INTERSECT-Ellison Fellowship


The goal of the INTERSECT-Ellison Fellowship program is to support trainees in the conduct of a project that will promote the trainee’s career development (as a researcher or educator) in respiratory disease or critical care in resource-limited settings.


Each fellowship provides up to $2,000 to be used within a 12 month period. Funds can be used for research- or training-related activities. Funds cannot be used to travel to meetings.


  • Trainee (preference given to fellows but residents considered) working with an INTERSECT faculty member
  • Project related to respiratory disease or critical care in a resource-limited setting
  • Project clearly enhances trainee’s career development

Application process:

  • Applications will be considered in two cycles per year. The deadlines for submission of applications are January 15 (to start March 1) and July 5 (to start September 1).
  • Applicants should submit a 1-2 page project proposal to
  • The proposal should clearly state the project’s objectives and methods, how the project will benefit the trainee’s career, and a brief budget.
  • Proposals will be reviewed by a panel upon receipt and successful applicants will be notified before the start date.


Successful applicants will be expected to publish the results of their project and to communicate their findings to the Ellison family. Awardees should acknowledge this funding on any presentations, abstracts, and publications resulting from the project.


Current Trainees


Amy Walker, MD

Dr. Walker is an Emergency Medicine Resident at the University of Washington, with a longstanding interest in global health and critical care. Her interest is in developing capacity for high-quality critical care in low-resource settings and educational development, with particular focus on how to create effective teamwork dynamics and communication within a multidisciplinary team. She is fascinated by how culture impacts these dynamics and the flexibility and task shifting that must occur in a low-resource setting.
With the INTERSECT-Ellison fellowship, she will continue the work of several former fellowship recipients, traveling to Cambodia to help teach and implement a mechanical ventilation curriculum with a team of American and Cambodian doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists, with the goal that this will ultimately become a self-sustaining curriculum taught by the Cambodian healthcare providers. Her own personal interest in global health and critical care arose from experiences working in the Children’s Surgical Center in Cambodia in 2011, and she is extremely happy to have the opportunity to return to Phnom Penh for this work.

Vichta Muny, RRT

The Mechanical Ventilation training in Phnom Penh is a very meaningful project for me as respiratory care practitioner and a fellow Cambodian. Through the support from INTERSECT-ELLISON fellowship and my involvement with the project, my hope is to return to Cambodia with the knowledge that I have attained as a recent graduate, share ideas, and further develop my career as a respiratory therapist. In a country such as Cambodia, where respiratory infection and disease is one of the leading causes of death, I hope to bring more awareness and emphasize on proper respiratory hygiene through the education and experience that I am receiving from UW/HMC. This mission will be the gateway to allow me to assess the needs not only for mechanical ventilation training, but also for the necessity for efficient respiratory care practice in general.

Samantha Kaplan, MD

My research will utilize a subset of data collected from my mentors Dr. Sylvia LaCourse and Dr. Grace John-Stewart’s ongoing study entitled “Mother Infant TB Infection Prevalence and Incidence Study (MITIPS)” in Kisumu, Kenya. The broad objective of this study is to determine the impact of maternal HIV on maternal peripartum and infant MTB infection incidence and to evaluate the effect of maternal HIV status and peripartum stage on LTBI test performance. My study will seek to compare maternal MTB antigen responses between HIV positive and HIV negative mothers at baseline, and to correlate these responses with maternal clinical correlates using logistic regression.

Jerry Zifodya, MD, MPH

Dr. Zifodya is a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellow at the University of Washington. His research interest is in chronic lung disease in sub-Saharan Africa. He has recently been awarded a Fogarty Global Health Scholars fellowship and will spend a year carrying out research at Kisumu County Hospital in Kenya. His research project will focus on the prevalence of and risk factors for chronic lung disease in Kisumu comparing HIV-infected to HIV-uninfected individuals. He will also evaluate the relationship of chronic lung disease and cardiovascular disease with HIV infection, history of tuberculosis infection, clinical markers of tuberculosis, and biomarkers of inflammation and immune activation. He hopes his research will help shed light on the risk factors and potential mechanisms for chronic lung disease in this understudied and underserved population.



Past Trainees


Rache Mureau-Haines, ARNP, DNP

Rache Mureau-Haines is a nurse practitioner at the University of Washington Medical Center, in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit. In 2016 she completed a global health fellowship working with US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has worked with University of Washington in several other projects based in East Africa. She is particularly interested in capacity building in low infrastructure settings, with an emphasis on training nurses. Over her time in Cambodia supported by the Ellison Fellowship, she will conduct a needs assessment and identify local partner physicians for developing critical care training and future quality improvement programs with INTEREST. She will meet with physicians and nurses in the ICUs to identify a team and develop a plan for implementing multidisciplinary training planned to start fall of 2018. This critical care training will be a collaborative effort between University of Washington and Cambodian physicians and nurses and will focus on topics identified by local providers during the needs assessment. This project supplements and expands the International Nursing Program at University of Washington which supports Cambodian and UWMC nurses in critical care training. She hopes this trip will be an opportunity to share how nurses, physicians, and other healthcare staff can work together in both the US and abroad to achieve better care.

Diana_JohnsonDiana Johnson, CCRN, RN

Diana Johnson, CCRN, RN is a nurse at Seattle Children’s Emergency Department but has mainly worked in adult critical care units.  In 2014 she managed an HIV program in the Central African Republic for Doctors Without Borders and has had a passion for global health ever since. For the last two years she has been working with INTERSECT, the International Nursing Project and a team of doctors and nurses to educate on ventilator use and interdisciplinary care in Cambodia.  She hopes to continue to help in designing the ventilator course to make it easier for local Cambodian practitioners to teach and learn from. In her spare time Diana enjoys studying foreign languages, whitewater kayaking and organizing outdoor adventures with friends and family.

cora-sackCora Sack, MD

Dr. Sack is a recent graduate of the pulmonary/ critical care fellowship at the University of Washington and is pursuing a Masters in Public Health.  Her research focuses on environmental causes of chronic respiratory and cardiovascular disease and, in particular, the adverse effects of air pollution.   She has a longstanding interest in medical education and improving care in low resource settings.  As a recipient of the INTERSECT-Ellison Fellowship, she will continue ongoing efforts to revise the formal pulmonary and critical care curriculum for medical student and residents at the University of Health Sciences in Cambodia.  In collaboration with the International Nursing Program, she will act as a liaison to integrate INTERSECT physicians into clinical training workshops in Phnom Penh.  In the summer of 2017, she will return to the University of Washington to continue training as an environmental and occupational health fellow.

Andrew-George-LimAndrew George Lim, MD, MS

Andrew George Lim, MD, MS is a resident physician in emergency medicine at the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center. His research interests include the implementation of emergency care systems and critical care education in low-resource settings. With the INTERSECT-Ellison Fellowship, Andrew will be traveling to Cambodia to design and execute a mechanical ventilation training course for physicians and nurses working in ICUs and EDs in Phnom Penh. Along with other INTERSECT fellows, he was involved with the design of the pilot course in 2016, focusing on enhancing physician and nursing communication with an emphasis on multidisciplinary simulation and case-based training. His work in 2017 will expand upon this foundation by building a training-of-trainers component of the curriculum to increase capacity for local nurse and physician educators for future generations.

Andrew has been involved with emergency medicine residency curriculum development in Tanzania, and has taught trauma management, public health and disease prevention for community health workers and backpack medics in eastern Myanmar’s conflict areas.

Jody_WaldronJody Waldron, MD

Dr. Waldron is an Internal Medicine and Palliative Care physician at Harborview Medical Center.  He has a particular interest in development of critical care and palliative care capacity in resource limited settings, and how skills learned in these settings can improve cross cultural end of life care for our patients in Seattle. Over two weeks he will lead more than 10 interactive case based discussions regarding medical management of severe heart failure and intracranial hemorrhage with attention to communications and symptom management skills to help patients and families in times of critical illness.  Several of these sessions will be in collaboration with ICU nursing colleagues from UWMC as a part of the International Nursing Program.  The target groups will be physicians and nurses from the Medical and Neonatal ICU’s, the Oncology department, as well as residents and medical students from the University of Health Sciences. An important part of this trip will be strengthening connections with the Oncology department of Calmette Hospital, to be a part of discussions surrounding the planning of a dedicated palliative care ward in a new national cancer center. He will also be working with local clinicians from the Oncology department to develop training material and treatment tools for pain and other symptom management of patients with cancer.  In addition he will be working with local partners to plan for a weeklong session for medical students at the University of Health Sciences surrounding communication and Palliative Care in the Fall of 2017. He hopes that the cross cultural communication experience will help him better serve the Cambodian refugee patient population at Harborview.

Rachael_CollordRachael Collord, RN, CCRN

Rachael Collord, RN, CCRN is a cardiothoracic ICU nurse at the University of Washington Medical Center. She has been a member of the leadership board for the UW International Nursing Exchange Program (INP) since 2015, helping build capacity in nursing workforce training and education in low-resource settings; both in Cambodia, and as the Nepal Site Co-Coordinator. Representing the nursing perspective from the INP, in summer of 2016 she collaborated with other INTERSECT-Ellison fellows to develop the curriculum and lead a multidisciplinary approach mechanical ventilation training course. She plans to return this July to teach the course a second time with a training of trainers focus. As a current MPH student in the department of Global Health at UW, the INTERSECT-Ellison fellowship will support her as principle investigator to explore her research focus on the qualitative and anthropological analysis of barriers and facilitators to communication, and fostering multidisciplinary care in low-resource setting ICUs/ERs.

LaCourseSylvia LaCourse, MD

Dr. LaCourse is an Infectious Disease Fellow at the University of Washington, pursuing a Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology-Global Health Track. In collaboration with Drs. David Horne (Pulmonary Critical Care/Global Health) and Grace John-Stewart (Medicine/Pediatrics/Global Health/Epidemiology/Infectious Disease) she has been involved in a cross-sectional study evaluating the prevalence of pulmonary TB and MTB infection, including an evaluation of the performance of the WHO TB symptom screen, Xpert MTB/RIF, and urine TB-LAM tests, among HIV-infected pregnant women in western Kenya. The INTERSECT-Ellison fellowship is helping to fund a MTB infection incidence study in this same population. A better understanding of the effect of HIV and pregnancy on the acquisition of MTB infection, including an evaluation of the our most commonly employed tests (tuberculin skin tests and interferon gamma release assays) has important implications for the timing of screening and TB prevention efforts (including the provision of preventive therapy) among mothers and their infants in high HIV/TB prevalence settings.

unnamedChris Hallberg

Chris is a medical student at the University of Washington. He is interested in the development of low cost, technologically appropriate medical devices related to respiratory health. He was previously involved in the design and clinical testing of an electricity free nebulizer which was recently adopted by the Ministry of Health in El Salvador. The INTERSECT-Ellison fellowship is funding research into the development of a low cost ultrasonic spirometer. Spirometers are an essential tool for the diagnosis and management of respiratory disease but they are sensitive instruments, requiring frequent recalibration with costly test equipment, making them unsuitable for use in low resource settings. Spirometers using ultrasonic transducers for flow measurement are immune to changes in temperature and humidity, and therefore do not require routine calibration. Unfortunately, commercially available ultrasonic spirometers are among the most expensive spirometers, costing more than $1,000. We’ve developed a prototype device that would cost less than $100 to manufacture. The received funding will support refinement of the prototype, development of specialized test equipment and a needs assessment trip to El Salvador.

Lia Golden, RNLia Golden, RN

Lia, a Registered Nurse, is engaged in several educational nursing endeavors. In 2011 Ms. Golden developed the International Nursing Program (INP), in an effort to improve health through international collaboration and innovation. The INP pursues these objectives using nursing exchanges, research, and education. The INP forms international partnerships with nursing departments of hospitals with very limited resources. The collaboration begins with a formal needs assessment, using tools developed by Ms. Golden, to guide interviews, observations, and staff surveys. Following data analysis and with contributions from international partners, a Nursing Training and Education program is developed targeting the identified needs of each institution, creating specific quality improvement initiatives. The United States team of healthcare professionals then works with international partnerships to help implement, educate, and deliver training.

Current INP projects include sites in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Manaus, Brazil. In Phnom Penh, needs assessments have been completed in the ICUs of Calmette Hospital and Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital. Together with colleagues from INTERSECT, the University of Health Sciences in Phnom Penh, and Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (SCARMU) the data will be used to develop a formal training curriculum on critical care nursing.

Similar to our Cambodia site, the INP has conducted a formal nursing needs assessment at Hospital Adriano Jorge. Working with the Ministry of Health in Manaus, Adiano Jorge nursing colleagues, and a national Brazilian transplant team (HEPATO), we will use the results to create a specific program for nursing education and training. This program will focus on critical care with additional training for liver and kidney transplant patient populations.

At each site Ms. Golden’s hope is to foster a longitudinal relationship between the INP, INTERSECT, and international colleagues in order to improve the nursing capacity and delivery of critical care. The goal is to develop tools for nursing needs assessments in an international environment, and analyze the efficacy of the resulting developed programs.

In addition to her focus with the INP, Ms. Golden is also a nurse consultant and nurse educator. Ms. Golden is a featured lecturer for international symposiums; an international professor; and has helped to develop liver and kidney transplant centers in areas of Brazil.

image001Tyler J. Albert, MD

Clinical training in mechanical ventilation has been identified as a top-priority by ICU directors and academic heads in Cambodia.  With this in mind we will be conducting formal needs assessments at Calmette Hospital and the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh, identifying the needs for, and barriers to, mechanical ventilation and respiratory care, including staff training and equipment.  Together with colleagues from INTERSECT, the French Cooperation at the University of Health Sciences in Phnom Penh, and the Cambodian Society of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (SCARMU) we will use this data to develop a formal teaching curriculum on mechanical ventilation and respiratory care training for nursing staff and physicians in ICUs in Phnom Penh. Training will consist of four to six workshops held over a two year period, augmented by continuing educational opportunities (Skype discussions, email communication, and webcast lectures) offered on an ongoing basis. Each workshop will last 2 or 3-days and will focus on priority topics in mechanical ventilation.  We are hoping to foster a longitudinal relationship between INTERSECT and our Cambodian and French colleagues in order to improve the delivery of critical care in resource-poor settings.

Engi Attia, MD

Dr. Attia is a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellow at the University of Washington, pursuing a Master in Public Health. Her research interests involve the intersection of chronic lung disease and HIV infection. In collaboration with the UW Department of Global Health’s Treatment, Research and Expert Education (TREE) program at the Coptic Hope Center in Nairobi, Kenya, she is examining chronic obstructive lung disease and associated risk factors among adolescents with vertically-acquired HIV infection. She is a recipient of the 2013 Thomas Francis, Jr. Global Health Fellowship, a grant providing support for this study.

Kristina Rudd, MD

Kristina is a hospitalist at the University of Michigan who was recently an Internal Medicine resident who worked with Dr. Eoin West. She is interested in academic Pulmonary and Critical Care medicine with a focus on Global Health, and has a background in International Development. She is studying the presentation, management, and outcomes of sepsis in adult and pediatric inpatients at Bwindi Community Hospital (BCH) in Southwest Uganda. The hospital serves a rural catchment area of approximately 100,000 people, many of whom are marginalized and very poor. She is working closely with Ugandan colleagues at the hospital, and is spending one month collecting prospective observational data through chart review and point-of-care lab testing. Kristina hopes that her findings will help inform future management of patients at BCH as well as other resource-limited settings.

Laura Hooper, MD, MPH

Dr. Hooper is a Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine Fellow at the University of Washington. Her research interest is chronic lung disease in developing countries with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. She is currently working on a study of pediatric asthma and community perceptions of indoor air pollution in Senegal. Previously, she worked with CDC-Kenya on influenza surveillance and studying seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness. She plans to pursue Pulmonary Fellowship after residency.

In collaboration with Dr. Justin Ortiz, Dr. Hooper is studying pediatric asthma prevalence and community perceptions of indoor air pollution in rural Senegal. The prevalence of asthma in West Africa is largely unknown. A goal of this study is to enhance the global asthma map and begin characterizing the asthma burden in Senegal. Indoor air pollution from inefficient, biomass cookstoves poses a significant health risk for most of the developing world. The secondary aim of this study is to assess perceptions of smoke exposure and determine the stove characteristics that would improve uptake and sustainable utilization of more efficient, cleaner burning stoves.