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Global Women’s Health Fellowships

The purpose of this program is to provide training for clinical OB/GYN physicians in global women’s health research and service provision. We will educate future leaders in the global health community who will develop educational initiatives, improve clinical services, and promote research in global women’s reproductive health. The program will complement existing clinical skills in Obstetrics and Gynecology with public health course work, international field experience, and mentorship. Fellows will be expected to utilize collaborations within the UIC community (School of Public Health, School of Nursing, Department of Anthropology) and develop relationships with international governmental and non-governmental organizations in order to perform effective global health work.

The program will be a platform to build strong relationships in locations and situations that lack the infrastructure and/or organization to address reproductive health issues. There are limited opportunities for advanced training of this nature. Given the growing need for physician leadership in the international women’s health community, this program will provide experience, leadership, and opportunities in global women’s health research and clinical care.

Mission
The Global Women’s Health Fellowship at the University of Illinois will train women’s health physicians to engage in sustainable development of global humanitarian, clinical, educational and research efforts.

The program strives to develop initiatives in women’s reproductive health, and provides mentorship and leadership opportunities to effectively administer such programs.

Fellowship Goals
1. Comprehensive application of clinical reproductive health concepts and skills in global health.
2. Build a solid fund of knowledge about global reproductive health issues and the public health infrastructure around the world.
3. Understand and apply the concepts of sustainability and capacity building in global women’s health.
4. Develop the ability to perform a needs assessment of reproductive health care systems and identify pertinent health issues.
5. Develop an education and/or research project to address a reproductive health issues for a specific population.
6. Conduct clinical and field research based on solid scientific methods.
7. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and quality of global reproductive health programs.
8. Establish network and skills for educational exchange, research, and funding.
9. Develop administrative skills to organize and implement international reproductive health programs abroad and integrate them into existing health systems.

Fellowship expectations

Clinical
1. Perform as a junior faculty member
2. Teach residents and students
3. Provide excellent clinical care
4. 2-2.5 clinical days a week including resident clinic, private clinic, labor and delivery, OR, and on-call duties

Research
1. Create a research proposal within first three months of fellowship
2. Choose committee of clinical and research mentors within first 3 months
3. Get IRB approval for research
4. Conduct research
5. Spend 4-6 months abroad
6. Create a publishable manuscript at culmination of fellowship
7. Present research to the department

Training
1. Complete certificate in either advanced community health practice, public health management, or clinical research methods (specific certificate program to be decided in conjunction with mentors and based upon fellows’ professional goals)
2. Complete basic core curriculum in biostatistics, epidemiology, maternal and child health, and intro to public health.
Field Experience
The fellow will be given the opportunity to create a research program that matches her/his professional goals. Potential sites and topics include:

a. Nigeria, Ghana, India , collaborate with Stacie Geller, Maternal Health

b. Kenya, collaborate with Robert Bailey (school of public health), HIV/STI

c. Rural India, collaborate with Bryna Harwood, Family Planning

d. Tanzania, collaborate with Dr Betsy Abrams, Dept of Anthropology

e. Humanitarian aid and relief work, i.e. UIC efforts in Haiti

f. Medical mission trips, i.e. Bolivia

g. NGO, program directorships

h. Collaborative efforts with other fellowship programs

i. Self-directed programs in health education, health promotion, public health, medical education, etc.



Details on Fellowship structure
Training in the fellowship will allow the fellow to tailor their experience based on individual interest while providing a foundation for work in global women’s health. Areas of focus may include capacity building, educational programs, program implementation, outcomes research, and international public health. Fellows will meet with mentors every two weeks at the initial stages of the fellowship, and monthly and as-needed after the first 4 months.



Duration of fellowship
The fellowship is a two year program which incorporates the public health coursework, clinical obstetrics and gynecology responsibilities, and global health field work/research. A one year fellowship is possible for those that have already received their MPH degree at the discretion of the fellowship directors.

The structure of the fellowship is primarily divided into six general areas:
1. Clinical: The fellow will work as clinical faculty in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at a University of Illinois teaching hospital. The fellow will be responsible for clinical work such as continuity clinics, labor and delivery coverage and call, as well as conference and/or grand round presentations.
2. International field work: The fellow will be working abroad on international health projects. These international experiences are generally arranged by the fellow with supervision of the fellowship director. These experiences can range anywhere from evaluation/research, to basic health care/intervention, to implementing new training curriculums in different countries, to public health response. It is expected that the fellow will be able to generate a publication and/or participation in a scientific meeting. Depending upon coursework and clinical work responsibilities, the fellow may have up to 4-6 months of international experience.
3. Didactic: The fellow during the course of the program will get exposure to the public health issues related to practice and international health coursework and certificate programs in Public Health at the University of Illinois School of Public Health. The fellow will be responsible for the application to the certificate program of choice. In addition, the fellow will complete the core curriculum and will attend courses specific to international health, including the international public health seminar and health issues related to displaced populations. The didactic portion of the fellowship has been designed to give the fellow a strong base in public health and global women’s health. The possibility of completing an MPH instead of a certificate can be discussed with mentors.
4. Research: Each fellow is required to become involved in some aspect of a research project during the program. Collaboration is encouraged with other departments, schools and/or institutions. Incorporated within the research arm is exposure to grant writing and aspects of obtaining funds for projects. The research experience should include international conference attendance.
5. Administrative: The fellow will engage in administrative activity in the form of organizing, planning, and implementing different aspects of projects. He/she will also obtain experience through programs within other institutions.
6. Language: The fellow will demonstrate efforts towards a language proficiency in a language of their choosing.

Appointment of fellows
Fellowships are awarded for a two year period. Each fellow will receive an appointment at the University of Illinois College of Medicine as clinical instructor. The fellow will be responsible for approximately 20 clinical hours per week when not on international trips.

Evaluation
The fellowship directors, along with the department of obstetrics and gynecology will annually evaluate the fellowship curriculum as it relates to stated goals and objectives.

Evaluation of the fellows will occur on a biannual basis throughout the duration of the program. Clinical performance in the obstetrics and gynecology department will be conducted as per the department guidelines. International fieldwork evaluation will be performed by the associated contacts and via supervision by the fellowship directors.



Collaborations
As the development of the Global Women’s Health Fellowship continues, we emphasize the cooperation with other institutions on projects and sharing of ideas. Current collaborators include Dr. Stacie Geller in Maternal Health in Nigeria, Ghana and India. We also have a relationship with Dr. Robert Bailey and his project in HIV/STI prevention in Kisumu, Kenya. We also are developing a partnership in Rural India through the section of family planning. We work with various NGOs and corporations in providing medical service advisorship and international experiences. In addition, we work with several multi-disciplinary entities within the University of Illinois and the surrounding community.


Requirements
Interested candidates must be residency trained, board eligible/board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Candidates should have a strong desire to contribute to the field of international health.

Applications
Deadline for applications September 15, 2010. To apply, please send* a letter of interest (please include research interests, why you are applying for the fellowship, what you hope to gain from the fellowship, experience with global health/diverse patient populations, etc.), a brief personal statement, and a curriculum vitae to:
Sherry Nordstrom MD or Tracy Irwin, MD, MPH
Directors, Global Women’s Health Fellowship
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
820 S. Wood St. M/C 808
Chicago, IL 60612
Office: 312-996-7430
Fax: 312-996-4238

Contact detail: sherryn@uic.edu, tracyi@uic.edu
Moreinfo: http://chicago.medicine.uic.edu/departments___programs/departments/obgyn/global_women_s_health/global_women_s_health_fellowship
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