study for six weeks in January and February at Tanzania’s Bugando Medical Center, a 900-bed hospital that provides tertiary care to 13 million residents of the Mwanza Region.  He will initially work in the intensive care unit and then be assigned to a medical ward. 

Nichole Starr, a fourth-year medical student at Boston University School of Medicine.  Ms. Starr volunteered for six weeks from August to October at Dessie Referral Hospital, a tertiary care center serving some two million people in the South Wollo Zone of Ethiopia.  She is working with surgical patients and assisting mid-level and physician providers in clinical duties and research activities. She will also volunteer at 21 town health centers that serve as primary health care sites for the region. 

Sarah Napoe, M.D., a third-year resident in obstetrics and gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  For the month of December, Dr. Napoe will serve at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana, where high maternal mortality and obstetric complications are common.  She will be part of the clinical team evaluating patients in the clinic as well as participate in their surgical management.  

Geoffrey Anderson, M.D., a fourth-year resident in general surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Anderson will be engaged in research at the government hospital in Mbarara, Uganda, where he will work on improving the hospital’s surgical database, an electronic medical records system used by the hospital to track surgical cases and outcomes.  Part of his work will also help to establish a cancer center at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology.  He will serve for the month of June. 

Cynthia So-Armah, M.D., a second-year resident in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  For four weeks in March and April, Dr. So-Armah will be part of a mission to Mexico with Partners in Health – Companeros en Salud - which has partnered with the Mexican government to place recent medical school graduates from Mexican medical schools at six rural clinics in Chiapas. She will offer precepting and continuing medical education to the recent graduates. 

Noah Rosenberg, M.D., a third-year resident in family medicine at UMass Memorial Healthcare. In January and February, Dr. Rosenberg will work in a rural clinic in El Tololar, Nicaragua, where he will facilitate the purchasing of medical equipment and set up an autoclave for the on-site sterilization of equipment.  

This year marks the 14th consecutive year that the Foundation has awarded International Health Studies Grants. A total of 66 students and residents have received grants during that time.   

The seven individuals honored with the 2014 grants were chosen from a total of 32 applications, 20 from residents and 12 from medical students.  The applications were reviewed by a committee of seven representatives, three from the Foundation’s Board of Directors, two from the MMS Committee on Global Health, and two from the MMS Committee on Medical Education. 

The Massachusetts Medical Society & Alliance Charitable Foundation is a supporting organization of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the statewide association of physicians, and works on behalf of physicians and their families to improve the health and well-being of people across the Commonwealth. It supports physician-led volunteer initiatives that provide free care to the uninsured and increased access to care for the underserved. 
More information on the MMS and Alliance Charitable Foundation may be found at www.mmsfoundation.org.

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