Global WACh

January 16, 2018

Spotlight on Global WACh Certificate Students: Elizabeth Karman and Sheldon Halstead










Second year MPH students, Elizabeth and Sheldon recently returned from a six-month stay in Gondar, Ethiopia as SCOPE Fellows. Both students provided invaluable support on the Faith Leaders Advocating for Maternal Empowerment (FLAME) study, which aims to validate SCOPE’s strategy of integrating local Orthodox Priests into community-level health promotion. Elizabeth visited rural health centers to assess the maternity care services available, and worked with an interdisciplinary team of Ethiopian providers and researchers to analyze and map the data collected. Sheldon assisted a University of Gondar study team with the development and implementation of qualitative baseline data collection, namely focus group discussions with religious leaders, pregnant women, and male partners. Elizabeth’s assessment data and Sheldon’s results from the discussions will be used to inform and optimize the FLAME intervention.

Elizabeth Karman_Global Healthies2017 Elizabeth’s experiences in rural Ethiopia brought her recent classroom work in maternal and child health to life.   “This area of Ethiopia has a high maternal mortality rate, and low rates of skilled delivery attendance.  However, I was reminded with each visit that simply providing services is not enough.  The community also needs to perceive the services as being appropriate, high quality, and needed. I am tremendously interested in the quality of care for women, adolescents and children in sub-Saharan Africa, and I see myself working in this field as a career.”  Her passion and interest truly transcend beyond her words.  Last week at the Department of Global Health’s 4th annual Global Healthies Award Ceremony, which recognizes student excellence and achievements, Elizabeth was the recipient of the Public Service and Direct Care award for her work as a SCOPE Fellow.

Sheldon Halstead 2Sheldon is very grateful for her SCOPE fellowship and truly believes in the power of medical and faith partnerships to improve health.   “Through living and working in country, I gained a deeper understanding of the integral role religion plays in Ethiopians’ lives and how to leverage that influence to improve health outcomes.  In the future I hope to pursue a career in program implementation.  Working on the FLAME study provided me with the invaluable experience of learning how to implement global health interventions in rural settings.”