SCHULL INSTITUTE GLOBAL HEALTH SCHOLALR 2009 - 2015
The mission of the Schull Institute is to "Mentor future leaders to improve healthcare for vulnerable populations". Dr Claire Loe embodied the highest ideal of this mission. Claire began as a Schull Institute Scholar in 2009. One of her first endeavors was to spend spent eight days in Rosario and Buenos Aires, Argentina studying the national health care delivery system. She sought information on community health promotion strategies and the state of biomedical informatics. In Rosario, a city of about one million, she toured the city laboratory which recently introduced technologies and processes to reduce errors and delays in result reporting. The integration of inexpensive old-fashioned telephones and couriers with state-of-the-art computer and software technologies was impressive. She met with an infectious disease specialist, a cardiologist, and directors of a community-based drug abuse program. She learned that the state and city governments support clinical services for the uninsured but sponsor few health promotion activities, and these are often conducted by inexperienced volunteers.
In Buenos Aires, she met Dr. Jorge Raul Rodriguez, a graduated Schull Institute Scholar, who introduced her to the new Ministry of Health Building and its Emergency Dispatch Center where a large screen across the front of the room displays city-wide video, allowing for better coordination and emergency response by dispatchers with modern telecommunication equipment. She also met with the leading epidemiologists in the Ministry who discussed surveillance of reportable diseases, such as H1N1 influenza. Additionally she attended a class for community health workers.
Upon her return, she continued pursuing her career in public health informatics. Her research focused on Community Health Workers (CHWs), also known as Lay Health Advisors and Village Health Attendants. CHWs are used both in the US and internationally to address the health needs of individuals with barriers to routine care. She devloped innovative methods to extend training to CHWs while fostering a sense of community among them. This included the development of a social learning system for community health workers (CHW) to view training videos and interact about their experiences handling difficult health care topics (see www.communitylearningnetworks.org). In addition she provided assistance to the Republic of the Marshall Islands in vetting an EHR for the nation. She presented her work "CHW Conversations: Designing a Social Learning System for Health Workers with Limited Digital Experience" at the Medicine 2.0’13 conference in London.
Her prior exposure to international healthcare issues (Argentina and other locations) and informatics studies for her dissertation gave her an unique perspective on the pervasive nature od equitable access to health care which led to her completing a Center for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) Public Health Informatics Fellowship. Upon graduation, she was hired at the Publica Health Informatics Institute in Atlanta.
Lee Loe told me that when Claire learned from her doctors at MD Anderson that there were no other treatments, the first thing she said was, "But what about y work?". It is not fair that a child dies before their mother and father. It is not fair that the youngest, "Bear"as she is affectionatelly called by her family, dies first. It is not fair that someone so talented and dedicated as Claire dies before their best work. What would Claire be thinking right now? SHe would say to us all, "Quit being sad and get back to work!". Let us not forget Claire at the end of this beautiful ceremony. Let us continue to honor Claire's life by following her example and starting whit "What can I do to help?".
Kim Dunn, MD, PhD
Medical Advisory Board, Schull Institute
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