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Global Health Residency Program Announces Inaugural Class

February 17, 2008

The Hubert -Yeargan Center for Global Health and the Duke Global Health Institute are proud to announce the selection of four candidates for the Duke Global Health Residency (GHR) inaugural class.  Candidates have been chosen from the Departments of Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Psychiatry, and Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery.  Three of the candidates are slated to begin MPH degrees this fall and one candidate with an advanced degree will begin work overseas this summer. 

Maria Almond, MD, is a second year resident in the Department of Psychiatry.  She received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and her medical degree from Harvard.  Prior to coming to Duke, she worked on a variety of community-based global health efforts in the Philippines, England, Mexico, and Tanzania, where she developed HIV health education curricula and hygiene and care training programs.  Dr. Almond hopes to improve clinical education efforts abroad, while highlighting the importance of behavioral health in medical care. 

Holly Biggs, MD, is currently a second year resident in the Department of Medicine. She received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Illinois.  She has worked with AmeriCorps and the American Red Cross, responding to local and national disasters including the World Trade Center collapses on 9/11.  As an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Ecuador and as a medical student worked in a hospital Zambia.  Dr. Biggs plans on pursuing a fellowship in Infectious Diseases, to further her training for a career addressing global HIV/AIDS. 

Stephen Parker, MD, a second year resident from the Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and his medical degree from Indiana University.  He also begins the Global Residency with prior international experience, having worked at a mission hospital in Tanzania during medical school. Part of his work in Tanzania included conducting research on the relationship between fluorosis and spina bifida among the Masai people. Last summer he joined the neurosurgery team led by Mike Haglund, MD, that traveled to Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda with surplus medical equipment provided by the Global Health PLUS program.  As part of his Global Health Residency training, Dr. Parker is especially interested in conducting research on head trauma caused by automobile accidents in the developing world.

Brandi Vasquez, MD, PhD, is a fourth year resident from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  Dr. Vasquez received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and her medical degree and PhD in molecular biology from Oregon Health & Science University.  She has spent time in Costa Rica and already has numerous publications to her credit.  Dr. Vasquez will be working with Jeff Wilkinson, MD, to help establish a Women’s Reproductive Health program in Africa. 

The Duke Global Health Residency will include study toward a master’s degree in the field of public health and nine months working at one of Duke University’s global health sites. Initially, residents will receive a master’s of public health (MPH) through UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health. In coming years, residents will have the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Global Health from the Duke Global Health Institute.  This unique program is available to residents from participating departments at Duke University Medical Center.

“We are very pleased to welcome these young physicians from four different departments as our inaugural class of global health residents. Their energy and enthusiasm for improving health around the world is contagious, and I have no doubt that each will uniquely leverage this training opportunity to address health disparities within each of their disciplines.” says Nathan Thielman, MD, MPH, director of the Global Health Residency Program. “I am sure their experiences will create a firm foundation for the growth of this program over the years.”

For more information, contact Erica Haney, Program Manager, at 919-668-4675.

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