2020 IntraHealth-UNC Summer Fellows Explore Global Health in the Age of COVID-19

Credit: IntraHealth International

Four new IntraHealth International and the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill summer fellows completed their projects in gender-based violence, data, and reproductive health this month.

Since 2010, IntraHealth and UNC have teamed up to offer graduate students hands-on experience in the field of global health at an international nongovernmental organization—and to strengthen IntraHealth’s work by inviting fresh perspectives and ideas from students at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and, beginning in 2019, the UNC School of Nursing.

This year’s fellows graduated from the program after ten weeks of working side-by-side with global health professionals at IntraHealth International. The COVID-19 pandemic meant that the fellowships took place remotely—a first for the program and a shift that allowed IntraHealth to move forward with the fellowship rather than cancelling it.

They analyzed data on contraceptive discontinuation, investigated the link between gender-based violence and COVID-19, documented and improved IntraHealth’s digital health tools, and developed a user guide on how to adapt World Health Organization tools to estimate health workforce needs during the pandemic.

Forty-one fellows have now completed the program. Each year, they work directly with IntraHealth’s experts, data, and programs around the world. Some of their past projects have focused on:

  • digital health
  • HIV
  • gender
  • family planning
  • health systems strengthening
  • health communications
  • monitoring and evaluation
  • respectful maternity care
  • health workforce data
  • noncommunicable diseases

All graduate students enrolled at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health or the UNC School of Nursing are eligible to apply to this highly competitive program. Applications become available each year in the fall.

Meet the 2020 IntraHealth-UNC Summer Fellows

Mariana Andreu-Sanz is a public health master’s student at UNC with a concentration in global health. She worked with Carolina Mejia and our monitoring and learning on IntraHealth’s RHITES-E Activity’s SASA! intervention, which aims to address the links between violence against women and HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Mariana also researched how use data to ensure the wellbeing of women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic in low- and middle-income countries.

Alix Boisson is a PhD student in health policy and management at UNC. As part of her fellowship, she worked with Emily Nicholson and the digital health team to evaluate key digital health tools against WHO guidance, create a documentation strategy for IntraHealth’s digital health portfolio, and built a SharePoint library for staff.

Morghen Philippi is a public health master’s student at UNC with a concentration in global health. This summer, she and IntraHealth data scientist Amy Finnegan explored the reasons behind and consequences of seasonal contraceptive discontinuation using data science.

Katherine Terry graduated from the UNC School of Nursing in 2020 with a master’s degree in nursing as an adult nurse practitioner. During her fellowship, she worked with health workforce expert Pamela McQuide and our Nursing Now counterparts to create guidance on adapting World Health Organization tools to estimate the number of health workers and beds required to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic.