2024 Vermund Global Health Achievement Award

Dr. Sten H. Vermund was the founding director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH). The Sten H. Vermund Awards for Excellence in Global Health recognize Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the health of all people through distinguished global health scholarship, education, training, and/or service. This annual $1,500 award recognizes significant achievement in the field of global health during academic training at VUSM. 

The award is given to one medical, public health or doctoral level student at graduation. Andria Li's unwavering dedication to global health, demonstrated throughout her four years of studying medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM), is truly commendable. Her deep engagement in global health research, clinical practice, and student organizations is a testament to her passion and commitment to this field.


Andria began early to identify a global health research immersion project and clinical rotation. She partnered with Lwala Community Alliance, a long-standing VUSM partner, and spent two months at their hospital in Kenya. Working closely with Lwala's team in Kenya, she researched the prevalence and determinants of contraception utilization in Migori County, Kenya, analyzed data from multiple years of household surveys, and wrote a manuscript published in the African Journal of Reproductive Health in 2023.

Andria's focused on women's health during her clinical rotation at Lwala. Her clinical supervisors noted that she was a curious and eager learner, and her medical examinations were clear and precise. In our weekly mentoring calls, Andria offered keen insights on the role of health providers in the US and Kenya, mainly related to quality improvement and patient experience. Her reflections on healthcare waste, concepts of sterility, and health decision-making were profound and demonstrated strong critical thinking and a deep understanding of global health systems. She earned a Certificate in Global Health and Health Equity through her clinical rotation, global health research and other coursework.

During her four years, Andria has been actively involved in VUSM global health student organizations and with global populations at the student-led Shade Tree Clinic. Her leadership positions included Co-President, Vice President, and World Health Week Coordinator for the VUSM Global Health Organization. She spearheaded a new initiative, office hours with the organization's faculty advisor, to help connect students to global health advising and resources. She also served as Co-President and Treasurer in the VUSM chapter of the Global Surgery Student Association. In these leadership roles, Andria has been essential in promoting global health academic experiences and extracurricular activities among her peers. At Shade Tree Clinic, she served as the Spanish Acute Care Coordinator and a Spanish translator, helping provide needed care.

Andria exemplifies Dr. Vermund's passion, innovation, and commitment to global health across research, clinical practice, and service. She is a leader among her peers in this field and is an excellent candidate for this award.