Four students-leaders from GlobeMed at Northwestern University are currently traveling to Ghana to work with the staff at the HOPE Center on a diverse set of projects aimed at increasing the capacity of the Center to improve the health of local community members.
Our team will work collaboratively, but will be focusing on separate projects. I will be focusing on installing an electronic medical records system on the two computers currently at the Center. We'll be using an open-source software system available from OpenEMR. The system seems to be very good for the needs of the Center, it is simple to use, and will be vastly more useful for keeping track of patient information and scheduling appointments than their current system in Excel. This will be a great improvement, and will allow the Center to more easily expand its client base.
Nikita Kohli, co-president along with me of GlobeMed at Northwestern, will be primarily working to collect large numbers of photos, video, and stories to use to create marketing and communication documents to publicize the work of the HOPE Center. She'll also be engaged in doing community asset mapping. This will include creating a geographical map of the region, interviewing community leaders to identify assets within the community, and then creating a useful document for Center staff to use in their community outreach work.
Sarah Mihalov, the global project coordinator for GlobeMed at NU, will be doing research funded by a Northwestern Undergraduate Research Grant. She will be conducting anthropology research on the topic of, Factors affecting feeding practices in the Volta Region, Ghana: The Relationship with Malnutrition. This research will be of direct use to future planning for the Center as we expand the community nutrition project and continue as a Regional Nutrition Center.
Finally, Colleen Fant, who was co-president of GlobeMed at NU with me last year, will be using her funding from the Mind the Gap Fellowship to spend nearly an entire year working at the Center, conducting ethnographic research with formal and informal interviews of community members about HIV needs, and translating that data into the implementation of an HIV voluntary counseling and testing center (VCT) at the HOPE Center.
Each of these projects reflect the long-term partnership between Northwestern students and grassroots health workers at the HOPE Center. By connecting the resources of passionate students through an effective partnership and concrete projects, we will be able to add value to the work already being done at the Center and will be able to increase the Center's capacity to improve health.
Colleen and I will be maintaining blogs during our trip, check them out! Links below: