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Introducing the 2012 UNC-IntraHealth Summer Fellows

2012 Fellows

UNC-IntraHealth 2012 Summer Fellows: Taylor Snyder, Arianna Taboada,
Alex Collins, Jennet Arcara, Mariamu Masese-Amadi

We are honored to be part of the University of North Carolina (UNC)-IntraHealth Summer Fellows Program, chaired by Dr. Barbara Stilwell. The program provides master's and doctoral students in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health the opportunity to work alongside IntraHealth staff on global health issues ranging from reducing stigma and discrimination in HIV prevention efforts to strengthening the social welfare system supporting orphans and vulnerable children. By the end of our ten weeks here, we will each complete an assignment that contributes to our coursework in maternal and child health, based on our individual knowledge and experience with a mentor at IntraHealth. Over the course of the summer, we will join in discussions and presentations—like brown bag lunches and team meetings—as we learn to articulate the mission and values of IntraHealth as well as to describe the organization’s portfolio of programs and projects. At the end of the program, each of us will prepare a poster highlighting the results of our work to present to staff from UNC, IntraHealth, and other local organizations.

In the meantime, we look forward to contributing blog posts regularly to share our experiences and would like to share a little more about ourselves:

Florence “Mariamu” Masese-Amadi (MPH candidate ’13, Maternal and Child Health) will be supporting IntraHealth’s work in Kenya. She will assist in the development of e-learning modules targeted at Kenya’s Ministry of Health (MOH) employees for an HRH (human resources for health) professional development course. Her project will require using Articulate software to create the e-learning courses and pilot-testing the modules with IntraHealth and MOH staff in Nairobi and the surrounding areas. By the end of the summer, Mariamu hopes to enhance her knowledge and skills in planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating public health programs/interventions so that she can achieve her goal of working in a global health organization focused on improving the health of women, children, and families in resource-poor settings, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Jennet Arcara (PhD student, Maternal and Child Health) will be working with her mentors on IntraHealth’s Tanzania HIV Prevention Project. She will be analyzing and reporting on service delivery data collected through its predecessor project, the Tanzania Provider-Initiated Testing and Counseling Project. Jennet came to UNC for the PhD program in maternal and child health to move toward her goal of creating and directing research in global reproductive health, particularly within the context of an implementing or research organization. She is especially interested in operations research and demonstration projects to inform policy change, and she has a newfound interest in the creation and validation of psychometric scales to better evaluate complex social and behavioral interactions. Accordingly, she is looking forward to working with the data this summer and learning the ins and outs of analyzing service delivery data so that it can be used to continue to innovate within the project.

Alex Collins (MSW/MPH candidate ‘12) will be working with mentors on the CapacityPlus project, contributing to social welfare workforce strengthening activities through technical briefs and assisting with the coordination of a webinar series. She will also be providing hands-on support to field operations via several management, financial, and planning tools. Over the summer, she hopes to gain greater technical expertise and insight into the health worker challenges facing the social welfare workforce supporting orphans and vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Taylor Marie Snyder (MPH candidate ’13, Maternal and Child Health) will be working with her mentors and the Vistaar Project Team in India. She will spend June in India documenting the Vistaar Project’s initiatives to improve maternal, newborn, and child health in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, India. This process documentation includes gaining the perspectives of frontline health workers, their supervisors, and health officials. It also includes using photos and video and audio recordings to capture health workers in action, from providing services at Village Health and Nutrition Days to conducting home visits. Upon her return to Chapel Hill, she will be working with the project team to analyze and share key findings to be included in dissemination products and advocacy events.

Arianna Taboada (MSW/MSPH candidate ‘12) will be supporting two projects: the Central America Capacity Project and CapacityPlus. Arianna is a documentary filmmaker by training, and one of her professional goals is to integrate the arts into public health programs and interventions. During the month of June, she will be traveling to Guatemala to pilot a small-scale photo-voice activity in one of the HIV continuum of care (CoC) networks. Photo-voice is an innovative, participatory process used to identify problems and solutions at the community, system, and interpersonal levels and may be a useful tool in reducing stigma and discrimination in HIV prevention, support, and care services provided through the networks. Upon her return, she will work with Monitoring, Evaluation and Research staff to evaluate the feasibility of a larger photo-voice project to be replicated in other networks and develop a field operations manual for applying photo-voice in the CoC context.