World Health Week 2022 at VUMC

The VUSM Global Health Organization is excited to present an in-person World Health Week, taking place from Monday, April 11 to Thursday, April 14! World Health Week is a series of events dedicated to spreading awareness about global health and features panels and talks by clinicians and students involved in the field. 

Monday (4/11) 5:30p-6:30p @ EBL 320/21 Internal Medicine

  • Timothy Sterling, MD is the director of the Vanderbilt Tuberculosis Center as well as the Director of Epidemiology Research in the Division of Infectious Diseases, and Director of the Epidemiology and Outcomes Unit of the Tennessee Center for AIDS Research. Dr. Sterling's research interests are focused on the epidemiology and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection, drug resistance in M. tuberculosis, and HIV-related tuberculosis. He also has an interest in the immunogenetic predisposition to tuberculosis, particularly extrapulmonary disease.

RSVP here for food! 
(Zoom link:

Tuesday (4/12) 5:30p-6:30p @ EBL 320/21  Pediatrics

  • Joey Starnes, MD MPH, is a pediatric resident who has been engaged in global health work since a medical student here at Vanderbilt. He received his MPH degree from VUSM in global health, and completed his thesis work “Reduction in Under-Five Mortality in the Rongo Sub-County of Migori County, Kenya: Experience of the Lwala Community Alliance 2007-2017 with Evidence from a Cross-Sectional Survey” in Lwala, Kenya.  

Wednesday (4/13) 5:30p-6:30p @ EBL 320/21 Surgery

  • Josie Haizel-Cobbina MD, MPH, is the Program Manager at the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health. She works with Dr. Michael C. Dewan and the Vanderbilt Global Neurosurgery Program (VGNP). Prior to Vanderbilt, she worked as an International Health Fellow with the Minnesota Department of Health, where she worked on the CDC’s Malaria Prevention Project to reduce the incidence of malaria cases among immigrants and refugees in Minnesota. 
  • In addition, Recently ENT matched medical students Nicole Kloosterman and Emily Mace, and rising 4th-year medical student Alex Mina pursuing general surgery all worked in the global health space during their time at Vanderbilt. Please come join us to hear their stories, their involvement, and how you too can be engaged as a student.

RSVP here for food! 
(Zoom link:

Thursday (4/14) 5:30p-6:30p @ EBL 322  Internal Medicine and Nursing

  • Aima Ahonkhai MD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Disease and Global Health. Her research focuses on optimizing clinical outcomes for marginalized patients living with HIV, especially adolescents and young adults, using mHealth-supported and community-engaged interventions. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, her work has also focused on improving access to testing, treatment, and vaccination as well as education for and about COVID-19. She has 2 NIH-funded grants utilizing mHealth strategies to support health outcomes of young people living with HIV in Nigeria including. 
  • Merranda D. Holmes, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine and a Med/Peds hospitalist. She has spent time in Mbingo Baptist Hospital in Northwest Cameroon as well as Kenya, working in the pediatric wards, NICU, PICU, and clinic. 
  • Carol Ziegler, APRN, DNP, is part of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. Her global health involvement began in 2009, working with traditional Kenyan healers to protect their traditional knowledge and improve access to primary care health services, as well as finding market-based strategies to promote forest preservation. She not only helps coordinate global health initiatives for the School of Nursing but also is finding ways to improve health outcomes in underserved communities through culturally appropriate, community-based health initiatives. 
  • Shelza Rivas, DNP, MSN, is a nurse practitioner and adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner. Her special interests include providing healthcare access and patient education to underserved Latino populations. Her volunteer activities include providing education on breast and cervical cancer screenings within diverse communities in Nashville.

RSVP here for food! 
(Zoom link: