Liu Bie Ju Endowed Fellowship for Excellence in Women’s Health
R/UOP (the Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program) allows approximately 100 medical students to spend a month immersing themselves in the life of a medical practice in an underserved community in the summer between their first and second years at the UW School of Medicine. Approximately half of these students — the students who will benefit from this fellowship — also use the rotation as an opportunity to complete their graduation requirement for a community medicine project, the Independent Investigative Inquiry (III). Many students select topics that concern the health of rural women, such as breast-cancer screening, emergency contraception, or osteoporosis prevention.
These students have very limited resources to complete their projects: to distribute brochures and pamphlets, for instance, or to create enduring materials to use at health fairs or community talks. This endowment will augment students’ ability to carry out their projects.
This fellowship is named after Madame Liu Bie Ju, a prominent civic leader and philanthropist in Hong Kong, and beloved grandmother to Dr. Emily Yen Wong, a faculty member at UW Medicine. Madame Liu Bie Ju comes from a strong industrialist tradition; she spent many years living and working in rural China. Health-care services were often not available to her family, particularly during wartime, resulting in tremendous personal tragedy and sacrifice.
Madame Liu Bie Ju’s life has been exemplified by devotion to family, commitment to service, and compassion for the underprivileged. Her endowment recognizes the importance of women’s health as a critical contribution to the health of families and communities, particularly rural communities.