GHCM 2017 Keynote Speakers

Chris Elias, MD, MPH: President, Global Development Program

Keynote Title: Beyond Medicine: How Markets, Data & Partnerships Shape Global Health

Dr. Chris Elias is the president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he leads the foundation’s efforts in a diverse range of program areas aimed at finding creative new ways to ensure solutions and products get into the hands of people in poor countries who need them most. Focusing on areas with the potential for high-impact, sustainable solutions that can reach hundreds of millions of people, Chris oversees Global Development’s portfolio in Agriculture Development; Emergency Response; Family Planning; Financial Services for the Poor; Maternal, Newborn, & Child Health; Nutrition; Polio Eradication; Vaccine Delivery; and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene. A common theme of these programs is innovative and integrated delivery, including an emphasis on strengthening of primary health care systems.

Chris’s professional background is in public health and medicine. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation in February 2012, he worked in various positions and countries for international nonprofit organizations, most recently serving as the president and CEO of PATH, an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of people around the world by advancing technologies, strengthening systems, and encouraging healthy behaviors.

Chris holds an MD from Creighton University, having completed postgraduate training in internal medicine at the University of California San Francisco, and an MPH from the University of Washington, where he was a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine.

Updated as of October 2015

Sriram Shamasunder, MD, DTM&H: Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF

Keynote Title: The HEAL Experiment: Capitalizing the "E” in Global Health Equity

Sriram Shamasunder, MD, DTM&H is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at Harbor UCLA. He is the co-founder of HEAL Initiative, a groundbreaking health workforce organization that focuses on making serving poor populations a first choice for all health professionals from Oakland to Navajo Nation to Liberia. He has worked extensively in Rwanda, Liberia, Haiti, Burundi, and India. Recently, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship where he studied implementation in resource-poor tribal areas in rural India. In 2010, he was named an Asia 21 fellow as well as the Northern California Young Physician of the Year.   He is a Draper Richards Kaplan Social Entrepreneur and spoke at TedX Berkeley in 2016.

Sharon Rudy, PhD: Program Director, Global Health Fellows Program – II at the Public Health Institute

Keynote Title: Planning your Global Health Career: What it takes to be successful

Dr. Sharon Rudy, Program Director for the Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II at the Public Health Institute (PHI). Funded by USAID, the Fellowship/Internship program helps to build the next generation of global health professionals. She has researched and published in this area for the past 15 years. In her previous role as Senior Faculty at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Rudy spent almost a decade working in Anglophone Africa designing, implementing and evaluating national behavior change communication programs and client-provider interaction interventions. She has also worked in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia implementing performance improvement and training programs through IntraHealth, then based at the Medical School of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Rudy holds a PhD in Counseling and Organizational Consulting and is a published author.

GHCM 2017 Breakout Speakers

Andrea Sprockett, MIPH, MA: Chief Operating Officer of Metrics for Management

Session Title: Data for Decision-Making and Program Leadership

Bio:  Andrea Sprockett is the Chief Operating Officer of Metrics for Management. She oversees all programmatic and day-to-day operations, ensuring a systematic approach to project development, financial and strategic planning, advocacy efforts, and partnership development.

Andrea’s expertise and experience is in the management of large cross-cultural teams and community engagement initiatives. She previously served as the Director of Global Health Education at Stanford University and as an analyst for social franchising initiatives and health metric development at the University of California, San Francisco.

She holds a master’s degree in International Public Health from the University of Sydney, a master’s degree in Translation from Kent State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and in International Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Hans Dethlefs, MD: Chronic Care International

Session Title: The Global Chronic Disease Epidemic: Addressing the Medical, Social, and Economic Components of the Problem

Bio: Hans Dethlefs, MD is a family physician at the OneWorld clinic in Omaha.  Having grown up in Omaha he attended Creighton Prep, Creighton University, and UNMC.  He did his family practice training in Wichita, KS.  Prior to joining OneWorld in 2000 he lived and worked with his wife, Andrea, and 3 children in Honduras for 3 years.  Besides providing direct patient care at OneWorld he serves as the medical director for an electronic health record network of 9 community health centers in Nebraska, Iowa, and Texas.  He is currently the president and medical director of the Omaha based non-profit Chronic Care International.

Nora Boesem: FASD Advocate and Leader of Facing FASD with Behavior Management Systems of Rapid City, South Dakota

Session Title: FASD: Whitclay’s Generational Epidemic for Pine Ridge

Bio: Nora Boesem and her husband began fostering in 2001 and have fostered over 100 children for the state of SD and the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe.  Nora realized there was no help for families and founded Roots to Wings in 2008, a non-profit to help advocate and support people living with FASD.  In 2008 she also started a parenting group with the support of BMS (Behavior Management Systems) in Rapid City, SD that still runs today and has now expanded into a beginners group and an advanced parenting group.  In 2009 she was appointed to the Governor’s mental health board, joined the Chiesman Center for FASD and began speaking around the state of SD and around the US.  Returning to school she earned her BS in psychology and is currently in her last year of her MSW at Arizona State University.  In 2014 Nora joined BMS in a program she spearheads called Facing FASD.  Since 2008 she has been an advocate for shutting down the beer stores in Whiteclay, NE as so many affected by FASD are being victimized there and created through the illegal sales of alcohol there.  She has won multiple awards for her work throughout the years.  Recently she did the first ever TedX talk on FASD. 

Dr. Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, PhD: Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Session Title: The Role of Engineers Without Borders in Developing Globally-Competent Students

Bio: Shannon Bartelt-Hunt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She received her BS in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University and her MS and PhD from the University of Virginia.  Her research interests focus on the fate of biologically active trace contaminants such as steroid hormones and pharmaceuticals originating from agricultural production activities and solid waste management. She has served as the co-faculty advisor for the University of Nebraska Engineers Without Borders chapter since 2009.

Libby Jones, M.S., Ph.D.: Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Session Title: The Role of Engineers Without Borders in Developing Globally-Competent Students

Dr. Libby Jones is an Associate Professor in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Civil Engineering Department and is currently on a faculty leave of absence at Engineers Without Borders USA.  At EWB-USA she is serving as their Director of Education and Knowledge Sharing.  She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University.  Both her Masters of Science and Ph.D. were earned in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.  She has worked as a consulting transportation engineer in Colorado and Texas.  Her research interests include engineering education, and sustainable and reliable infrastructure systems.  Dr. Jones is one of the founding faculty advisors for the EWB-USA University of Nebraska Student Chapter and has served as the traveling faculty advisor on assessment and implementation trips for solar power projects, biosand filter projects, gravity flow system projects and rainwater harvesting projects in Madagascar and Uganda.  Dr. Jones has received numerous awards for her leadership, mentoring and teaching including most recently the 2015 Holling Family Distinguished Teaching / Advising / Mentoring Award from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering and the 2014 Engineers Without Borders-USA Peter J. Bosscher Faculty Advisor Award for Outstanding Leadership.

Rev. Ben Osborne, SJ: Creighton School of Medicine Chaplain

Session Title: Spiritual Resources for Self-Care in Difficult Situations

Bio: The Rev. Ben Osborne, SJ is chaplain to the Creighton University School of Medicine.  He entered the Society of Jesus in 1997, after graduating from Marquette University. He has studied at Creighton, Saint Louis University, and the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Fr. Osborne was ordained in 2009 and worked for more than five years at the Jesuit Retreat House in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. He spent the first half of 2016 finishing his Jesuit formation in Africa, where he spent almost two months working with Jesuit Refugee Service in South Sudan.

Alana Schriver, MPH: Omaha Public Schools Refugee Specialist

Session Title:  Culturally Effective Care for Resettled Refugees

Bio: Alana Schriver received her MPH with an emphasis in International Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  Alana worked as a community health promoter in Central and South America before returning to her home state of Nebraska to work in refugee resettlement.  Much of her work as the Refugee Specialist of Omaha Public Schools focuses on addressing the healthcare needs of newly arrived students and their families.  Alana currently serves as co-chair of the Omaha Refugee Health Collaborative, the mission of which is to increase refugee access to healthcare, cultural proficiency of healthcare professionals, and capacity of refugee communities to enter into healthcare professions themselves.

Buey Tut: Executive Director of Aqua Africa

Session Title: Why Clean Water

Bio: Buey was born in South Sudan in a small village called Maiwut. Along with his family, Buey immigrated to the United States as a refugee at the age of 11. While attending University of Nebraska Omaha, he and his childhood friend, Co-Founder Jacob Khol, decided they wanted to help their homeland. They founded Aqua-Africa with plans to transform the way in which aid is administered to underdeveloped nations.  Buey is a graduate of University of Nebraska Omaha, where he majored in Political Science.


Dr. Mary Willis, PhD: Professor of Anthropology at University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Session Title: Food Security and Health in Africa:  Undergraduate Education through Participation and Observation

Bio: Dr. Mary S. Willis is a Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL) in Lincoln, Nebraska. Dr. Willis was awarded an MA and a PhD in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1991 and 1995 respectively.  A Science and Diplomacy Fellow with AAAS from 1995-1997, Dr. Willis worked within USAID’s Office of Population, Health and Nutrition providing technical assistance to health programs worldwide.  She has traveled and worked in Asia, Africa and South America for 40 years, conducting health and bio-cultural research in a variety of settings. Dr. Willis became a member of the UNL faculty in January of 2000 working within the Department of Anthropology. In 2012, she joined the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, broadening the scope of her teaching and research, and became a Daugherty Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow.  She is a Fellow in the Society for Applied Anthropology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She now emphasizes biocultural approaches to food and nutrition, as well as global food security.  Dr. Willis began her UNL career studying Nebraska’s refugee populations from South Sudan, the Nuer and the Dinka.  While she continues to work with refugees, she has developed an education abroad program on food security, health and nutrition and, since 2014, she has accompanied undergraduates to Ethiopia to examine the impact of under-nutrition on growth-related sequelae and dental health within rural farming communities.

Brianna Hekrdle: Senior at University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Session Title: Food Security and Health in Africa:  Undergraduate Education through Participation and Observation

Brianna Hekrdle is a senior at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln (UNL). Throughout her undergraduate career, Brianna has been involved with research programs at UNL’s Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior, and with Dr. Mary Willis in Desse, Ethiopia and Awassa, Ethiopia. Brianna plans to graduate in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Ethnic Studies with a focus in African Studies, and she will matriculate to the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry to begin a DDS program in August. 

Maggie Dawson: Senior at University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Session Title: Food Security and Health in Africa:  Undergraduate Education through Participation and Observation

Maggie Dawson is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In her undergraduate years, Maggie has been involved in the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences and has conducted nutrition research through study abroad programs to both Ethiopia and Mozambique. After graduating in May, Maggie plans to complete a year-long Dietetics internship followed by graduate school where she will earn her Master’s of Public Health with an emphasis in Global Nutrition.

Jocelyn Wu: Creighton Fourth Year Medical Student

Session Title: Short-term Medical Mission Sustainable Collaboration Strategies in the Dominican Republic


As the daughter of a Myanmar immigrant father and American-born Chinese mother, Jocelyn witnessed different health access realities through visits to Southeast Asia. Her academic interest in communities and institutionalized oppression was initiated by an undergraduate Sociology course that culminated in a month immersion in Villa El Salvador, an urban district of Lima, Peru. The experience reframed her understanding of home communities in both Tacoma, Washington and Omaha, Nebraska. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology and minors in Justice and Peace Studies, Medical Anthropology, and Piano performance from Creighton in 2012. Prior to medical school, she spent a year in Latin America. After studying Spanish at Maryknoll in Cochabamba, Bolivia, she returned to Lima to work at Ciudad de los Ninos as an middle-school educator. During this time, she became interested in maternal-child health and empowerment through accompaniment of women at the community soup kitchen and childcare center where she had originally worked in Villa El Salvador.

Jocelyn has founded and facilitated workshop and long-term partnership outreach models including: co-founding Maya Community Health Collaborative in Omaha, Nebraska; leadership in Project CURA, Creighton’s student-run medical student service-learning organization; project coordination for the Institute for Latin American Concern in the Dominican Republic; a service-learning immersion in Ghana at Saboba Medical Centre; and co-directing Global Health Conference Midwest in 2014. Her interests are sustainability in healthcare education, addiction in pregnancy, and addressing violence experienced by women through OB-GYN care. She will complete her M.D. at Creighton School of Medicine in May 2017.

Nicholas George, MD, MPH Candidate at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health 

Session Title: Short-term Medical Mission Sustainable Collaboration Strategies in the Dominican Republic

recent medical graduate from Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) in the Dominican Republic, Dr. George has dedicated himself to providing medical services for vulnerable populations and researching low-cost strategies and technologies targeting resource-limited areas of the world, focusing specifically on Central America and the Caribbean. His undergraduate studies at Creighton University included majors in Biology and Spanish and a minor in Public Health. During college, he participated in service-learning immersions in rural areas of the Dominican Republic and a public health internship in Costa Rica. Both of these experiences initiated his interest Global Health. In medical school, he was awarded grant funding in collaboration with PUCMM faculty for a project looking at the technique of cell-block preparation from Pap in liquid medium to clarify the results of Atypical Squamous Cells and Atypical Glandular Cells. His most recent research involves work with cancer epidemiology in Hispanic/Latino populations of the United States. Currently he is an MPH candidate at Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina and continues to further his work in Global Health and Migrant Health in the United States.