The Frist Global Health Leaders program provides students, residents and fellows in health professions with the opportunity to serve and train in under-served communities around the world for up to four months. This information is for Vanderbilt and Meharry students in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing.

APPLY ONLINE

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(priority deadline: February 1st)

Program Description

​The Frist Global Health Leaders (FGHL) program provides financial support to students, residents and fellows in health professions to engage in a service and training experience in under-served communities around the world. FGHL recipients connect with a hospital or clinic in a low-resource setting to develop a “project” that leverages the participant’s strengths and skills to satisfy a community’s need(s). The aim of FGHL is to build capacity in these partner health facilities and health knowledge in the surrounding community.

To apply for this program, the applicant should identify a clinic, hospital or other health organization in which they will serve clinically and/or provide health education and training. In partnership with the facility, the applicant will develop a capacity building and/or clinical project, which generally lasts two to four months. Past projects have included developing and implementing a reproductive health curriculum in a local middle school, conducting a need assessments for a community child nutrition program, providing training sessions to clinic workers, serving in rural clinics, collaborating on a quality improvement project, and leading health education programs for parents and children. Projects generally range from two to four months and should align with both the needs of the clinic and community and the mission of Hope through Healing Hands, which sponsors this program. Blogs from past FGHL participants can provide insight to their projects, work and experiences.

Since 2008, the Frist Global Health Leaders Program has supported over 50 Vanderbilt University participants. Vanderbilt participants have served and trained in under-served communities in various countries including Guatemala, Guyana, Bolivia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zambia, Bangladesh, and Thailand.

The FGHL program is funded by Hope Through Healing Hands, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization founded by former U.S. Senate Majority leader Bill Frist in 2008.

Eligibility

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing:

  • Master of Science in Nursing students (M.S.N.)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice students (D.N.P.)
  • Recent M.S.N. graduates (within 1 year of receiving degree)

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine:

  • 3rd year medical students (M.D.)
  • 4th year medical students (M.D.)
  • Master of Public Health students (M.P.H.)

Vanderbilt fellows and residents in the following departments and programs are also eligible to apply and should contact their department for further information about applying:

  • Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Department of Surgery
  • Vanderbilt International Anesthesia

Application

Priority Deadline: February 1st 

**Note** If you have already completed the VIGH funding application, you do not need to submit another application for FGHL. Students only need to fill out one general online application to be considered for all eligible VIGH funding opportunities, including Overall Fellowship, FGHL and any other VIGH related institutional scholarships.

Application Process:

  1. Complete online application, including project description.
  2. Applicants passing into the second round may be asked to submit: 1) an official transcript from Vanderbilt University and 2) two letters of recommendation (one from your Vanderbilt-based academic project mentor and one from a professor or employer).

Previous Vanderbilt Participants

Click on the years below to learn about the locations and scope of Vanderbilt recipients' projects.

2018

Ben Acheampong, Vanderbilt University Master of Public Health and Pediatric Residency Programs: Ghana

Melissa Bellomy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology: Kenya

Gretchen Edwards, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Surgery: Kenya

Tara Lane, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Medicine and Pediatrics: Zambia

Taylor Matherly, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Master of Public Health: Guatemala  

Jon Niconchuk, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology: Kenya

Carolina Pinzon-Guzman, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Surgery: Kenya

Monica Polz, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Surgery: Kenya

Maren Shipe, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Anesthesiology: Kenya

Susannah Spero, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Guyana

2017

Jennifer Lynn Neczypor, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Nepal
Jamie Robinson, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, General Surgery Resident: Kenya
Kim Pruett, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Emergency Medicine Resident: Guyana 
Ryan Van Nostrand, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Emergency Medicine Resident: Guyana
Cameron Schlegel, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, General Surgery Resident: Kenya

2016
Christopher Wahlfeld, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Master of Public Health: Kenya
Grace Umutsei, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Master of Public Health: Kenya
Katie McGinnis, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Master of Public Health: Kenya
Kristen Smith, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Guatemala
Jennifer Elia, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Critical Care Medicine Fellow: Kenya
Beth Helmink, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, General Surgery Resident: Kenya
Michael LeCompte, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, General Surgery Resident: Kenya
Vivian Lei, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Emergency Medicine Resident: Guyana
Craig Sheedy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Emergency Medicine Resident: Guyana
Cameron Schlegel, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, General Surgery Resident: Kenya
James Matthew Kynes, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Pediatric Anesthesia Fellow: Kenya

2015
Angie Boehmer, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Master of Public Health: Kenya
Emily duBois Hollander, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Rwanda
Yvonne Carter, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Ecuador
Kate Callaghan, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine: Siloam Family Health Center
Nick Carter, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, General Surgery Resident: Kenya
Britney Grayson, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, General Surgery Resident: Kenya
Marcos Lopez, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dept. of Anesthesiology: Kenya
Joel Musee, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, General Surgery Resident: Kenya
Anji Wall, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, General Surgery Resident: Kenya
Jordan Rupp, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Emergency Medicine Resident: Guyana
Brittany White, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Emergency Medicine Resident: Guyana
Michael Salisbury, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Emergency Medicine Resident: Guyana

2013
Jason Axt, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Chief Surgical Resident: Kenya
Jay Bala, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Master of Public Health: Zambia
Imani Brown, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Master of Public Health: Zambia
Charlotte Buehler, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Master of Public Health: Kenya
Katharine Burns, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine: Bolivia
Sarah Dunn, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Emergency Medicine: Guyana
Susan George, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, General Surgery Resident: Kenya
Jessica Islam, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Master of Public Health: Bangladesh
Tyler Winders, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine: Honduras

2012
Elizabeth Harris, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Kenya
Courtney Massaro, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Haiti
Ashley Brown, Vanderbilt University Emergency Medicine: Guyana 
Catherine Burger, Vanderbilt University Emergency Medicine: Guyana 
Nadja Colon, Vanderbilt University General Surgery: Kenya 
Nadine Harris, Vanderbilt University Internal Medicine: Guyana
Randi Kauffmann, Vanderbilt University Medical Center: Kenya

2011
Omo Aisagbonhi, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine: Nigeria
Rebecca Cook, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine: Kenya

2010
Cody Bowers, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Guatemala
Lauren Eppinger, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Guatemala

2009
Danielle Dittrich, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Guatemala
Kelly Tschida, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Rwanda

2008
Kelly Madigan, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing: Thailand
Brian Rue, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine: Thailand

Frequently Asked Questions

How do participants find a site or hospital?

Students are responsible for seeking out organizations and making contacts to arrange placements. Past students have utilized prior contacts from a variety of sources: a clinic that their church supports; former service learning site; friend of the family; connection through a friend’s Peace Corps site; connection through a previous FGHL (it can be great to extend the work of a previous FGHL by returning to continue a project or sustain partnerships). While we do not have pre-arranged sites in certain countries from which to select, if you are interested in working where VIGH works, think about how you could use your skills in a project and contact us.

Do students design their own schedule and projects?

Yes, students work with the site to design a schedule and a project. Your project is submitted as part of your application.

What is the time frame and time commitment?

FGHL generally spend 2-4 months at the hospital/clinic. There are not specific months for the project – some students participate as part of their practicum or medical school work, others participate in the month following graduation.

What is meant by a “project”? Do I need to have a hypothesis in mind and a research question to study?

Simply put, the term “project” is what you will be doing while you are in-county. It includes your clinic work as well as any community health work or training that you will be doing. Many students find it rewarding to hold small community classes on nutrition, sex ed., hygiene, or other topics, or to teach a continuing education workshop to clinic workers. As a recent graduate, you have learned much about a variety of topics and the clinic/hospital may be thrilled at the idea of you giving time to teach. Remember to ask them what needs they have and to be realistic about your competencies. It’s also best to arrange to teach toward the middle or end of your time there – this will allow you time to observe cultural norms and to gain a better understanding of possible resource constraints, motivations, and needs in health care delivery.

I’ve been asked to submit my official transcript and letters of recommendation. Where should I submit them?

Letters of recommendation should be submitted directly by the writer to fristglobalhealthleaders@vanderbilt.edu . Official transcripts should be sent from the Office of the Registrar to the following address:

Elizabeth Rose
Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health
2525 West End Avenue, Suite 750
Nashville, TN 37203
(Internal Mail 8719)
Fax: (615) 343-7797

Contact

General information
http://www.hopethroughhealinghands.org/frist-global-health-leaders

Elizabeth Rose (Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health) 
(615) 322-9374