Global Health-News

March 19, 2018 by


The University of Virginia considers cultural learning by its students an essential part of their education, and its strategic plan envisions an international experience for all undergraduate students. However, travel is detrimental to the environment and costly, making it important to investigate alternative modes of global education. The President and Provost’s Fund for Institutionally Related Research has provided $154,000 to investigate if remote interaction can provide benefits similar to travel. Dr. Marcel Durieux, Co-Director of the Anesthesiology Global Health Leadership Track, is principal investigator on the grant and will work with collaborators in the School of Nursing and the Center for Global Health.

The research team will evaluate experiences of 20 UVA students who will be “twinned” with students at the University for Global Health Equity in Rwanda. Each pair will work on a research project over the course of a year, through internet contact. A control group of 20 students will travel to Rwanda for 6 weeks to participate in clinical research projects at the main teaching hospital in Kigali. Outcomes will be quantitative and qualitative assessments of cultural learning, as well as success on completing the research project.

This is the inaugural round of the President and Provost’s Fund; it selected 2 out of 23 applications for funding. For background information on the grant click here


List of recent trips:

Dr. Tom Pajewski and Dr. Justin Hickman, CA2 spent two weeks in Vientiane Laos in February 2020 with the Midwest Spine Foundation.

In November 2019, Dr. Lynda Wells and Dr. Jim Merchun, CA3 resident went to Kigali, Rwanda for four weeks to participate in the Rwandan Anesthesiology Residency Teaching Program. They provided didactic teaching and  simulation on cardiac anesthesia. Additionally, they shadowed residents in the ICU and OR providing  clinical mentorship and bedside teaching.

Dr.George Politis, Dr. Benjamin Moses and Dr. Christopher Racine, CA3 resident, spent 14 days in Jimma, Ethiopia in November, 2019. Click here for Dr. Racine’s blog of the trip.

Dr.Timothy Eng  and an ICU nurse from Virginia Commonwealth University spent two weeks in Kigali, Rwanda in November, 2019 doing ICU training.

Marcel Durieux, was presented on October 17, 2018 with an award for outstanding leadership in Global Health programs and initiatives by the Karen S. Rheuban Center for Telehealth.

Working with Kilgali staff

Dr.Kamilla Esfahani, recent Global Health Leadership Track resident, and currently a UVA Neuro Anesthesia Clinical Instructor, teaching in the ICI in Kigali, July 2018.





Congratulations to residents Dr. Jim Merchun and Dr. Justin Hickman who were selected to join the Institutional Global Health Leadership Track (GHLT). They join Dr. Chris Spencer and Dr. Elliott Winters, who were part of the GHLT program at UVA in 2018-19.  Currently, eleven departments across the School of Medicine at UVA participate in this program.

Please note, the monthly Global Health Teleconference has been moved to the LAST THURSDAY of each month.