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Gates Foundation Grant Expands Nursing Program

[Photo: The Foege Fellowship Program brings health professionals from developing countries to study at Rollins. The current fellows are Joseph Davies of Sierra Leone (left), Herty Herjati of Indonesia, Asrat Amnie of Ethiopia, and Andrina Mwansambo of Malawi.]

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $1.1 million grant to expand the William H. Foege Fellowships in Global Health. The new funding will increase the number of fellows each year and help fulfill a program goal of maintaining ties with fellowship alumni, says Deborah McFarland, associate professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health and director of the Foege Fellowship Program.

“This grant will allow us to plan a meeting to bring all of our fellows and alumni together as part of the warranty that we have for the program—to keep them connected to Emory and us to them,” says McFarland. “We also will use it as a lever to support and develop a one-year MPH program in global health for fellows who are unable to come for the two-year MPH program.”

The Foege fellowships were established in 2003 through a $5 million endowment from the Gates Foundation. They are named to honor the career achievements of William Foege, Presidential Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Global Health at Rollins and senior medical adviser to the Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program.

Fellows in the program come from developing countries to study at Rollins, where they partner with mentors at CDC, the Carter Center, the Task Force for Global Health, and Care USA.

Current Foege Fellows include Andrina Mwansambo, a physician and leader in HIV/AIDS policy from Malawi; Herty Herjati, a physician and maternal health specialist from Indonesia; Joseph Davies of Sierra Leone, who has worked with CARE USA; and Asrat Amnie, a physician and public health official from Ethiopia.

Since arriving at Rollins last August, Amnie has learned new methods to complement his clinical skills and improve health in his home country and around the globe.

“When I first worked as a hospital surgeon, I realized that people suffered more from deficiencies than diseases,” he says. “I began to realize that improvements in public health and public policy were things people needed to overcome this.”

After accepting a government position as a regional public health director, he traveled widely, and his interest in global health and its impact on disadvantaged populations grew. In that role, Amnie worked closely with the Carter Center. On a trip to Atlanta, he visited Emory and subsequently was nominated for a Foege fellowship by the Carter Center.

“When I finish my studies, I would like to live and work globally on behalf of the underserved and for the good of humanity,” Amnie says. “I want to improve public health in developing countries by translating research into policy and practice and working to bridge the gap between public health and clinical medicine.”

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