Gift to Global Health Program honors late pediatrician, alumna
The John M. Kohler Foundation has given $250,000 to the Medical College of Wisconsin Global Health Program in memory of Elaine Kohler, MD, Fel ’68, a former associate professor of pediatrics (1968-1981) at the Medical College. The award establishes the Dr. Elaine Kohler Summer Academy of Global Health Research and the Dr. Elaine Kohler Global Health Elective Scholarship.
Laura Miller, now an M2, collects a water sample last summer from Lake Michigan in the pilot of the Global Health Program’s summer academy. Miller evaluated stormwater runoff, contamination and the risk of waterborne illness in Milwaukee, research that applies globally to the issue of clean water supply.
The summer academy supports up to six first-year medical students with a 10-week, hands-on research experience addressing health disparities. This summer, six students are working with faculty and their partners in Vietnam, Uganda, El Salvador and the Netherlands addressing the global health issues of injury, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and water respectively.
The global health elective scholarships give learners the opportunity to experience health care settings outside of the United States. The gift funds up to 25 stipends for international electives and helps expand the number of learners who can participate in the two programs. Travel stipends are available for medical students, graduate students, residents and fellows. Although the gift is new, eight travel scholarships have already been awarded to residents from Pediatrics, Medicine/Pediatrics, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Obstetrics/Gynecology who have completed rotations in India, Uganda, Honduras and the Philippines.
Dr. Kohler focused her research primarily on juvenile diabetes but believed in a call to service and worked to improve the health of children locally and in Africa. Her work addressed growth hormones in children and the public health issues of lead paint poisoning in Milwaukee’s central city.
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