We’d like to introduce you to a specialized team from GSC in Cambodia helping to further develop our public health community training program.
Matthew Town is a past Tanzania GSC volunteer from 2003 who at the time was working on his internship requirement for his Masters in Public Health (MPH). He has since received his PhD in public health and is an assistant professor at Pacific University. Also with us is Dianna Pickett, a retired Masters of public health nurse and past president of the Oregon Public Health Association, who also just so happens to be a past Colombia Peace Corps Volunteer.
Along with Founder and Executive Director of GSC Rick Lathrop, GSC Associate Director Maxine Lathrop, and Cambodian In-Country Coordinator Sophak Touch, the team is rounded out by two graduate students. Anna Pierro is finishing up her MPH from Colorado State University and is in Cambodia for 12 weeks completing her internship requirements working on program evaluation and development of our public health programs. Luke Sharples is also completing his internship requirements for his Masters in Public Affairs (MPA) from Brown University. Luke is with us in Cambodia for 10 weeks, specifically to evaluate our present programs and to give recommendations for improvement. Anna and Luke are being hosted by and working closely with Borith Chhoun, Executive Director of GSC host organization MY Cambodia.
GSC is now partnering with MY Cambodia to develop a combination public health, conversational English, and leadership training program in Tboung Khmum province at the Ou Reang Ov High School. After an initial visit to Ou Reang Ov with Matt and Diana, Luke, Anna, Rick, and Borith returned to do further research and program development work.
The team was also joined by an outstanding MY Cambodia intern who acted as our interpreter, Mao Chan Vireak along with well-known Cambodia monk and graduate of Ou Reang Ov High School, Venerable Sopheap Kol. Vireak and Sopheap were invaluable members of our team.
Luke and Anna also made a second visit to a local village health center to learn more about the public health concerns and needs of Cambodia rural communities. As the GSC public health training program develops, we look forward to working with local health care providers to improve the health of their communities.
The GSC team has also been meeting with other public health and education organizations in Phnom Penh to further develop service-learning opportunities in our public health, teaching English, and leadership training programs. Stay tuned for updates on these developments.