Five outstanding students were awarded “Global Healthies” awards for excellence and achievement in global health on May 11, three of whom were honored for their projects in Nepal.

The second annual Global Healthies award ceremony, held in the Husky Union Building, awarded students in five categories, including the people’s choice Oscar Gish Social Justice & Equity Award. Each awardee received US$500.

More than 30 projects were displayed in a poster event before the ceremony, covering a variety of topics including local superfund clean-up sites, violence against women in Turkey, and cold-chain vaccines and health facilities. Although winners were chosen prior to the major earthquake in Nepal, two out of five reviewer-picked projects were in Nepal. Those winners were Biraj Karmacharya and Nicole Ide. 

Michelle Lam, a medical student in the Global Health Pathway, received the Oscar Gish Social Justice & Equity Award, for her work on the prevalence of mental health issues in Nepal.

GlobalHealthies15_favs%20%2850%20of%2060%29.jpgAdjunt Research Professor Annette Fitzpartrick, PhD, who mentored all three winners with projects in Nepal said, “I am so pleased with all of the great work that Biraj, Nicole and Michelle have done. The quality of their projects attests to the importance of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Global Health and the wonderful collaboration that has developed with Dhulikhel Hospital and Kathmandu University over the past few years. Many thanks to Judy and the Global Healthies for acknowledging their efforts.” Annette is pictured at right with her mentees and Department Chair Judy Wasserheit.

Nearly 50 students submitted applications, and awardees were selected by faculty review committees with expertise in the respective categories.

The Global Healthies awards were made possible by generous gifts from individual donors. The initial Oscar Gish award was provided by Patrick Ryan in honor of Gish, a University of Washington faculty member who passed away in 2004. As an economist, author and scholar, Oscar Gish was an advocate for social justice and equality. He was known as an expert on international health policies, and influenced both students and faculty alike to strengthen their commitment to social justice.

Judith Wasserheit, MD, MPH, the Chair of the Department of Global Health, opened an envelope before each awardee, smiled, and said, “And the Global Healthie goes to….” 


Global Healthies 2015 awardees (from left): Marita Mann, Chung Dang, Judy Wasserheit (Chair), Biraj Karmacharya, Michelle Lam, Nicole Ide.

Discovery and Development

Chung Dang, PhDc in Pathobiology
Project: “A Novel Approach to Prevent Herpes Simplex Virus Reactivation by Utilizing Engineered Nucleases to Specifically Disrupt Viral Genomes in Neurons”
UW Faculty Mentor: Keith Jerome

Education and Training

Biraj Karmacharya, PhDc in Epidemiology, MPHc in Global Health
Project: “Approaches in Global Health Collaboration Between Institutions in Developed and Developing Countries: Experience from Kathmandu University, Nepal”
UW Faculty Mentor: Annette Fitzpatrick

Implementation and Application

Marita Mann, PhDc in Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program; Thomas Francis Jr. Fellow 2013-14; Global Medicines
Project: “Sentinel Site Active Surveillance for First-Line Antiretroviral Medicines in Namibia”
UW Faculty Mentors: Lou Garrison and Andy Stergachis

Public Health Service and Direct Care

Nicole Ide, MPHc in Global Health; GO Health Fellow 2014-15
Project: “Death Certification at Dhulikhel Hospital, Nepal: Medical Records, Death Certificates, and Verbal Autopsy”
UW Faculty Mentors: Annette Fitzpatrick and Bernardo Hernández Prado

Oscar Gish Social Justice & Equity

Michelle Lam, Global Health Pathway for Medical Students; MPHc in Global Health
Project: Evaluating the Prevalence and Risk Factors for Major Depressive Symptoms in Nepal
UW Faculty Mentors: Annette Fitzpatrick and Deepa Rao

To learn more about how philanthropy can fuel and sustain this important work, please contact Megan Ingram, Assistant Dean for Advancement, UW School of Public Health,, 206.616.7197, or Deirdre (Schwiesow) Sumida, Assistant Director for Corporate and Foundation Relations, UW Medicine Advancement,, 206.221.4769.