UW Fellowship for Academic Excellence

Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself 

A: I am a public health practitioner and researcher and I joined UW’s Department of Global Health from Partners In Health- Rwanda (PIH/IMB). While at PIH/IMB I served as the Manager of Clinical Programs where I supported the implementation of all clinical programs’ activities, innovative projects such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and safe surgery and coordinated the first 6 months of PIH-Rwanda’s COVID response. Additionally, on this role, I sat on different technical working groups (HCV, health posts, etc) at the Rwanda Biomedical Center and the Ministry of Health. Before that, I was the Manager of the Research Department at PIH/IMB where I led the annual planning and execution of the department’s activities, supported different research projects, sat on PIH- Rwanda’s Research Committee as well as the Internal Evaluation Working Group.  Prior to joining PIH/IMB, I ran the Vanderbilt International Anesthesia & ImPACT Africa Program at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville-TN and completed a fellowship at the Global Immunization Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. I enjoy spending time with my friends, family and exploring new cultures through travel and culinary adventures. I completed my Bachelor of Science training in Biology at Oklahoma Christian University and Master's in Public Health with a focus in Global Health at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

Q: Why did you decide to attend the UW for graduate school? 

A: I am interested in strategies that develop local capacities and use unconventional approaches to solve most pressing public health and healthcare delivery issues especially in low and middle income countries. I wanted to expand my knowledge on the designing and implementation of programs that lead to an efficient use of resources and improved healthcare service delivery. Considering obstacles that modern medicine faces as well as the different experiences that allowed me to be at the forefront observing the need to assess and translate successful interventions into routine health care delivery strategies to improve patients’ outcomes across borders; I wanted to learn from UW’s faculty and affiliates who are leaders in global health and join an institution that is at the cross-road of many interventions that are informing healthcare delivery locally, regionally and globally.

Q: What are your research interests?

A: My main research interest is in healthy system strengthening particularly in the infectious diseases and safe surgery area. Particularly, I am interested in ways through which resources (human, infrastructure, skills, etc) are leveraged to not only address the issue (s) at hand but contribute to building resilient health systems. An example would be the role that efforts put in strengthening polio surveillance played in responding to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa as well as the 2016 Yellow Fever outbreak in DRC. Additionally, my interest in emerging infectious diseases and global health security draw me to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) a global public health threat that continues to grow. Last but not least, global surgery that has long been forgotten from the list of “public health issues” is an area that I have been involved in and I am particularly interested in generating evidence that highlight the magnitude of this issue and the needed to address the obstacles faced by 5 billion people who cannot access safe surgery care worldwide. Safe surgery has been isolated from other public health issues but the COVID-19 pandemic put surgery, anesthesia and intensive care at the core of a global health emergency. Across these areas, health systems strengthening remain the common denominator focusing on ways to resolve bottle-necks in healthcare delivery and build resilient health systems.

Q: What are you enjoying most about your graduate program?

Despite this being an unusual time to relocate, being part of UW’s DGH community has been an enjoyable experience. The program has been quite resourceful and it has been encouraging to know that the program will be supporting us in different ways throughout our training. Our instructors and the program have done a remarkable job to make our first year manageable despite the limitations of the new “virtual” working environment. The ability to connect with a wide variety of faculty and affiliates who are working in my areas of interest at different levels (national, regional, and global) has been a pertinent bonus.