External Advisory Committee

To contact any of the EAC members, please email GPH Program Coordinator Delyla Wilson: delyla.wilson@mso.umt.edu

Richard Aldred

  • Executive Director, Posture 24/7
Richard Aldred

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.

Senator Richard Barrett, PhD

  • Economics, University of Montana
  • Montana State Representative
Senator Richard Barrett, PhD

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 Bell, MD

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
Marshall Bloom, MD

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, MD

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
Julie DeSoto, MPA, International Development
Julie is a Program Management Officer focusing on adolescent health and mental health programming on the global health team at World Vision. She supports the DREAMS Innovation Challenge Project School-Community Accountability for Adolescent Girls Education (SAGE) in Uganda and the COVida (Together for Children) OVC project in Mozambique. Julie has worked extensively with adolescents in the U.S., Egypt, Jordan, Mozambique, and Uganda. In the Middle East, she managed programs for youth empowerment and employability, and she is now focusing on the intersection of adolescent health and mental health programming. Julie holds a bachelor degree in science and a master degree in international development from the University of Montana focused in the Middle East and fragile contexts, and is currently pursuing a second post-graduate degree in public health at the George Washington University focusing on global adolescent health and global mental health.

Heinz Feldmann, MD, PhD

  • Chief, Laboratory of Virology Chief and Disease Modeling and Transmission Section, NIAID
Heinz Feldmann, MD, PhD
Heinz Feldmann graduated from medical school in 1987 (M.D.) and received his Ph.D. in 1988, both from the University of Marburg, Germany. His postdoctoral research was conducted in the field of virology (filoviruses and hantaviruses) at the Institute of Virology, University of Marburg, Germany, and the special pathogens branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where he held a fellowship from the National Research Council. Following his postdoctoral training, he was as an assistant and associate professor with the Institute of Virology at the University of Marburg, Germany. During this time he was trained as an infectious disease specialist with a focus on laboratory diagnostics. From 1999 to 2008, Dr. Feldmann held the position of chief of the special pathogens program of the National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada. Since 2008, he has been the chief of Laboratory of Virology and the chief scientist at the RML BSL-4 laboratories and is now the Chief of the Laboratory of Virology at the Rocky Mountain Lab.  In addition, he is an associate professor with the department of medical microbiology, University of Manitoba. Dr. Feldmann is a laboratory expert on high containment viruses (BSL-4) and serves as a consultant on viral hemorrhagic fevers and related pathogens for the World Health Organization and, thus, has field experience and expertise in outbreak management. He is a member of national and international professional societies, an editor for Archives of Virology, and serves on the editorial board of several other journals. Dr. Feldman is the Chief of the Laboratory of Virology at the Rocky Mountain Lab.

Nancy Fitch, MD

  • Independent Consultant, Institute for Collaborative Development
Nancy Fitch, MD

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
 Lisa Fleischer, MD

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

Bruce Hardy

Kate Hurly

Tamara Kittelson-Adred, MS

  • OTR/L, ATP/SMS, Project Director - Elanore's Project
Tamara Kittelson-Adred, MS
Tamara is an occupational therapist that has been in practice for 40 years. As a specialist in pediatrics/early intervention her focus shifted when Eleanore, her third daughter, was born with complex needs; eventually she specialized in positioning and mobility equipment for children, youth and adults with complex needs. Tamara is a RESNAcertified Assistive Technology Professional/Seating and Mobility Specialist. While working with children during their growing years, she observed deterioration in the body shape of many despite good seating and positioning. In the year 2000 a paper published in England sparked her interest in 24 hour postural care. She used what she knew as a therapist to provide 24 hour postural care for her clients, but over time desired further training. In January 2012 Tamara studied with John and Liz Goldsmith and Sarah Clayton at Postural Care Skills, CIC in England. She implemented what she learned with clients at home and completed qualifications in Measurement of Body Symmetry, Advanced Postural Care  and a Postural Care Tutor/Manager course through the Open College Network West Midlands. Her desire to raise awareness about 24 hour postural care in the United States led to starting a nonprofit organization in 2013, Postural Care USA – now renamed Posture 24/7. Tamara works clinically through her private practice, Specialty Occupational Therapy, PLLC,  in Missoula, Montana. In addition to working with Posture 24/7, she also directs 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. In her spare time she loves to grow, preserve and cook with food from her garden and is an avid yoga practitioner.

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
Nerissa Koehn, MD

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 Nielsen, MSN, RN
Mary attended college in Minnesota earning a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 1978. Along with her husband Tim, they came west to Missoula, MT, where she started her career as an RN at Saint Patrick’s Hospital.   

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
John Miller, MD

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).

Gary Peterson

 

Gail Pohlman, RN, BSN, MEd

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
Genevieve Reid, MD

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
George Risi, MD
Dr. Risi is an infectious disease physician in private practice in Missoula. He received his undergraduate degree at Emory University, MD at Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia. He did his residency and ID fellowship at the LSU Medical Center in New Orleans. His international work has included a year sabbatical at the London School of Hygiene studying immunology. Dr. Risi also spent time working in Africa where he cared for patients with Ebola, which he followed by training health-care workers to care for Ebola patients in Havana, and Panama. He believes that global Public Health is critical in this era of modern travel, where no place in the world is more than a plane ride away from the US. In his own words, “Ultimately, everything is infectious. It has been a true joy to study this discipline and I cannot imagine anything more satisfying.”

Michele Sare, MSN, RN

  • Founding Director, Nurses for Nurses International Foundation, Inc
Michele Sare, MSN, RN
Michele Sare has dedicated the majority of her professional life –spanning 40 years—to improving health in rural and resource-poor communities. She founded Nurses for Nurses International Foundation, which works to close the gap between disparity and inequity in healthcare in rural and resource poor communities in Haiti, Montana, Mongolia and Nicaragua through the skill, knowledge, attributes, and strengths of the world’s largest professional healthcare workforce—nursing—the profession of care. She has also authored several internationally distributed texts, and remains a speaker, trainer, university level professor, activist, and advocate, and a consultant for rural and frontier public health. She has helped design and implement successful legislation, and deliver innovative and responsive educational offerings in Indonesia, Haiti, Mongolia, and across several US states, particularly in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Michele knows what it takes to effect change and to address the tough choices in healthcare.

Tom Schwan, DMD

  • Senior Investigator, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID/NIH
Tom Schwan, DMD

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.  

 

Chris Siegler

Chris Siegler

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
Brian Sippy, MD

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 Nielsen, RPT
Tim attended college in Iowa earning a Bachelor degree in Biology and Psychology.  He then went on to Physical Therapy School at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. In 1978, after completing PT school, he came west to Missoula, MT, to start his career as a Physical Therapist.

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.

Rosemary Till

  • Flathead City-County Health Department
Rosemary Till
Rosemary Till works with the Montana Cancer Screening Program and the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program at the Flathead City-County Health Department in Kalispell. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in French Language & Literature and Global Studies (Development & Social Justice emphasis) at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. In college she took many classes related to African anthropology and post-colonial studies and had the opportunity to study abroad in both metropolitan France and the Caribbean. Upon graduation, she spent a year teaching English at the Université Evangélique au Tchad and lived with a host family in Moundou, Chad. She chose to earn a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Montana because she sees public health as a tangible way to apply her interest in development studies and social justice. Much of her coursework at UM was around global health, including a practicum with the Global Public Health minor program, and a professional paper entitled “Global climate change and local public health in southern Chad: mediating pastoralist-agriculturalist conflict and improving food security.” She believes that global health is important because our world is increasingly interconnected; “global” is made up of different “locals” and their various geopolitical and socioeconomic relationships. As she is am from Montana, and maintains a love for Montana, she is increasingly interested in how to combine “global” and “local” health interests, themes, and work. When she wrote this, she was participating in a short-term opportunity with the CDC as part of their Ebola response in Guinea. She very much enjoys talking about how different experiences and backgrounds can combine into unique educational and professional opportunities, and carving out innovative approaches for local, global, and personal development.

Lauren Wilson