Tag Archives: Global & Public Health

Looking to Get Involved In The Conversation Surrounding Global Health?

The Fund for Global Health is currently looking for new fellows from Vermont. “Fellows from Vermont are constituents of Senator Leahy, who is currently the ranking member in the appropriation subcommittee in Congress. This is a committee who holds a lot of power regarding where funding gets allocated so constituents of Senator Leahy are a great addition to our team!

This position is open to any class year. We encourage applicants who major in global health, public health, public policy, and or government relations to apply due to the large emphasis placed on advocacy work in the realm of global health. As of right now our fellowships are a year commitment, though require approximately 6 to 8 hours a week in advocacy outreach. While this position is unpaid, it is a great resume builder and a fantastic opportunity to work hands-on with policy and global health in government.”

Feel free to reach out with any questions or inquiries to Leah McCleary, Advocacy Fellow with the Fund for Global Health at mcclearyleah[at]gmail.com


Article: Graduating Into A Bad Job Market–10 Job Search Tips for Recent Grads

By Caroline Ceniza-Levine May 16, 2020

What happens to recent graduates if job supply decreases? –Gabriela, Class of 2020, Masters of International Marketing

If you’re a recent graduate and eyeing the dismal unemployment figures (worst since the Great Depression!), stop doing that. There are more important numbers to track than general job market statistics (I list 10 such numbers here, such as specific news about markets you are interested in). Similarly, Gabriela asks about the fate of recent graduates in general, but I recommend that she focuses on her prospects specifically.

I don’t mean to encourage everyone-for-themselves thinking, but when you’re starting out in your career, the first hire you should be worried about is your own. This ensures that you take on something doable (i.e., land one job) and not something too overwhelming (i.e., saving the world). When you are gainfully employed, you have more bandwidth to contribute–referring leads to others, volunteering with your alma mater to help younger classes, mentoring others, etc.

Whether you are graduating into a bad job market or the best market in years, there is always hiring happening somewhere, and there is a lot you can do to help yourself to get hired. Here are 10 job search tips for recent grads:

1- Get your mindset ready for a job search

Spending too much time belaboring the bad market news doesn’t just take your eye off the other, more helpful data, but it also pries you to expect the worst. Every job search has down moments–your application doesn’t get a response, your networking invite is declined, your interview doesn’t lead to a callback. I don’t know a single candidate who has had a seamlessly positive job search–this is from 20+ years of recruiting, including hiring thousands of interns and recent graduates as Head of Campus Recruiting for a global media company. There will be ups and downs–pandemic or not–so be prepared for some discomfort but be confident that you’ll persevere to a happy outcome.

2- Treat your job search like your first job

If you graduated without an offer in hand, your job search is your first job. Spend the 40 hours a week you would have reported to the office to work on your job search–reading up on your areas of interest, researching specific companies, applying to job opportunities, networking with people, updating your marketing material, etc. There is a lot to do for your job search (here are seven suggestions for items to prepare), so don’t wait too long to get started. You might get complacent and lose the enthusiasm and urgency to land a job. You also might let too much time go by, realize your savings are dwindling (or your parents’ patience is running thin) and then feel like you have to land in a hurry.

3- Control what you can control

Knowing there will be ups and downs, you can’t control for a positive outcome every time, but you can control that you put yourself out there and that you showcased yourself in the best possible light. So instead of focusing on how many companies called you in, focus on how many applications you sent out. Instead of focusing on how many people referred you, focus on the number of people you contacted. You can’t fully control the result, but you can control your effort. Your efforts are the metric that you should track.

4- Go broad with your options

Always have multiple leads in play, especially in a down market where you can’t be sure who is hiring, how many jobs, and how quickly. Companies may have old postings up there where budget has actually disappeared. Or a company may have openings but hasn’t posted anything because they’re so short-staffed because of the pandemic. In a down market, recruiting can be chaotic, so you need to cast a wide net. Go after several industries, multiple companies, even multiple roles. Sure, you might have a dream job at a dream company in mind, and you should go for that. But be open to other possibilities as well.

5- Go deep with your research

While you’re going broad with your options, you still want to go deep with your research and know enough about companies and roles you’re applying for. The best applications are targeted to a specific opportunity–with relevant keywords and examples. The best interviews are when the candidate can position their background to what the company and the job opening require. You need deep research to tailor your job search activity effectively.

6- Be prepared to answer the obvious

Why should I hire you? What do you want? Why do you want to work here? The vetting process will not be easier for you because it’s an entry-level role. Employers still want to know that you are qualified, that you will be enthusiastic about the work, and that you will be enthusiastic about working with them specifically.

7- Lean into your network (yes, you have one!)

Your classmates, your professors, your office of career services, your parents’ connections–you have a significant network. Word-of-mouth referral is significant, even for experienced professionals who have an established track record from previous jobs. As a recent graduate, you don’t have much of a track record (though internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer work do make a difference). Therefore, you want to maximize introductions, referrals, and references that you can get from people who already know, like, and trust you. Remember to reciprocate as you hear of leads and especially when you land!

8- Measure your progress and course-correct as needed

As you get your job search going, your results are in your efforts–the number of networking outreach attempts, the number of initial interview meetings. However, as your search extends, those initial efforts should yield additional results that track progress–the number of leads that come out of networking, the number of callbacks that come from the initial interviews. Your search should be leading to job offers ultimately, and if you’re finding that you’re sending out applications but not getting called in, or getting one meeting but no more, you need to course correct as needed.

9- Be willing to redo and reconsider

If your search is stuck, you need to change something. If you are getting leads to jobs that don’t interest you, you may need to be clearer about what you’re looking for. Or maybe your LinkedIn or résumé needs to change. If you are getting that first meeting but no callbacks, you need to brush up on your interview technique. Your progress is market feedback on what’s working. Until you have a job, stay open-minded and curious about what changes to your job search technique.

10- Celebrate every win

Keep a journal that documents al the work you’re putting in, and every call and meeting you schedule. Your effort should be celebrated. Small wins along the way, like that networking invite accepted, also count. This is part of measuring progress, but it’s also about building confidence and keeping a positive outlook, both of which are critical in your job search. In a down market, your employer contacts are probably anxious about their own jobs. If you’re a joy to interact with, that’s a competitive advantage.

What Does Covid-19 Do to Your Brain?

By Megan Molteni April 15, 2020

Scientists are racing to figure out why some patients also develop neurological ailments like confusion, stroke, seizure, or loss of smell.

During the third week of March, as the pandemic coronavirus that causes Covid-19 was beginning to grip the city of Detroit, an ambulance sped through its streets to Henry Ford Hospital. Inside, a 58-year-old airline worker struggled to understand what was happening to her. Like hundreds of other Covid-19 patients flooding the city’s emergency rooms, the woman had a fever, cough, and aching muscles. But something else was happening too–something that had made her suddenly disoriented, unable to remember anything but her name.

Doctors at Henry Ford tested the woman for Covid-19, and she came back positive. They also ordered CT and MRI scans. The images showed a brain aflame, its folds swelling against the patient’s skull. On the computer screen, white lesions dotted the gray cross-sectioned landscape–each one filled with dead and dying neurons in regions that normally relay sensory signals, regulate alertness, and access memories. On the screen they appeared white. But in the electrical grid of the patient’s brain, those areas had gone dark.

Her doctors diagnosed a dangerous condition called acute necrotizing hemorrhagic encephalopathy, or ANE, which they detailed in the journal Radiology last month. It’s a rare complication known to occasionally accompany influenza and other viral infections, though usually in children. With the flu, scientists believe such brain damage is caused not so much by the virus itself but by squalls of inflammation-inducing molecules called cytokines, which are sometimes produced in excess by the body’s immune system during an infection. Scientists are still trying to figure out if the same is true for Covid-19, or if the coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 is actually invading the nervous system directly. It’s an open question, the answer to which could have wide-ranging implications for how doctors diagnose and treat Covid-19 patients.

By now you’re probably familiar with the typical hallmarks of Covid-19, the disease that has so far killed more than 125,000 people around the world: fever, cough, difficulty breathing. But stories of other, stranger symptoms–headaches, confusion, seizures, tingling and numbness, the loss of smell or taste–have been bubbling up from the frontlines for weeks. Published data on how frequently the disease manifests in these types of neurological symptoms is still sparse, and experts say they likely occur in a minority of the 2 million officially tallied Covid-19 infections worldwide. But for physicians, they are important because some of these new symptoms may require a different line of treatment, one designed for the brain rather than the body.

“The medicines we use to treat any infection have very different penetrations into the central nervous system,” says S. Andrew Josephson, a neurologist at UC San Francisco. Most drugs can’t pass through the blood-brain barrier, a living border wall around the brain. If the coronavirus is breaching the blood-brain barrier and infecting neurons, that could make it harder to find effective treatments.

Right now, many doctors are trying a two-pronged approach. The first is finding antiviral drugs that can knock back how fast SARS-CoV-2 replicates. They often combine that with steroids, to prevent the immune system from going overboard and producing inflammation that can be damaging on its own. If doctors knew people had coronavirus in their brains, that would alter the equation. Unlike the lungs, the brain can’t be put on a ventilator.

COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities

COVID-19 R&D Database Project

Project Description: “We are building the most comprehensive and detailed database of vaccines and therapeutics for treating COVID-19 in the world so that everyone can be informed on the progress towards much better outcomes for patients in this pandemic. Our tech team is also building a fantastic website with visualizations to make the data engaging and informative. We are in need of people to help us research these products so that we can populate our database. This work would involve data entry and would require a careful, detail-oriented approach. Some background with biology and/or medicine is ideal for this work.”

–Mats Olsen, Project Leader of COVID-19 R&D Database Project

More information about the progress that has been made on this project, people involved with this work, and what kind of volunteers are needed can be found here.

Time Commitment: Each assignment consists of about 5 vaccines or therapeutics to look into and takes about 2-3 hours to complete.

How to get involved: If you are interested in helping with this research effort, please email Mats Olsen (matsaolsen@gmail.com) to receive your assignment of potential vaccines and therapeutics to investigate.

UV-C Light Cabinet to Decontaminate FFR Masks Project

Project Description: “The current shortage of filtering face piece respirators (FFR) might be alleviated if they could be reused by decontaminating them in a simple device (i.e. something that a DIY person could build and supply to hospitals, GP surgeries, etc.) There is evidence that a UV-C light cabinet might serve this purpose. This project seeks to develop such a cabinet using components from a variety of common sources, test its effectiveness for decontaminations against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and then produce instructions for its construction and use. In this way people subsequently using the cabinet can have higher confidence in its effectiveness than they would by just exposing their masks to some form of UV-C light for a period that has not been properly assessed.

The big challenge at present is finding a reputable lab to partner with so we can validate the design as safe. This is something that needs to be addressed as lots of people seem to be buying UV-C lamps for decontaminating their masks (see Amazon) but have no guidance about using them effectively.”

–Dr. Will Stott, PhD, Software Developer at Maximodex and leader of the initiative

A mockup of the UV-C cabinet design made by this team can be found here.

More information about the overall project can be found here.

Time Commitment: Flexible.

How to get involved: After contacting him to volunteer with this project, Dr. Stott asked to reach out to Middlebury students and form a group of those interested in participating. From there, these students will work together to make study designs and contact faculty members at Middlebury and together, this faculty-student group will help to conduct research to optimize the design and use of this UV-C bulb cabinet so that it can be used in the best way to decontaminate FFR masks. If you have any interest in taking part in such an effort, please reach out to me for more information.

Initiatives of the HMS COVID-19 Student Response Team

Project Description: This project was started by a group of medical students at Harvard Medical School who wanted to organize a response to the SARS-coV-2 pandemic. They describe their mission as follows:

“This student-led team first gathered on March 15th to rapidly develop an organizational structure to coordinate and augment the HMS student body response to COVID-19 in collaboration with the HMS administration, leadership, affiliated hospitals, and community partners. Currently, there are four overarching committees that are supported by hundreds of members across the student body. The structure will continue to evolve as the response grows. The Response Team embraces the principles of being adaptive, nimble, and inclusive for all initiatives that will optimize our collective impact as a medical student body.”

–HMS COVID-19 Student Response Team

Time Commitment: This depends on the project in which you get involved but is flexible.

How to get involved: While the Middlebury students who are reading this are (likely) not current medical students, after reaching out to the HMS COVID-19 Student Response Team, I was made aware that anyone who is interested can be involved in this response. To do so, visit https://covidstudentresponse.org and click on the “campaigns” tab. From here, check out the different initiatives that are being pursued. These range from community activism to a PPE initiative. Contact information for the student leaders of each initiative is available on that page, and these leaders can be contacted directly for more information about the projects and how to be involved.

Additional Opportunities to Volunteer

If you are interested in searching for other opportunities to volunteer remotely to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit https://helpwithcovid.com/projects and/or https://airtable.com/shr5QKQBdG2UIw4Ok/tblGh1k80hsOm716Q?backgroundColor=red&viewControls=on&blocks=hide&fbclid=IwAR15kivzNsPsuNCARsJQxmMv139mlN8ccG4ANxtx0vHL3Ut2bER1iL15as4f.

If you have any further questions, please reach out to me at tbraun@middlebury.edu.

-Tatum Braun

Medical students join the fight against COVID-19

As coronavirus patients surge, medical students rushed into practice to fight pandemic

by Kelly Cannon April 1, 2020

The United States health care system is mobilizing to triage a public health emergency that is rapidly taking members of its workforce out of the ranks.

Grim projections from the country’s leading health officials over the weekend emphasized the toll the novel coronavirus could have on the U.S. healthcare workforce, one that is buckling under a surge in demand and an inadequate supply of protective gear that is endangering the lives of front-line responders.

At a White House coronavirus task force press briefing Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said it is possible that 100,000 to 200,000 people in the U.S. will die from the novel coronavirus.

Amid an alarming rise in cases in California where hospitalizations have doubled and ICU admissions have tripled in recent days, Gov. Gavin Newsom launched an initiative Monday aimed at increasing the ranks of the state’s health care workforce in advance of an expected surge in coronavirus patients.

“If you’re a nursing school student, a medical school student, we need you,” Gov. Newsom said at a press conference Monday.

The newly created California Health Corps will recruit health care providers, including medical students nearing completion of their studies, to address what the governor called the “human capital surge” that the state will need to ensure an adequate workforce is available to assist in the state’s pandemic response.

Medical students nationwide, just months away from becoming resident doctors, are eager to alleviate the pressure on health care professionals by joining the fight.

“There’s a large group of resilient people out there who are ready to go on the front lines and help,” said Lizzie Andrews, a fourth-year medical student at Texas A&M who will start her residency at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in June.

“We’ve been preparing for this for all four years and that’s what we want to do–we want to help people,” Andrews said. “That’s why we got into medicine in the first place.”

Here’s Exactly Where We’re At With Vaccines and Treatments for COVID-19

Written by Shawn Radcliffe on March 26, 2020 for Healthline.com

  • Scientists around the world are working on potential treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19.
  • Several companies are working on antiviral drugs, some of which are already in use against other illnesses, to treat people who already have COVID-19.
  • Other companies are working on vaccines that could be used as a preventative measure against the disease.
  • It will probably take months, if not more than a year, for a drug or vaccine to complete clinical trials and be available to the public.

With COVID-19 cases worldwide passing the 200,000 mark and continuing to grow, scientists are pushing forward with efforts to develop vaccines and treatments to slow the pandemic and lessen its damage.

Some of the earliest treatments will likely be drugs that are already approved for other conditions or have been tested on other viruses.

“People are looking into whether existing antivirals might work or whether new drugs could be developed to try to tackle the virus,” said Dr. Bruce Y. Lee, a professor at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy.

The antiviral drugs were a topic of a March 18 White House briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak.

President Trump said he is pushing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to eliminate barriers to get treatments to people with coronavirus.

The president went as far as to say the anti-malaria drug chloroquine would be available soon.

However, FDA officials said it could still be a year before any drugs are made available for coronavirus treatment because the agency needs to make sure the medications are safe for this particular use and what the proper dosage should be.

Indeed, there’s only so much that vaccine and drug development can be sped up, even with improvements in genetic sequencing and other technologies.

“Even though technological advances allow us to do certain things more quickly,” Lee told Healthline, “we still have to rely on social distancing, contact tracing, self-isolation, and other measures.”

Global Health 1-Year Fellow in Kenya Working on Monitoring & Evaluation

Here is a great one-year fellowship opportunity for a graduating senior (or Feb) interested in Global Health shared with us from a recent alum working in the field in Kenya.

“My name is Zorica Radanovic (Midd ’19), and I’ve been working with Lwala Community Alliance as the M&E fellow since July. Lwala is a community-led organization that is leveraging Community Health Workers to transform the health systems in Kenya and to drive improved health outcomes.”

Organizational Background: Lwala Community Alliance (Lwala) is a community-led innovator proving that when communities lead, change is drastic and lasting.

Lwala village, a small community in rural western Kenya, founded the organization as a response to extreme health challenges. The region experiences some of the highest HIV, maternal mortality, and infant mortality rates in East Africa. As such, community members built their area’s first health center.

From these humble beginnings, we are now the largest provider of health services for a population of over 90,000. The work extends far beyond the original hospital as we support communities in their homes, schools, and farms to advance their own comprehensive well-being. We address the complex causes of poor health through a multi-dimensional strategy, which engages community members in driving their own change.

To read more about the position and view the full job description and others, click HERE.