Global Outreach

A UMass Boston student volunteers at a free clinic through Kenya Heart and Sole, one of the college’s global initiatives.

Global Health

  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences faculty tackle malnutrition in China, health disparities in Korea

  • Students, faculty, provide primary health care, screenings in Honduras and Kenya

Hasan Bailey (’12, College of Nursing and Health Sciences) already knows where he is going to be spending his summer. The West Yarmouth native is going to be returning to Honduras for the second time to serve on a volunteer medical team; he’ll be providing health screenings and basic medical treatment at a free clinic.

“The university’s mission is to provide services and opportunity to populations who are in need,” Bailey says. “Honduras is a country that can benefit from the research and services that students can provide.”

During the 2011 trip, Bailey gathered data such as height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels. Hermine Poghosyan, a fourth year PhD student in nursing from Armenia, is helping to compile the data for Assistant Professor of Nursing Lisa Kennedy Sheldon’s research project. In August 2011, Sheldon and three other members of the International Cancer Corps team went to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to work with oncology nurses there.

“I chose UMass Boston’s Department of Nursing’s PhD program because of its focus on health policy and its goal of preparing students to be policy analysts, researchers, and educators,” Poghosyan says. “The PhD program in nursing gives me an opportunity to work with nationally and internationally known researchers and policy experts and obtain new skills and knowledge.”

“As the university educates the next generation of health care professionals in the classroom, we also benefit greatly from the education we receive when given the opportunity to practice in a global environment,” Bailey adds.

Honduras is just one country in which the University of Massachusetts Boston’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences is making an impact. The college’s faculty and students also lead service learning, health care, and educational programs in Kenya, Scotland, Korea, Israel, Indonesia, China, and Bangladesh.

Assistant Professor Ling Shi and her collaborators at Peking University Health Science Center implemented an intervention trial in a rural area of China designed to provide the following: training on food preparation and hygiene, recipe demonstrations, and individual counseling. Shi and her team showed that educating and motivating families to regularly incorporate available and affordable animal source foods that were not usually fed to infants resulted in improvements in children’s growth and nutrition. Shi is also involved in improving the blood supply in China.

Associate Professor of Nursing Haeok Lee has worked to help raise awareness of health disparities among socioeconomically disadvantaged populations transnationally. Much of her research has focused on the disproportionate number of Asian-American Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) afflicted with the Hepatitis B (HBV) virus and liver cancer. Lee has conducted a community assessment in Cambodia and Korea on the need of liver and cervical cancer prevention and vaccination, which pointed to the importance of measuring and understanding social determinants of health to improve the population’s health status.

Kenya Heart and Sole: The Afya Njema Project aims to partner with Kenyan nurses to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health in Kenya. By emphasizing community engagement, self-management, feasibility, relevance to the Kenyan people and sustainability, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences is working hand in hand with Kenyan partners to create a uniquely Kenyan solution to the problem. Kenya Heart and Sole is a partnership among the college, Health for Nations, the Tumutumu Hospital School of Nursing, the Kijabe Hospital School of Nursing, and the University of Nairobi School of Nursing Sciences.

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