Kristofer Sherwood | Elisha Nziengui Boussengui | Anna McDonald

| Sharon Brown Kunin | Khamp Southisombath

Kristofer Sherwood, MD, Global Health Fellow 2012-2013

J. Kristofer Sherwood, MD was the first global health fellow in the 2012-2013 academic year. He received his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School and completed his family medicine residency at the University of Washington in the Roosevelt/Northgate track.

Dr. Sherwood first became involved in the field of global health in the summer of 2006 between his first and second year of medical school. He traveled with his friend Deogratias “Deo” Niyzonkiza and others to the nation of Burundi in east Africa to continue preparations for a medical center in the village of Kigutu, Burundi. Dr. Sherwood spent the trip traveling with Deo and others to lay the groundwork for the medical center, including meeting with community leaders, government officials, construction contractors, and health officials.

Shortly after this trip, Deo founded the organization Village Health Works ( to support the construction and operation of a health center in Kigutu. During the subsequent years, Dr. Sherwood continued to work to raise funds, find resources, and raise awareness for Village Health Works in the USA. Village Health Works started seeing patients in December 2006 and have since seen well over 50,000 patients. They continue to offer a comprehensive community health program that includes inpatient and outpatient care in addition to economic, agriculture, and education programs to help relieve the extreme poverty that affects the region.

In August of 2011, Dr. Sherwood returned to Kigutu during a residency elective to work as a volunteer clinician for Village Health Works. He helped the Burundian medical staff provide medical care for Village Health Works’ patients and assisted in training activities for the medical staff.  Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of the visit for Dr. Sherwood was the opportunity to work so closely with the Burundian medical staff and exchange knowledge for the betterment of patient care.

After completion of the fellowship, Dr. Sherwood hopes to secure a career in which he can continue to provide excellent patient care to immigrants, refugees, and travelers in the USA, including by serving as a resource and teacher in his community. He also hopes to continue to work closely with Village Health Works to expand and improve their clinical programs as able through work at home and abroad.

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Elisha Nziengui Boussengui, MD, Global Health Fellow 2013-2014

Dr. Elisha Nziengui Boussengui straddles the worlds between Montana, Seattle, and Gabon, Africa. Originally from Montana, she served in the Peace Corps in Gabon. It is there that she acquired her lifelong commitment to international medical service. She attended medical school at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and completed her residency with the University of Washington Family Medicine residency. The missions of family medicine and international medicine – that of viewing patient health and disease in the context of the patient, the patient’s family, and culture – mirrors her own approach to life, where each life event is seen by how it fits into the “bigger picture.” She intends to create a future medical practice that incorporates her passions for full spectrum family medicine, teaching, Montana, and Gabon. Outside of medicine, she enjoys the outdoors, the performing arts, and, chiefly, spending time with her family, including her young children.

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Anna McDonald, MD, MPH, Global Health Fellow 2014-2015

Having spent the majority of my life rooted in the southern culture of North Carolina, I moved to Seattle to see what life would be like on the “best coast”. I completed my undergrad at Duke University, then spent the next year living and working in various public health and clinical settings in Guatemala, Peru, and Tanzania – an experience that confirmed my desire to spend my life working towards providing basic healthcare services to the world’s most vulnerable populations. To that end, I began my medical education at the University of North Carolina, taking an extra year to complete my MPH at Harvard University, with a concentration in Global Health. When it came time to choose a residency program, I was drawn to the Swedish Family Medicine program and the Downtown Family Medicine Clinic because of the ubiquitous commitment to working with underserved populations, the wealth of international experience, and the passion and commitment to leading political and social change I found in the faculty and my co-residents there. Completing residency in a health department-based training system allowed me to learn from and care for some of Seattle’s most vulnerable populations, and furthered my commitment to this type of work. I became involved with Seattle’s Ethiopian community and helped to lead a series of health education sessions at the monthly community meetings, and eventually got to spend a month in Gondar, Ethiopia, working towards the development of a new Family Medicine curriculum there. I am excited to continue to pursue my wide array of interests within family medicine – global health policy, maternal and child health, and advocating for social justice/eliminating health disparities – during my fellowship year at UW.

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Sharon Brown Kunin, DO, MS, Global Health Fellow 2015-2016

Growing up in Oakland, CA, I developed a desire to work with underserved communities from an early age. My passion for global health ignited at the Harvard School of Public Health. My studies in Maternal & Child Health, Health Policy, and International Health, set a strong foundation for my life’s work. As an Albert Schweitzer fellow, I met a group of like-minded health professionals all working with the common goal of helping underserved communities. Then a trip to Bangladesh shaped my dream to combine global health and medicine. This experience inspired me to go to medical school so that I could make a significant impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations. My travels to rural Ghana, working with one of my medical school classmates to build medical clinics in remote areas of Africa, was both inspiring and life-changing. By visiting and living in countries around the world, including Israel, Africa, and South America, I learned to communicate effectively with children and families across language and cultural barriers. I have worked on multidisciplinary medical and research teams at Stanford and UCSF all with a common goal of patient health and wellness. Beyond medicine, what gives me joy and inspiration is spending time with my 3 children, running, and traveling. In the future, I aspire to deliver effective interventions to patients who need them the most and to be a part of a movement that helps bridge the gap of knowledge and practice in global health around the world.

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Khamp Southisombath, MD, Global Health Fellow 2016-2017

My family came from Laos to the United States as refugees when I was five years old. I grew up in a very diverse and low-socioeconomic area in Fresno, California and subsequently  was exposed to the many health disparities faced by my community. This prompted my decision to become a doctor. My love of teaching and the belief that one’s health is dependent on so many different social, economic, and cultural factors was why I specialized in the field of Family Medicine. I graduated from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and completed my Family Medicine Residency at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.

During my medical training, I’ve had opportunities to participate in international programs such as the Himalayan Health Exchange and Health Leadership International in India and Laos respectively. Through these experiences, I witnessed the obstacles facing medical education at a global level, the detrimental effects it had on health care delivery, and most importantly how I can make a difference. Because of this, health care sustainability and improvement through medical education is a strong interest of mine and the reason for my pursuing a career in global health.

Lastly, I’m very excited to join the UW family as a Global Health Fellow. I’ve spent the majority of my life in “sunny” California and am looking forward to see what all the fuss is about in “rainy” Seattle!


Tara Simpson, MD, Global Health Fellow 2018-2019

I was born in Salt Lake City, UT, and moved with my family to Guadalajara, Mexico at the age of four. Ten wonderful years later, we moved to Vancouver, B.C., and upon graduating from high school in Vancouver, I came to UW to join the top-ranked Women’s Tennis team (and to study biochemistry). After graduating and working at Harborview Medical Center for two years, I began medical school at UWSOM. Upon completing the program, I joined UW Family Medicine residency program and am now looking forward to sticking around as a Global Health Fellow. I am particularly excited to continue my work in the implementation of clinician educator tracks and to explore the development of family medicine training programs worldwide while also pursuing my interests in refugee and immigrant health, travel medicine, and other academic endeavors.