Global Partners in Care recognizes advancing research and growing opportunities for learning are important aspects of enhancing access to quality palliative care worldwide. We work with partners around the globe to advance research, provide internships and support scholarships for palliative care training. This year, GPIC welcomes two student interns: Michael Vega, a second year Master of Public Health student from Saint Louis University and Lena Dougherty, a third-year undergraduate from University of Notre Dame.
Following in the footsteps of Lydia Thomas, Michael will work in collaboration with GPIC and the African Palliative Care Association (APCA). Michael seeks to address health disparities and social justice issues in diverse local, national, and global settings. His concentrations in Global Health and Biosecurity & Disaster Preparedness allow for a more extensive understanding of how to address worldwide health needs that transcend national boundaries.
Across our partner countries, we have seen how disasters affect the ability to carry out essential palliative care services in communities. Most notability, pandemics, climate disasters and political instability have brought new challenges in the work of our palliative care partners. Michael will conduct a needs assessment to identify the impact of natural or man-made disasters on our partners’ ability to continue necessary palliative care services. This will include assessing what steps in planning and preparation for future disasters our partners have taken. This assessment will then serve as a basis for recommending how GPIC can best support palliative care organizations in this space and for potential funders and partners for future disaster preparedness work.
As part of his experience, Michael will be traveling to Uganda to work with APCA. Relying on his personal experiences and his passion for humanitarian aid and social justice, he plans to use his education, professional experience, and personal drive to better the lives of vulnerable communities around the world.
Lena Dougherty is a student at the University of Notre Dame majoring in Science Preprofessional Studies with minors in Musical Theatre and Compassionate Care in Medicine. She plans to continue on to medical school and looks forward to becoming a doctor. During her time at Notre Dame, Lena has served as deputy director of the Department of Disability Advocacy in Notre Dame Student Government and president of Ryan Hall. She now serves as the director of gender relations: Title IX & women’s initiatives in Notre Dame Student Government. Lena’s interests lie in global and women’s health, inclusion in the arts, deaf advocacy, and gender equality. Lena is thrilled to be interning with GPIC this summer and is looking forward to applying her skills and interests to help further GPIC’s mission.