External Advisory Committee
To contact any of the EAC members, please email GPH Program Coordinator Delyla Wilson: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Executive Director, Posture 24/7
Rick Aldred was born and raised in Canada where he received a BA in Philosophy, B.Ed in Education, and worked on a degree in religious studies at the graduate level. He has varied work experience, focusing for many years now on information technology. His third daughter, Eleanore, was born with complex needs in 1989; the next twelve years with her changed Rick’s life, as he awakened to the lived experience of families raising children with complex needs. This experience inspired the NGO Eleanore’s Project, which focuses on improving the quality of life for children with disabilities and their families in low-resource parts of the world. Currently Eleanore’s Project provides wheelchair clinics and wheelchairs to those in need in Peru. These life experiences coalesced and led Rick to found Postural Care USA in 2013 with his wife Tamara, now continuing on as Posture 24/7. Rick spends part of his time providing IT support at a clinic for uninsured and underinsured individuals in Missoula, Montana, where he is highly aware of the need for cost effective health care approaches. He spends the rest of his work day developing Posture 24/7 and Eleanore’s Project. In his spare time he is an avid amateur photographer.
Jonah Attebery, MD
- Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center
Breanna Barger-Kamate, MD
- COO and Chair of Mali Medical Relief Fund
I grew up in Arlee Montana, a small 30 minutes north of Missoula. I attended the University of Montana, initially studying political science and French. I returned for an additional year of pre-medicine study to qualify for medical school. I had my first experiences with global health research working as a research assistant to Dr. Peter Koehn on his cultural competency work. After completing my undergrad, I moved to Washington DC where I worked at the National Institutes of Health on a project that took me to Mali. During this year I also applied to medical school. In the fall of 2004, I began my studies at Montana State through the WWAMI program. After my third year of medical school I was accepted into the Forgarty International Health Scholars program. In the Fall of 2007 I returned to Mali for a year. I helped conduct one of the earliest trials of using intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in school children. With this came abundant clinical experience and a front line education in health disparities.
In 2008 while seeing patients on the pediatric ward, I was increasingly concerned about the number of patients dying from poverty. They simply could not afford their diagnostic work up or treatment. I wrote an email home and within days several friends and family members had donated a few thousand dollars to help pay for care. At the end of rounds the pediatric team would assess the needs of patients and determine who would need financial support. We would go and purchase the studies and medicines needed to continue patient care. The program became a huge success. Mali Medical Relief Fund was born! Patients benefited from the care they received, and the medical team is able to do much more to help patients in financial difficulty.
We continued our work even after I left to return to the USA. We had a reliable team of physicians and medical students who continued to refer patients and provide care. Over the years we have benefited from generous donors who have helped our organization grow. We are now in 5 sites around the country and are able to provide complex surgeries including brain surgery, complex orthopedic surgeries, and even prostheses.
I completed my training in pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Since completing my training, my day job is that I am an attending pediatric emergency medicine physician at Providence Sacred Heart in Spokane Washington. I continue on as the Chief of Operations and Chair of the board of Mali Medical Relief Fund. I am thrilled to be a part of the global health advisory council.
Senator Richard Barrett, PhD
- Economics, University of Montana
- Montana State Representative
Dick Barrett taught in the Economics Department at the University of Montana from 1970 to 2007. His undergraduate degree is from Swarthmore College and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. Before attending graduate school he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia from 1964 to 1966. During his tenure at the University he spent several years teaching and doing research in Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. After retiring, he joined the board of Missoula Medical Aid and has led several Missoula based medical brigades on trips to Honduras. He has been active in various non-profit, labor, political and environmental organizations and since 2009 has served as a member of the Montana legislature.
Senator Barrett believes that in much of the world, the health and well being of individuals and families is critically dependent on the state of public health as it is reflected in such issues as access to clean water, exposure to environmental and workplace contaminants, adequate nutrition (particularly for children), and effective health education. Throughout his career he has had an avid interest in how public policy should be designed, implemented and evaluated. His interest extends to policy in just about any area - from taxation to education to health and beyond - and he is always willing to work with students that want to solve a policy problem!
Darin Bell, MD
- Faculty, Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana
Darin is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine with the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana, in the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences. He also works part time as a Hospitalist at St Patrick Hospital. He has lived and taught in Missoula for the last year and a half. Prior to moving to Montana, he spent eight years living and working in rural and bush communities throughout Alaska. In that capacity he served as medical director for a volunteer EMS service, a national park, a nursing home, and a maximum security prison. He has put together and participated in several over-seas medical volunteer trips in Africa and South East Asia. During these experiences, he has witnessed the profound effects the physical environment can have on the health of a population and its individuals; as well as the effects that the health of people can have on their environment.
Marshall Bloom, MD
- Associate Director for Scientific Management, Division of Intramural Research, Rocky Mountain Laboratories
A recognized expert on the pathogenesis of tick-borne flaviviruses, persistent infections and parvoviruses, Marshall E. Bloom, M.D., serves as chief of the biology of vector-borne viruses section in the Laboratory of Virology and is the associate director for scientific management at Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, MT. RML is a part of the Division of Intramural Research of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/labsandresources/labs/aboutlabs/lv/tickborneflaviviruspathogenesissection/Pages/bloom.aspx
The author of numerous scientific articles and book chapters, Dr. Bloom sits on the editorial board of Virology and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM), American Society of Microbiology (ASM), the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), and the American Society for Virology. He has served on organizing committees and advisory boards for a number of major scientific conferences, including a 2-year term as chair of the annual ASM Biodefense and Emerging Infections Conferences.
As associate director, Dr. Bloom played a major role in design, construction and staffing of the RML Integrated Research Facility, which houses NIAID’s first Biosafety Level 4 research program. He is considered an authority on biosafety, biocontainment and management of high containment laboratory research programs.
Dr. Bloom has a long history of service to the Hamilton campus and directs community outreach and education programs at RML. He chairs the RML Community Liaison Group, composed of civic and community leaders. Dr. Bloom is a long-time participant in the NIAID education programs. He also coordinates the RML Summer Internship Program and has mentored and trained doctoral fellows and students. He has served as radiation safety officer, chairman of the Animal Care and Use Committee, and chairman of the RML Seminar and Library Committees.
Dr. Bloom is on the Advisory Board for the University of Montana College of Humanities and Sciences and the External Advisory Council for the University of Montana Global Public Health Program.
Dr. Bloom is an avid trout fisherman, and has also been active nationwide as a trout conservationist. He is an authority on whirling disease, a complex parasitic disease of trout and salmon. He serves as chair of the Montana Governor's Whirling Disease Task Force from 1994 to 2000. He has received awards from the American Fisheries Society, Trout Unlimited, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Forest Service, and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
He is the recipient of many honors and awards, including an award for extended service as radiation safety officer, the NIAID Division of Intramural Research Special Service Award, the NIAID Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases Special Service Award, several other NIAID awards, an NIH Award of Merit, and several NIH Director’s Awards. In 2013, he was elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology.
Dr. Bloom graduated from Washington University with a bachelor's degree in classics in 1967, and he earned his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in 1971. Following a pediatric internship at St. Louis Children's Hospital, he came to RML in 1972 as a research associate, where from 1972 and 1975, he initiated studies on Aleutian disease of mink that led him to characterize the disease agent as a parvovirus and describe the pathogenesis of the disease. In 1975, he was assigned to what was then the Laboratory of Biology of Viruses at NIAID in Bethesda, but he returned to RML as a tenured investigator in 1977. He is a charter principal investigator in NIAID DIR's Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases at RML. Dr. Bloom was appointed associate director for RML in 2002 and has also served as acting Laboratory Chief of NIAID DIR’s Laboratory of Human Bacterial Pathogenesis as well as the Laboratory of Virology. He is a charter principal investigator in NIAID DIR’s Laboratory of Virology where he leads a comprehensive program in the study of vector borne-viruses.
Tom Bulger, MD
- Internist/Emergency Medicine, St. Patrick Hospital
Tom Bulger grew up in Great Falls, attended Harvard College, then McGill medical school. He was the Chief Medical Resident at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle. He is a board Certified in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine. He has been an Emergency Medicine doctor at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula since 1989. His international health experience includes work with semi-nomadic tribes in Kenya, India, and rural poor in Honduras. He believes that Global Health efforts now lead the world in accurate detection of health problems and their solutions -- even in wealthy countries like our own. And, as Paul Farmer says, there is a part for everyone.
Julie DeSoto, MPA, International Development
- Program Management Officer
Heinz Feldmann, MD, PhD
- Chief, Laboratory of Virology Chief and Disease Modeling and Transmission Section, NIAID
Nancy Fitch, MD
- Independent Consultant, Institute for Collaborative Development
Dr. Nancy Fitch is currently an independent consultant in international health, working for a newly established firm, the Institute for Collaborative Development, that specializes in health financing and health system strengthening.
She previously worked for 7 years at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation for the Foundation’s Director of Sustainability and Health Systems in three different positions. Most recently, she oversaw efforts to strengthen nationally and locally-led HIV and primary health services and systems in 12 African countries. Prior to September 2011, Dr. Fitch served as the country director for the Foundation’s program in Mozambique, where she oversaw programmatic, research, and advocacy initiatives. Her areas of technical expertise include HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment, family medicine and primary health care, reproductive health, health service delivery, performance-based financing, health systems strengthening, and quality improvement. Dr. Fitch first served as the country director for the Foundation’s Rwanda program before joining the Mozambique office in 2008.Previous to her work with the Foundation, Dr. Fitch served in various roles at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Rwanda, including HIV/AIDS Technical Advisor and oversaw the first two years of USAID’s HIV Rwanda program. She also worked as a Primary Care advisor to the Ministry of Health in Armenia, strengthening primary health care and developing a family medicine training program and curriculum at the national medical university. For 11 years, Dr. Fitch was Director of the University of Montana’s Student Health Services. Dr. Fitch received a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Brown University and a degree in medicine from Duke University, School of Medicine; she completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Minnesota Hospitals.
Lisa Fleischer, MD
- Family Medicine, Kalispell Regional Medical Center
Dr. Fleischer received her BA from Cornell University and attended George Washington University Medical School. She has been working in Family Practice in NW Montana, mainly Ronan and Kalispell, since 1988. Dr. Fleischer has worked in a variety of health organizations and positions; from private practice, for the HIS and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the Lake County Health Department, to the Kalispell Regional Medical Center. She is currently the Medical Director of Lake County Family Planning Clinic and a volunteer physician St. Jude Hospital in St. Lucia. She was also the founder and President of Hewanorra Health Volunteers (a 501C3 dedicated to supporting St. Jude Hospital) from 2004-2013. She has been acting as a recruitment liaison for HHV since 2013. She has worked internationally with the Behrhorst Foundation in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, Physicians with Heart Family Medicine Development in Tajikistan, Kyrgystan and Moldova, and St Jude Hospital in St Lucia. Dr. Fleischer believes that working in Global Health settings allows us to connect with new patients, colleagues and systems to the potential benefit of all.
Students can learn more about our work in St Lucia by visiting www.hhv-stlucia.org
Tamara Kittelson-Adred, MS
- OTR/L, ATP/SMS, Project Director - Elanore's Project
Joe Knapp, MD
- Internal Medicine/Cardiology, The International Heart Institute of Montana
Dr. Joe Knapp is a Cardiologist who has been practicing in Missoula since 1982. Presently, he is the director of medical research at the International Heart Institute of Montana Foundation. He completed his undergraduate education at Santa Clara University and attended Medical School at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He completed an Internal Medicine Residency and earned a Cardiology Fellowship at the University of Arizona. His Public Health Education was at the University of Washington. Among his professional interests are advanced cardiac imaging with cardiac ultrasound, in particular three-dimensional realtime imaging. He has a particular passion for the practical implementation of "Best Practices" in the real world of health care delivery and the Appropriate Use Criteria and what it implies for the practice of medicine. He is interested in the comparative effectiveness of research and population studies in rural America.
Nerissa Koehn, MD
- Associate Program Director, Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana
Dr. Nerissa Koehn is a family physician who was born and raised in Missoula. She attended Lewis and Clark College, Harvard Medical School, and Tacoma Family Medicine for her residency training. As an undergraduate student, she spent five months in Kenya on a study abroad program where she completed an independent study project on ways to improve communication between traditional and modern healers. While in medical school, she did a four-month internship with the World Health Organization and Zanzibar Ministry of Health in Tanzania on hookworm infections among school children on Pemba Island. She also spent six weeks in the rural highlands of Guatemala participating in an intensive medical Spanish course and providing medical care to the local indigenous population at a number of rural clinic outposts. After completion of residency, she and her husband, Dr. John Miller, worked for the Indian Health Service in Zuni, New Mexico where she served as the Director of Women's Health at the Zuni Service Unit. They spent eight years living and working on the Zuni reservation before moving back to Missoula in 2011. Dr. Nerissa Koehn is currently the Associate Program Director for the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana (FMRWM). The mission of FMRWM is to train family physicians who are motivated to serve patients and communities in the rural and underserved areas of Montana.
Charlotte Kutsch, MD
- Dermatology, Western Montana Clinic
Dr. Kutsch is a Dermatologist certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and received her graduate training in Dermatology at the University of Colorado. She also completed a research-based fellowship in Immunodermatology at the University of Colorado. Dr. Kutsch has worked in solo, group, and hospital-based Dermatology practices. She is currently employed by the Western Montana Clinic. Dr. Kutsch is Vice-President of the Montana Academy of Dermatology, and is on the Board of Trustees of the Montana Medical Association. In February 2014, she taught Dermatology to medical students and residents in Cambodia through Health Volunteers Overseas. She returned there recently to teach again in February 2015.
Mary Nielsen, MSN, RN
- Team Leader for Tanzania Medical Mission
Mary has worked in rehabilitation, acute care, emergency room care, home health and hospice care. After earning her Master’s Degree in Nursing Education, she has spent the last 25 years in nursing academia, as nursing faculty and then the Nursing Program Director at Missoula College. She then joined the HealthCARE Montana TAACCCT 4 grant team as the Nursing Curriculum Director in 2014, and after 39 years of nursing, plans to join her husband Tim in retirement after the grant ends March of 2018.
Since 2009, Mary with her husband Tim have made five medical mission trips to Sakila, Tanzania and leading the teams since 2011. The focus of our visits have changed from a clinic setting to becoming a mobile clinic traveling to outlying villages of northern Tanzania. The experience has been enlightening, spiritual, joyful, humbling, and educational. Our plans are to continue this relationship with Bishop Eluidi Issangya, of the International Evangelism Center in Sakila, and the surrounding communities long-term.
John Miller, MD
- Medical Director, Partnership Health Center
Dr. John Miller is a family physician who was raised in a small town in north Idaho. He attended the University of Chicago and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Sociology. He then attended the University of Washington School of Medicine and Harvard School of Public Health with a concentration in International Health. During this time, he completed a four week intensive medical Spanish course in medical school, and spent ten weeks in the rural highlands of Guatemala participating in public health research on bus safety and providing medical care to the local indigenous population at a number of rural clinic outposts. After completion of his residency at Tacoma Family Medicine, he worked for the Indian Health Service in Zuni, New Mexico where he served as the Director of the Diabetes Program at the Zuni Service Unit. For eight years, he lived and worked with his wife Dr. Nerissa Koehn on the Zuni reservation before moving back to Missoula in 2011. Dr. Miller is currently the Medical Director at Partnership Health Center, Missoula's community health center. He is also a faculty member for the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana (FMRWM).
Gail Pohlman, RN, BSN, MEd
Gail Pohlman received her Bachelor of science in Nursing from Capital University in Columbus, OH. She then received her Ob/Gyn Nurse Practitioner Certification (prior to licensure programs) from the Univ. of Kansas, Kansas City, KS and her Master of Education with a focus on School Health from Cambridge College, Boston, MA. Her international work experiences include time with the U. S. Peace Corps from 2010-2012 in South Africa working with an HIV/AIDS Outreach Project and Public Clinic Volunteer, as well as Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) in Papua New Guinea from 2014-2015, where she worked on a project to provide medical assistance and training for health care workers and for survivors of family and sexual violence. Most recently Gail worked with the new US Peace Corps, Global Health Service Project by teaching nursing in Tanzania for 2014-2015. This is a cooperation between US Peace Corps and SEED Global Health which hopes to build health service capacity in developing areas by providing educational professionals, doctors and nurses, to the field of medical education in impacted areas. She believes that Global Public Health is important to not only the recipient but also to the providers of service. Developing countries are struggling to provide health care services to many in need, and our participation not only is needed but helps us understand the connectedness of all health on this planet, i.e., Ebola, HIV, Zika, etc. Her understanding of other cultures and the health challenges faced has allowed her to grow and she is happy to share her perspectives with students and encourage them to be informed and participate at any level.
Genevieve Reid, MD
- Director, Global Midwife Education Foundation
Dr. Genevieve Reid is a practicing Family Physician from Livingston Montana who has worked in Pakistan, Nicaragua, Morocco and Bolivia on women's and children's health issues in remote, low-income settings. In 2010, she founded the Global Midwife Education Foundation which works to train birth attendants, improve educational opportunities and improve wáter and sanitation in southern Bolivia. Her interest in improving care in the developing world has been inspired by the safe childbirth experiences we can provide to mothers and babies in the rural United States.
George Risi, MD
- Infectious Disease Physician
Michele Sare, MSN, RN
- Founding Director, Nurses for Nurses International Foundation, Inc
Tom Schwan, DMD
- Senior Investigator, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID/NIH
Dr. Tom G. Schwan received his B.S. in 1969 and M.A. in 1972 in biology from California State University at Hayward. From 1974 to 1976, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya. He received his Ph.D. in 1983 in medical entomology from the University of California at Berkeley. His dissertation investigated the ecology of fleas and plague in Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya. From 1983 to 1986, he was a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at the Yale Arbovirus Research Unit, Yale University School of Medicine, where he studied tick-borne viruses. He joined the Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in Hamilton, Montana, in July 1986, where he is now Senior Investigator. While at RML, Dr. Schwan has served as Acting Chief of the Laboratory of Microbial Structure and Function, the Laboratory of Human Bacterial Pathogenesis, and served as the chief of the Laboratory of Zoonotic Pathogens from 2005 to 2013. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology for 9 years, and he is currently on the editorial boards of Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases and Emerging Infectious Diseases, and was an Associate Editor for Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases. In 1993, he received the Award of Merit for Excellence in Technology Transfer from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer for work related to the serodiagnosis of Lyme disease. In 2001, he was elected a fellow into the American Academy of Microbiology and he was selected as an ASM Branch Lecturer for 2011 – 2013. His research interests include medical entomology and the biology of ticks and fleas, the serodiagnosis of tick-borne infections, mechanisms of pathogenicity of relapsing fever and Lyme disease spirochetes, and how bacterial pathogens adapt for their biological transmission by ticks and fleas.
Phil Seidenberg, MD
- University of New Mexico
Chris Siegler, though retired now, was previously a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo. He served as an advisor for 18 years in the field of health care in Missoula and South Dakota for 22 years. He received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and an MPA from the University of Montana. Chris’s international work started when he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone from 1967-69. More recently he has been working with the Sierra Leone YMCA on youth development initiatives, as well as women’s cooperatives in Kenya, India and Sierra Leone on business development through micro-finance grants with Right Sharing of World Resources. He also works through Village Hope, Inc on developing an agribusiness sector to commercially produce gari, a food staple in West Africa, in Sierra Leone. He believes that global Health is important because we live in a global society, and poor health in developing countries causes societal unrest which in turn has implications for the US. If students want to connect with Chris there are internship and research possibilities with several of the projects he is involved with.
Brian Sippy, MD
- Vitreo-Retinal Disease and Surgery, Rocky Mountain Eye Center
Dr. Sippy received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas. He attended medical and graduate schools at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. His medical internship was at the University of Utah. He then went to Emory University in Atlanta for a residency in Ophthalmology and stayed on for fellowships in ocular pathology and vitreo-retinal disease and surgery. He moved to Montana to join the multi-specialty Ophthalmology group at the Rocky Mountain Eye Center. He also holds affiliate positions at the University of Montana and University of Washington in Seattle. He has served on the Montana Medical Association BoT and executive committee. He is past president of the Montana Academy of Ophthalmology and represents Montana as its sole Counselor to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He travels to D.C. every spring to advocate for Medicare patients and healthcare-related issues. His global health experience comes from participating as volunteer faculty for Orbis in China and Syria.
Tim Nielsen, RPT
- Team Leader for Tanzania Medical Mission
Tim worked for six years in a rehabilitation center/community hospital setting primarily treating rehabilitation patients who experienced spinal cord injuries, strokes, or traumatic brain injuries, and was the department director for part of those six years.
At that point, with two other PTs, he opened a private PT practice specializing in orthopedic and musculoskeletal patients. In the context of this clinic he also worked in nursing homes, home health care, schools, hospice care, functional job testing, pre-employment screening, and contract hospital inpatient work. After 39 years in practice, he has sold the practice and retired.
Since 2009, Tim with his wife Mary have made five medical mission trips to Sakila, Tanzania and leading the teams since 2011. Our focus has changed from a clinic setting to becoming a mobile clinic traveling to outlying villages of northern Tanzania. The experience has been enlightening, spiritual, joyful, humbling, and educational. Our plans are to continue this relationship with Bishop Eluidi Issangya, of the International Evangelism Center in Sakila, and the surrounding communities long-term.
- Flathead City-County Health Department
Sarah Webb, MPH & MBA student
- John Hopkins University
Sarah Webb graduated from the University of Puget Sound with her BA in Political Theory and Environmental Policy & Decision-Making. Sarah first fell in love with the world of international development and public health during a Field School extension of an undergraduate course in Botswana during the summer of 2011, where she was studying the overlap between community-based natural resource management and women's empowerment. She has worked in international education as well as micro-enterprise development in both India and Ecuador, where much of the programming that she was implemented was related to public health strategies (clean water, vision, public health awareness strategies) and environmental impact (resource conservation, waste management). During the year that she spent in India, Sarah's eyes were opened to the challenges and obstacles faced by women and girls during menstruation, and she has been a passionate advocate for menstrual hygiene initiatives ever since.
In her 3 years with Days for Girls, Sarah started and supported DfG programming at the global level. She participated in health training, project management, and curriculum design in Uganda, Guatemala, Nepal, and India. Sarah was the DfG Programming Director in Asia and Latin America, working closely with the DfG Core Team on strategic planning, global growth strategy, and program support when she left DfG earlier this year to pursue a Masters in Public Health and Masters in Business Administration at John Hopkins University.
Growing up in Montana, Sarah has long been a passionate advocate for environmental conservation and the outdoor world, and is excited to be pursuing a career that focuses on the intersections between public health, women's empowerment, and environmental conservation.