Two Vanderbilt University Institute for Medicine and Public Health alumnae have been named 2018-2019 Global Health Corps (GHC) Fellows. Ms. Grace Umutesi and Ms. Shellese Shemwell will both work in Rwanda during the upcoming year. Ms. Umutesi will serve as a Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Officer with Health Development Initiative, and Ms. Shemwell has been named Integrated NCD Program Quality Improvement Coordinator with Partners in Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima.
GHC is a leadership development organization devoted to recruiting and training the next generation of leaders in global health equity. During their fellowship year, fellows make a significant and measurable contribution to the placement organization and the target population. GHC’s training fellowship curriculum integrates leadership and professional development with self-reflection and personal learning. Fellows focus on building skills that are essential for effective and ethical leadership, such as human-centered design thinking, storytelling, systems thinking and strategic planning for social change. GHC fosters attitudes like empathy, resilience and cultural humility.
GHC recruits high-impact placement organizations in East Africa, Southern Africa, and the United States that are strengthening health systems and improving health outcomes in impoverished communities. Placement organizations range from local grassroots organizations to government agencies to global institutions. The fellows work in teams of two at each placement organization.
Ms. Umutesi is originally from Rwanda but has most recently been living in Tennessee, USA. She is a passionate public health practitioner who loves to serve the underserved and contribute to building sustainable health systems to improve health outcomes. Prior to joining GHC, Ms. Umutesi worked as an associate program manager at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), department of anesthesiology. There, she coordinated the Vanderbilt International Anesthesia (VIA) Program at the VUMC as well as the ImPACT Africa Program that focuses on improving anesthesia care, training and research in low resource settings. She was also a fellow for the Global Immunization Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she won an award for Excellence in Public Health Protection and co-authored a 2018 article in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Immunogenicity of Fractional-Dose Vaccine during a Yellow Fever Outbreak – Preliminary Report.” Ms. Umutesi holds a Master of Public Health from Vanderbilt University.
Ms. Shellese Shemwell hails from Kentucky, USA. She wants to improve women’s access to modern contraceptive methods and skilled birth attendants and also decrease the incidence of obstetric fistulae. During her graduate studies, she designed and implemented a program evaluation for the Haitian American Caucus in Croix de Bouquets, Haiti. After graduation, Ms. Shemwell served as an intern at the World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters. In this role, she helped develop a training curriculum for epidemiologists and statisticians to improve their knowledge of survey protocol development and survey analysis related to immunization surveys. In 2017, she published an article entitled, “Determinants of full vaccination status in children aged 12-23 months in Gurùé and Milange districts, Mozambique: Results of a population-based cross-sectional survey”, in International Health. Ms. Shemwell holds a Master of Public Health from Vanderbilt University.