Three medical students win honors at UTMB Global Health Symposium

By Jessica Binkley

mother and child
Amanda Groover’s “A Case of Headache.”

Three students in the Long School of Medicine won top awards at the 8th Annual UTMB Global Health Education Symposium Oct. 12 in Galveston.

The symposium at the University of Texas Medical Branch brought together medical students, residents, fellows and faculty who have participated in global health field work to share their research and clinical experiences from abroad.

The UT Health San Antonio students who participated in the symposium are all enrolled in the Global Health Program in the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics. This program gives students the opportunity to travel across the globe to provide care and education in developing countries and underserved communities.

Jordan Garcia, a third-year medical student, won 1st place for her oral presentation, “Change is Afoot: A Multimodal Approach to Controlling a Tungiasis Outbreak Among School Children in Rural Ethiopia.” Garcia was part of a team of students who worked in Aleta Wondo, Ethiopia, over the summer to provide school-based health care to children and families as part of a partnership with a local nonprofit organization. While there, an outbreak of parasitic sand fleas spread throughout Aleta Wondo and the team not only helped to treat the outbreak, but created a comprehensive education program to prevent further infection.

Second-year medical student Amanda Groover was also part of the team in Ethiopia. Her photo, “A Case of Headache,” won 1st place in the photography competition. The photo depicts a mother and child awaiting treatment. A noticeable burn scar can be seen on the mother’s temple, which, according to Groover, is a result of a local healing method used to treat headaches.

Garrett Kneese won 1st place for his presentation, “Latin American Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Systematic Review of Publications and Endeavors from 2008-2018.” In collaboration with former faculty member and Distinguished Alumna, Janet Realini, M.D., M.P.H., Kneese worked with a local nonprofit, schools and the Ecuadorian Ministries of Education and Health to design and implement a comprehensive reproductive health education program for high school students in rural Ecuador.

In total, 14 UT Health San Antonio students in the Global Health Program also attended and presented posters at the symposium, representing their field work in six countries.

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