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Vermont Medicine Magazine

Global Health Series Continues with Session Featuring BeadforLife and HIV/AIDS Experts

globe with stethoscope

The Global Health Series sponsored by the UVM College of Medicine and Danbury Hospital continued March 12 with a husband and wife team focused on the power of education as a tool for change. Torkin Wakefield, a co-founder of BeadforLife, and Charles Steinberg, M.D., an infectious disease expert dedicated to teaching HIV care around the world, were guest speakers at the fourth session, which began at 5:30 p.m. in the Sullivan Classroom (Medical Education Center 200). Majid Sadigh, M.D., infectious disease specialist and director of global health at Danbury Hospital/Western Connecticut Health Network, hosted the session.

Wakefield, global ambassador and a co-founder of BeadforLife, talked about her organization’s mission to empower women in Uganda. Founded in 2004, the non-profit supports innovative programs that teach women entrepreneurial skills and prepare them to launch sustainable businesses. As a psychologist and public health administrator, Wakefield’s life interests span personal health and well-being to cultural and social change at the community and national level. She has lived and worked in India, Nepal, Mexico, Kenya, and Uganda.

Steinberg, chief senior trainer and consultant at the Infectious Diseases Institute at the Makerere University Medical School in Kampala, Uganda, spoke about challenges and rewards of teaching HIV care around the world. Steinberg began working on HIV/AIDS treatment in the early 1980s. In 1985, he founded a clinic for people living with HIV/AIDS, and in 1987 created a national conference to help his patients develop a support community. From 1995 to 2003, he directed the Beacon Center for Infectious Disease in Boulder, Col. At the Makerere University Medical School in Kampala, Uganda, he trains nurses and clinical officers to be primary caregivers to people living with HIV/AIDS.

The first three sessions in the Global Health Series were held at UVM in October and December of 2012, and January of 2013. Students, residents, faculty, and staff from the UVM College of Medicine, UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and Fletcher Allen Health Care are invited to attend the sessions, which include refreshments.

For more information about the series, contact Audree Frey in the UVM College of Medicine Office of Medical Student Education.

Danbury Hospital contributed to this report.

Makerere University Medical School