Participants in the Youth Leadership in Global Health eCourse have access to the GPSA Webinar Series. In these Webinars you will learn about global health and leadership from professors, healthcare professionals and experts who work in the field of global health.

Dr. João Ricardo Vissoci

Assistant Professor, Duke University, Surgery & Neurosurgery

Data Science to Bridge the Health Care Gap in Low Income Countries

Learn how to leverage available data and data science to bridge the health care gap in low and middle income countries. In this talk, Dr. Vissoci will cover the use of geography, mapping and machine learning of large national health systems databases and how that can inform public health policy.

João Ricardo Vissoci is an assistant professor in the Duke School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine and in the Global Emergency Medicine Innovation and Implementation (GEMINI). He is also part of the Research Design and Analysis Core (RDAC), Duke Global Health Institute. Dr. Vissoci is a psychologist with a PhD in Social Psychology from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Sao Paulo/Brazil. since joinging Duke in 2016, Dr. Vissoci has led his efforts towards developing data science bases applications to address the gaps in health care access and equity in healthcare in low and middle income countries. His work include using geospatial and geotatistics, psychometrics, natural language processing and machine learning. His research interests include research methods and innovation applied to access and quality of care, global mental health with an emphasis on mental health reintegration. Dr. Vissoci has actively worked in Brazil looking into population health, health systems and quality of care, and in Tanzania and Uganda with a focus on alcohol use and traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Omni Cassidy

Assistant Professor, NYU Grossman
School of Medicine

How Advertising and Public Health Policy Impact Health and Nutrition

Through Dr. Cassidy’s research and clinical experience, you will gain an understanding of how advertising and public health policies play an important role in influencing people’s perceptions and eating behaviors impacting overall health of communities. You will learn how race, culture and the food environment impact nutrition and health.

Dr. Omni Cassidy is an Assistant Professor at NYU Crossman School of Medicine. Previously, Dr. Cassidy was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Population Health Science Scholars Program and the Socio Economic Evaluation of Dietary Decisions (SEED) lab. She completed her doctoral training at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and her clinical psychology residency at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Cassidy’s overarching career goal is to continue a programmatic line of research examining environmental, cultural, and individual factors that place communities of color at high risk for diet-related chronic illnesses. Her research interest is at the intersection of race, culture, and the food environment. Dr. Cassidy’s research focuses on the ways various food marketing platforms uniquely influence perception and eating behaviors among communities of color; identify effective dissemination methods that engage community stakeholders, agencies, and policymakers; and collaborate with communities to advocate for better food environments. Dr. Cassidy’s ultimate goal is to use research to inform domestic and international food policies, as well as empower communities of color. She has done research in collaboration with GPSA in rural communities of Guatemala.

Dr. Payal Kahar

Assistant Professor, Florida Gulf Coast University, Department of Health Sciences

The Role of Dentistry in
Global Health

Dentistry plays a large role in global health. Through Dr. Payal’s personal experiences working in dentistry and research, you will learn about oral health among underserved and rural populations and how oral health knowledge, attitudes and behaviors impact overall health and quality of life.

Payal Kahar earned a doctorate in Health Education from Texas A&M University in December 2015. With a background in dentistry and public health, her research focuses on oral health among underserved and rural populations in addition to exploring health disparities among minority populations. Her past research experiences include assessing oral health knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, oral health-related quality of life among rural populations in Central India, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and patients with end-stage renal disease in southwest Florida. She has also been involved in collaborative work to assess health and its indicators among Latinos/as in southwest Florida. She teaches at Florida Gulf Coast University in the public health program.

Mrs. Lauretty Novelo

District Health Educator,
Ministry of Health Belize

The Importance of Community Health in Belize

Learn about the importance of including Community Health Workers in the public health care system in Belize. Mrs. Lauretty will discuss the strengths and challenges of rural community health, including what qualities and skills one needs to succeed in this important field of public health.

Lauretty Novelo grew up in Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk district but was born in Belize City. She worked as a primary school teacher for 7 years and as an assistant accountant for Banana Beach Resort for 4 years. Since July of 2018, Mrs. Lauretty works for the Ministry of Health as the District Health Educator at the San Ignacio Community Hospital. She is responsible for educating and training forty-one community health workers in the San Ignacio Area who return to their communities to practice and implement preventative healthcare. Having a passion to help people, Mrs. Lauretty believes that to be a successful health educator one must be understanding, compassionate, empathic and caring. Mrs. Lauretty is an independent, enthusiastic, caring, fun and friendly person. She has three younger siblings; two brothers and one sister. She has been happily married for 12 years to a loving husband and they have two children- two boys ages 8 and 5 years and 2 German shepherds who fill her day with a sprinkle of fun and madness. “My family is special to me because they are my roots. They hold me down when my water is running low. They are my reason to continue working hard in becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be”. She loves singing, playing volleyball and soccer, dancing, interior decorating and molding her boys to be the gentlemen that this world needs.

Bob Patterson

CEO Banyan Educational Consultancy, College Admissions Expert

How to Enhance Your University Application

Learn how to enhance your college application and increase your chances at being admitted to leading colleges around the world, including Ivy League and Oxbridge Universities. Bob Patterson is an education expert who has worked on admissions committees for several top Universities in the USA.

As the former chair of highly selective admission committees including Stanford University, the University of Pittsburgh, UNC Chapel Hill, and University of California Berkeley, Bob is well versed in the entire application process for both domestic and international students. He has made admissions decisions on over 100,000 applications as the Director of Admissions at Stanford. Bob has also served as an elected delegate on the National Association of College Admission Counselling, and has been interviewed, featured, and quoted in popular media such as the Wall Street Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Bloomberg Radio, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle and Family Circle Magazine. He has also played a key role in shaping the US admissions landscape, introducing international initiatives, outreach programs, and multicultural programming to many institutions, bringing his dedication and passion for education to everything he pursues.

Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli

Inclusion and Diversity Advocate, Motivational Entertainer

Bringing People of All Ages and Abilities Together Through Dance

Learn how Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli, professional b-boy dancer and motivational entertainer, brings people of all ages and abilities together through dance. Find out how, you, as a leader, can advocate for inclusion and diversity like Lazylegz who, through his performances, encourages individuals of all abilities to live a life with limitless possibilities. “NO EXCUSES, NO LIMITS!”

Luca Patuelli also known as Lazylegz started dancing (B-Boying) at the age of 15. His unique approach to dance is how he achieved worldwide recognition; he developed his personalized dance style by incorporating his incredible upper body strength and his crutches as an accessory to his performance. His passion for dance has led him to be featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, So You Think You Can Dance Canada and America’s Got Talent amongst many others. He was also the Segment Director and Lead Performer for the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics opening ceremony. Luca is the Creator and Founder of the ILL-ABILITIES™ Crew, an international B-boy crew composed of the world’s best “Ill-Abled” dancers. Luca has been recognized as the Canadian Ambassador for dance and received a Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada for his dance outreach programs. Luca shares his passion for dance to people of all ages and all abilities internationally, sharing his message to the world “IT’S ABOUT TAKING THE BAD AND MAKING IT GOOD” and there are “NO EXCUSES, NO LIMITS!”

Dr. Carmen Benitez

Researcher at Swansea University UK, Founder & Director of 32 Volcanes

Public Health Challenges in Latin America

This session brings an approach to the global crisis and three axes for resolution: Climate Change; Cultural Competency, and Regenerative Development as the path to social wellbeing. These axes encompass medical anthropology, gender equality, food sovereignty, maternal-infant health and epigenetics to help you understand the phenomena of chronic poverty in the Americas, hidden hunger, poor access to health, vulnerability and migration.

Dr. Carmen Benitez received an MD from the Universidad San Carlos in Guatemala, an MSc in Child Public Health from Swansea University in the UK and is in the process of compelting an MSc in Global Nutrition with a specialty in genetics research from University of Iberoamerica in Mexico City. Acting as a consultant for UNESCO, the Lead Ambassador of Guatemala Regenerative-SEEDS, Co-founder and Executive Director of the NGO 32 Volcanes in Guatemala, she is an expert in maternal-infant nutrition programming, chronic patient care, community food sovereignty and pollinators for regenerative development programming. Awarded by the British embassy with the Chevening Scholarship and now an active member of the Chevening Alumni Association, she works to fight hunger, chronic malnutrition and the effects of climate change in Guatemala. The national newspaper awarded her as one of the “Extraordinary Guatemalans” in 2019. She has been invited to different universities such as Rhode Island University to talk about 32 Volcanes initiatives. 32 Volcanes has an alliance for research with the University of Bath in the UK.

Gabriela Maldonado

On-Ground Director, Casa Materna Atitlán,

Reducing Maternal & Child Mortality with a Community Birthing Center

Casa Materna Atitlán operates in an area of Guatemala with high maternal and neonatal mortality. Find out how their approach to engage communities to operate local and providing culturally appropriate birthing facilities is helping them achieve high and equitable utilization of services. You will learn more about their successes and challenges.

Gabriela Maldonado is the On-Ground Director of Operations at Casa Materna Atitlán. She manages the clinical and educational team, and maintains relationships with local and international stakeholders. She holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and is in the process of being certified as a full-spectrum doula. Casa Materna Atitlán is a birthing center in the semi-urban town of San Juan La Laguna. Their vision is for all low-resource women in Guatemala to have access to safe, humanized and culturally-appropriate maternity care. They provide prenatal care, attend low-risk births, and identify high risk pregnancies that need a special level of care.

Makensie Brown

Director of International Resource Development, Habitat for Humanity

Water Access, Sanitation & Hygiene in Low Resource Communities

Learn about safe water access, sanitation and hygiene projects Habitat for Humanity is implementing in low resource rural communities of Guatemala. Find out about innovative stratgeies and technologies they are using to eliminate communicable diseases and improve the health outcomes of communities.

Makensie is the Director of International Resource Development for Habitat for Humanity Guatemala. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Graphic Design from Buena Vista University in 2014, Makensie has dedicated her time towards supporting various non-profit efforts in Latin America. With skills in fundraising, leadership, and donor management, Makensie has orchestrated various special projects to improve the living conditions and the quality of life of vulnerable communities in both Guatemala and Chile.