Global Health Research



Global Women's Health Service

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago has a commitment to women's health not just in Chicago, but globally as well. Please read on about some of our global health clinical work.

Drs. Sherry Nordstrom, Tracy Irwin, Stacie Geller, Therese Kirsch, and Nuriya Robinson are active in women’s health projects across the globe.

Examples of clinical work

Dr. Tracy Irwin, MD, MPH, Associate Professor in the Department of OB/Gyn and Director of Global Women’s Health at the Center for Global Health recently returned from Georgetown Public Hospital, Guyana.  In collaboration with WONDOOR Dr. Irwin provided clinical and didactic teaching to Guyanese OB/Gyn residents. 

WONDOOR, based in the University Hospitals/Case Western Medical Center Department of OB/Gyn and Reproductive Biology in collaboration with Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, the Ministry of Health-Guyana and the University of Guyana, created the first residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology in the country of Guyana. The goal of this program is to improve the health care of women in Guyana through the training of qualified OB/Gyn specialists that will remain in the country and improve the physician workforce in the public health sector in Guyana. Currently 90% of medical graduates in Guyana leave to pursue jobs and training in other countries. The residency program matriculated its first six residents in May 2012 and has recently accepted the second class.
Guyana is on the east coast of South America, however it identifies itself as a Caribbean country and is home to East Indian and African descendants as well as indigenous Amerindians.  The country is the size of Idaho with a population of 750,000, most of which live along the coast.

After initial visits by Therese Kirsch, MD and the under the direction of Dr. Irwin the Department of Obstetrics at University of Illinois at Chicago recognized the opportunity to impact women’s health in a sustainable way.  The department has committed to deliver clinical and research faculty support to Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation through WONDOOR while providing a formal, supervised global women’s health experience for our OB/GYN residents.

Drs. Sherry Nordstrom, Tracy Irwin, and Humera Asem have provided clinical supervision of medical triage trips and clinical services in Gynecologic surgery.  Our clinicians have provided adapted WHO and IARC materials to provide education and training in VIA/Cryotherapy for government nurses to support the Ministry of Health Cervical cancer screening and treatment program.

Stacie Geller, PhD works with the Jawaharial Nehru Medical College (JNMC) toward improving maternal health and the development of a family planning curriculum and training program. Julie Chor, MD, previously a Family Planning fellow at UIC, went to India to help develop their curriculum on Family Planning. Dr. Chor also visited primary health centers in rural villages in India to learn more about their services and their educational needs in relation to family planning.

In conjunction with the MIMA Foundation, three of our physicians, Drs. Sherry Nordstrom and Tracy Irwin, have traveled to Bolivia to provide gynecologic surgery services to people who would otherwise be unable to access health care. MIMA Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides medical and surgical care to indigent people in Bolivia.

Resident Opportunities for Involvement
Interested residents have multiple opportunities for involvement in global health work by taking part in our work in Guyana or Guatemala.  Residents can also attend the Center for Global Health network meetings and journal clubs.  Residents can also become involved in projects with our collaborators;  Dr. Alex Golobof has worked with Dr. Stevan Weine on a project focused on female sex workers in Moscow

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