Interested in human responses to adversity, I worked with inner-city youth, resettling refugees, and families in the West Bank through college. Particularly keen on responses from the faith community to issues of suffering, I completed the Master's of Divinity at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and was ordained as a Christian minister. After my wife and I volunteered at a pediatric HIV clinic in Malawi (southeast Africa) in 2009, I realized I needed further training to be of most use to those coping with major health and development challenges - pediatric AIDS, orphanhood, lack of clean water/food, etc. I completed the Master's in Public Health degree at the University of Texas, School of Public Health upon returning and am currently a candidate for the doctoral degree in Public Health. My interests are in evaluating programmatic responses to community-wide issues, such as the transmission of HIV from mother to child and the over 42 million orphan youth in sub-Saharan Africa. From the faith- and community-based sectors there are a lot of innovative responses to major global challenges, but these are not often evaluated, preventing needed contributions to peer-reviewed scientific literature seeking to establish best-practices. I have conducted five research projects in Kenya, working with orphans and vulnerable children, street children, and community beliefs related to voluntary counseling and testing for HIV, family planning and immunization. I helped establish scholarship programs for poor but deserving students in Malawi and Nicaragua, and established free clinics for underserved populations along the Texas-Mexico border and in Peru. My life's work is to help reduce the gap between global health practice and literature, and to help build requisite infrastructure to promote community-wide health where it is most threatened.
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