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July 18-22, 2016
Poster Accepted for 2016 AIDS Conference: Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital Quality Improvement Research
A collaborative poster entitled “Improving Care of HIV-Positive Patients through Improved Emergency and Critical Care Services” was submitted and accepted by AAU-UW Pediatric Emergency Medicine Twinning Partnership colleagues for presentation at the AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa in July 2016.

June 4 – 6, 2016
Poster Accepted for 8th World Congress on Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The abstract “Establishment of the First Pediatric Procedural Sedation Service in Ethiopia: A Quality Improvement Project to Improve Pain Management in Children at Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital” was submitted and accepted as a poster presentation at the 8th World Congress on Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care. The conference was held in Toronto, Canada June 4-6, 2016.

March 30, 2016
NEFSE Presentations at the University of Wisconsin Global Health Symposium
Two NEFSE students delivered oral presentations at the 2016 Global Health Symposium, Global Crises: Today’s Response, Tomorrow’s Hope, held at the UW Health Sciences Learning Center on March 30, 2016.

Ruth Gebremedhin presented qualitative results from a program evaluation of the Brentwood Gardens for Empowerment (BG4E) program, continuing work she had started during the summer of 2015 when she was a NEFSE intern with Dane County Cooperative Extension. Her presentation described definitions of empowerment in the context of community gardens, and identified ways in which the BG4E program contributed to youth empowerment. Click here to read Gardens 4 Empowerment.

Nick Engen presented on the “Triple S” seed preservation system, a low-technology technique for preserving orange flesh sweet potato (OFSP) vines in dry sand for use in climates with long dry periods. This presentation came out of an independent project completed in collaboration with the International Potato Center (CIP) in Ethiopia. Nick began work on this project during his enrollment in the Global Health Field Course Biodiversity, Health and Food Security in Ethiopia. Click here to read The ‘Triple S’ System.

February 4, 2016
First Ethiopian Physicians Graduate from Family Medicine Residency Program at Addis Ababa University
On February 4, 2016, seven Ethiopian doctors became the first graduates from the family medicine residency program at Addis Ababa University’s College of Health Sciences. This 3-year residency program is the first such program in Ethiopia and an important step in improving health care services in a country with more than 100 million people. The residency program is one outcome of the University of Wisconsin’s Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) with Addis Ababa University.

January – May 2016
Semester-Length NEFSE Seminar Course at the University of Wisconsin
This spring, the Nutrition Environment and Food Systems for Empowerment (NEFSE) program offered a two-credit seminar course. Five undergraduate students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison enrolled, all of whom were completing the UW’s Global Health Undergraduate Certificate Program. The class combined reflective practice, service learning, guided seminar discussions, and opportunities to engage with community professionals and faculty. Students were introduced to basic principles of global health, sustainable development, and civic responsibility to help them integrate their academic coursework with their own experiences, professional development goals, and cultural and personal values. The course culminated in a final project in which students applied the NEFSE concepts and skills to real-world projects in Ethiopia and Wisconsin. These projects were presented at a forum held for NEFSE partners at the UW on May 11, 2016.

January 2016
NEFSE Interns and Staff Present at Wisconsin Local Food Network Summit
On January 15, 2016, three former NEFSE interns — Jacob Berlyn, Ruth Gebremedhin, and Rissa Lane — presented with Heidi Busse and Riley Balikian at the 2016 Wisconsin Local Food Network Summit in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The workshop session, “Nutrition, Environment, and Food Systems for Empowerment: Feedback from Interns of a Community Food Systems Internship Program in Dane County and Iron County, Wisconsin,” highlighted the internship structure, community partnerships, and lessons learned. The interns presented on the projects they completed with their community mentors in Dane and Iron Counties, and reflected on lessons learned.

Ruth Gebremedhin and Dani Hurlbutt at a prairie preserve in Dane County during their summer 2015 NEFSE internship.

Jacob Berlyn and Rissa Lane with participants of Iron County 4-H’s 2015 TrailBlazers summer program.

December 2015
Two Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellows graduate program at Addis Ababa University
Dr. Tigist Bacha and Dr. Muluwork Tefera, faculty from the Department of Pediatrics at Addis Ababa University (AAU), graduated from a Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Critical Care fellowship in December 2015. This fellowship training was developed as a twinning partnership between AAU’s Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the UW, with the overall goal being to strengthen the quality of care provided to HIV-positive children at AAU/TASH. Components of the fellowship were conducted at both AAU/TASH and the UW, and included accelerated training in pediatric emergency and critical care topics, quality improvement, research methods, and leadership and organizational management.

This partnership and fellowship training was made possible with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC-Ethiopia), and the American International Health Alliance.

Dr. Josh Ross, Dr. Tigist Bacha, Dr. Sabrina Butteris, and Dr. Muluwork Tefera at Addis Ababa University’s Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

December 2015 – January 2016
Field Course in Biodiversity, Health, and Food Systems in Ethiopia
Twelve undergraduate students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison traveled to Ethiopia in December-January 2016 as part of the “Biodiversity, Health, and Food Systems in Ethiopia” field course, led by Heidi Busse and Girma Tefera. This course is part of the UW’s Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health program, and is administered by the UW’s International Academic Programs office. The course explores the intersections of agriculture and health from national down to community levels. Students visited cultural and historical sites in Addis Ababa and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), and met with leaders from government, research, international development, and community organizations. While in the SNNPR, students spent time at Project Mercy, an organization working on holistic community development with programs in education, health, agriculture, and economic development.

Children from Yetebon community. Photo credit: Kimberly Vidmar

UW student Matthew Hupy reading a book with second-grade students from Project Mercy. Photo credit: Kimberly Vidmar.

Rural life en route to Project Mercy in Yetebon, Ethiopia. Photo credit: Caroline Armer.

October 2015
Two abstracts accepted for 2nd International Conference on Food Security at Cornell University
Two abstracts representing the UW’s partnership with the International Potato Center in Ethiopia were accepted for the 2nd International Conference on Food Security at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. One abstract, Geographies of Food Security: Analysis of Local Factors that Predict Food Security in Tigray, Ethiopia, drew from survey data gathered from 300 households in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and discussed predictors of food security within the study population. The second abstract, Analysis of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) Production and Marketing Systems to Support Nutrition-sensitive Value Chains in Southern Ethiopia, analyzed crop production data for potatoes and sweet potatoes from smallholder farmers in the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia.

October 7, 2015
Henok Mulat lecture on sweet potatoes and nutrition in Ethiopia
Henok Kurabachew Mulat, associate professor of plant pathology and director of the School of Nutrition, Food Science, and Technology at Hawassa University, promotes multidisciplinary academic and research programs to improve nutrition in Ethiopia. He was a guest speaker at the Global Health Institute’s August event “Agriculture 4 Health: Impacts of Agricultural Development on Human Health and Nutrition in Ethiopia." Read more, with a link to his lecture.

September 2015
Dr. Girma Tefera delivers Grand Rounds lecture on “Surgeons as Public Health Officers”
In September 2015, Dr. Girma Tefera delivered a lecture for grand rounds titled “Surgeons as Public Health Officers, are we there yet?" This lecture was offered as Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit and is available online. Dr. Tefera says that to work in public health is to “prevent, promote, and to protect healthy environments,” advocating that, because surgeons are the primary agents of care and prevention for many injuries and diseases, they must take on greater responsibility as public health agents around the world. In his lecture, he drew from specific examples from the UW-Ethiopia partnership.


September 23, 2015
Sweet potato project helps women, children in Ethiopia
The Global Health Institute published an article about the partnership between UW-Madison, Hawassa University and the International Potato Center and the strives they have made in reducing malnutrition in Ethiopia with sweet potatoes. Read the full article online.

August 2015
Second Cohort of NEFSE Internships Completed
The second cohort of NEFSE interns completed their internships in August 2015. The NEFSE internship program is intended to provide undergraduate students with knowledge in systems thinking combined with valuable community-organizing experience with organizations that are building the resilience and vitality of community food systems. With many complex factors affecting the health of rural communities in Ethiopia and Wisconsin, future leaders are needed who are able to consider economic, environmental, and social determinants and create solutions from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The NEFSE internship makes it possible for students to gain real-world experience and build leadership skills by learning from professionals and established community programs. We hope interns engage with issues that challenge and possibly change their assumptions and existing worldviews.

The 2015 cohort of NEFSE interns was comprised of four undergraduate students: Jacob Berlyn, Ruth Gebremedhin, Dani Hurlbutt, and Rissa Lane. They were placed with University of Wisconsin Extension in Dane County and Iron County. In addition to their daily activities, they also completed program evaluations for a “Garden to Market” program and “Gardens for Empowerment” program, completed a digital story-telling project about the Garden to Market program, created a weekly nutrition curriculum for a community garden program, and facilitated NEFSE lessons with youth in their respective communities.

July 20, 2015
Dr. Girma Tefera was co-presenter on the webinar “The Global Surgery Deficit.” Hosted by the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), the presentation described the magnitude of the global surgical deficit and what needs to be done to address it. You can play the webinar from the CUGH website.

January 10, 2015
A NEFSE-Ethiopia workshop was implemented on January 10, 2015, in Shashamene, Ethiopia, at Enga le Enga Youth Health and Development Organization. Enga le Enga was founded in 1999 to provide education and support to adolescents for HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment. Currently, Enga le Enga reaches over 4,000 youth in Shashamene and surround kebeles in the Oromiya region. Participants of the NEFSE-Ethiopia workshop included six Enga le Enga administrative and instructional staff, seven University of Wisconsin undergraduate students, one University of Wisconsin instructor, a program manager from the International Potato Center, and two physician interns from Hawassa University. The lead facilitators were two University of Wisconsin students, Emily Torres and Rissa Lane. The training employed participatory and interactive methods including lectures, group discussions, presentations, and role play. The workshop was conducted in English and translated to Amharic by Ato Ferew, Dr. Biniam and Dr. Kal-kidan when necessary to clarify concepts and topics. The NEFSE workshop dealt with the following major topics: Food Systems; Food Safety, Hygiene and Sanitation; Nutrition through the Life Course; and Eating to Prevent Disease.

Caption: UW student facilitators, Emily and Rissa, holding the Social Ecological Model diagram.

Caption: Small group discussion about the sweet potato food chain.

January 3, 2015
On January 3, 2015, UW students and staff helped facilitate and participated in a one-day NEFSE workshop at Project Mercy, a non-profit development organization based in Yetebon, Ethiopia. The goals of the NEFSE workshop at Project Mercy included sharing and facilitating discussion about how health is perceived and experienced from a participatory, asset-based approach. Some of the activities included community mapping to identify assets and barriers at Project Mercy from different age, gender, and socio-economic perspectives; cross-generational dialogue to hear different perspectives on the perceived health assets/barriers; and priority setting discussion in small and large groups to rank the issues and begin to outline feasible solutions where Project Mercy can take action. The workshop consisted of 28 participants, half of whom were from Project Mercy (youth and staff from the hospital, school, and administration), and half of whom were from the UW (students and staff). Participants ranged in age from 14-70+ years of age, with approximately 12 male participants and 16 female participants. Macy Bolt, UW Junior, took the lead on this workshop, using it as her independent project for the Ethiopia Global Health Field Course.

Caption: Group 1 collaborating to create their community map through Dr. Fekadu’s eyes. From left to right: Kediro, Jacob, Eden, Tyler, Bechernet, Senait.

November 7, 2014
Title: AAU/P2P/UW Ethiopia Emergency Medicine Twinning Partnership Graduation
Description: The AIHA HIV/AIDS Twinning Center partnerships that linked Debre Berhan Referral Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital Center, Howard University and Addis Ababa University School of Pharmacy (AAUSOP), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, People 2 People, and Addis Ababa University School of Medicine (AAU-SOM) graduated at the Elilly International Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on November 7, 2014.

The Debre Berhan/Elmhurst partnership set out to strengthen the educational resources, human resources, and service delivery capacity of Debre Berhan Hospital to improve medical and psychosocial care and services for PLHIV, as well as other patients.

The AAU SOP/Howard University partnership ushered in a paradigm shift in pharmacy education across Ethiopia by developing and implementing a new 5-year clinical pharmacy degree program that incorporated hands-on learning experiences through attachments at local hospitals and health facilities — to date, 778 clinical pharmacists have graduated from this program and 4,000 students are enrolled throughout the country.

The AAU SOM/People 2 People/University of Wisconsin-Madison partnership pioneered emergency medicine in Ethiopia, establishing the country’s first Emergency Medicine Training Center at AAU’s Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital.

We are thankful for the support of The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and CDC/Ethiopia, which made these alliances possible. While financial support from these organizations has concluded, strong leadership and support from the Ministry of Health represents an important step toward local sustainability.

View the UW/AAU/P2P presentation.

November 3-5, 2014
Title: African Conference of Emergency Medicine
Description: The second African Conference on Emergency Medicine was held November 4-6 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference organizing committee was made up of individuals from the African Federation of Emergency Medicine, Addis Ababa University, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and the American International Health Alliance. The overall conference theme focused on Partnerships in Emergency Care and involved nearly 500 health care professionals, administrators and government officials from 29 different countries, including 20 countries within the continent of Africa.

The four-day academic assembly was comprised of interactive, pre-conference workshops and integrated didactic sessions. A one-day pre-conference practical didactic session was organized focusing on Emergency Medical Systems (EMS) development, the use of point of care ultrasound, an ECG master class and an introduction to research workshop. The three-day core content educational session focused on the following content areas: prehospital care, cardiovascular emergency care, neurologic emergency care, critical care and resuscitation, EC based approaches to surgical emergencies and the role of sustainable partnerships.

Countries represented: Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Netherlands, Nigeria, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, United States of America, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.



June 2014
Title: UW students pilot youth food systems leadership lessons in Southern Ethiopia
Excerpt: The Nutrition, Environment, and Food Systems for Empowerment (NEFSE)-Ethiopia curriculum was developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in collaboration with colleagues from Ethiopian government, universities, and NGOs. The goal of NEFSE-Ethiopia is to increase participants’ awareness of the interconnectedness among healthy environments, people, and communities, and facilitate opportunities for Ethiopian youth to affect positive change through individual and collective efforts. The core modules emphasize nutrition, health, food systems, leadership, and civic engagement/service. The ultimate vision of NEFSE-Ethiopia is to train a cadre of Ethiopian instructors who can adapt the lessons to their context and train and mentor youth in their communities.

The first NEFSE-Ethiopia Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop was implemented June 17-19, 2014, for seven participants at Enga le Enga in Shashamene, Ethiopia. The pilot site of Enga le Enga was selected because they partner with the International Potato Center (CIP)-Ethiopia on programs to improve the production and consumption of orange fleshed sweet potato as part of diversified diets in the Wolayta zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR). The NEFSE-TOT was facilitated by the UW’s Elizabeth Wendt.




June 2, 2014
Title: Ethiopian Doctors in Diaspora to Build Modern Hospital in Addis Ababa
Excerpt: The Ethio-American Doctors Group (EADG) announced plans to build a medical city center they say will focus on patient-centered care. The two billion birr hospital will have 300 private rooms for patients and will be built on 30,000 square meters in Summit Area. If everything goes according to plan it should be finished within three years. Plans are for it to provide surgery on veins, bones and the heart. It also will have a cancer treatment center, large pharmacy, gymnasium and hotel.

Speaking at a press conference held on Wednesday June 25, EADG Board Chairman Dr. Girma Tefera said, “we are more than 200 physicians of Ethiopian origin coming together to develop and deliver high-quality medical care through education and research for the people of Ethiopia, Africa and beyond."

Read more from this article.

May 6, 2014
Title: 2014-2015 Cohort Selected for Wisconsin Idea Undergraduate Fellowship
Excerpt: The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Morgridge Center for Public Service announced the winning selection of Wisconsin Idea Fellowship (WIF) applications to be featured in the 2014-2015 WIF Fellows cohort. Among the recipients were Hanna Vadeboncoeur and Jessica Lyga, who were awarded for their project entitled “Write to Learn: Combining Creative Writing and Nutrition Lessons for Youth in Ethiopia.”
Click here for more information.

March 17, 2014: UW School of Medicine and Public Health Quarterly magazine
Title: “Ethiopia Partnerships: Making a World of Difference” by Gian Galassi
Excerpt: Sometimes the motivation for our most profound personal endeavors comes not from a brilliant flash of inspiration but rather from a quiet accumulation of influence. For Girma Tefera, MD, the desire to improve health care quality in his native Ethiopia emerged, in part, from the pages of a book given to him by a patient, during conversations with professional mentors and friends and, ultimately, from within his conscience — which had been shaped by his experiences growing up in Ethiopia and later as a renowned vascular surgeon. He set forth to make a difference in his homeland. … Click here to continue the story online

March 6, 2014: The UW College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ magazine, Grow, published an article about global health on campus, featuring the Ethiopia Field Course.
Title: “Creating a Healthier World: What do millennials want? The popularity of a new CALS-based program addressing global health concerns offers at least one answer.”
Link: (The Ethiopia Field Course is featured on page 3.)
Excerpt: Most Americans who have any impression of Ethiopia think of televised reports of famine from the mid-1980s—images that conveyed hopelessness and dependency. But the six students (four of them from CALS) who took “Biodiversity, Health and Food Security in Sidama, Ethiopia,” a course launched in 2013, had a life-altering experience of a country that is far more diverse, vibrant and invested in its own sustainable development than they could have imagined…. Click here to continue the story online.

February 26, 2014: UW Global Health Institute Seminar
Title: Girls Leading Our World: Lessons from a Youth Leadership Camp in Southern Ethiopia
Download this PDF for more information: GLOWFlyer_FINAL

JANUARY 27-31, 2014: Ethiopian Family Medicine Annual Meeting at Addis Ababa University-College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Photo: Addis Ababa University celebrates its second-year Family Medicine residents, joined by faculty and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Toronto, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Also in attendance were representatives from the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and the Addis Health Bureau.

NOVEMBER 18-21, 2013: Clinical and Translational Research Methodology Workshop at Addis Ababa University-College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

As part of the Ethiopia-Emergency Medical Services Twinning Partnership, faculty and staff from the UW conducted a four-day “Clinical and Translational Research Methodology Workshop” on November 18-21, 2013, at Addis Ababa University’s College of Health Sciences. There were 38 participants from multiple departments, including in-service residents, fellows, and faculty from Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pharmacy, and Anesthesiology. The workshop was developed and taught by UW faculty and staff Dr. KyungMann Kim (Department of Biostatistics), Dr. Elizabeth Jacobs (Department of Medicine), Dr. Nizar Jarjour (Department of Medicine), Karin Silet (Institute for Clinical and Translational Research), and Dr. Girma Tefera (Department of Surgery). The four-day workshop included didactic and non-didactic sessions and one-on-one research consulting sessions.

Photo: Dr. Elizabeth Jacobs, right, in a one-on-one research consulting session.

Photo: Dr. KyungMann Kim, facing camera, during the recent Clinical and Translational Research Methodology Workshop at Addis Ababa University.

NOVEMBER 14-15, 2013: Mentor Training for Clinical and Translational Researchers at Addis Ababa University-College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

One of the core objectives of the Medical Education Partnership Initiative in Ethiopia is to develop a research mentoring program as one strategy for building and retaining junior and senior medical faculty. In partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Addis Ababa University’s College of Health Sciences hosted a two-day “Mentor Training for Clinical and Translational Researchers” on November 14-15, 2013, for 15 AAU faculty. The workshop was conducted by UW instructors Karin Silet and Dr. Elizabeth Jacobs.

Photo: Mentor training in a small group format.

Photo: A group of women from the recent Mentor Training for Clinical and Translational Researchers.


The Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa (EMSSA) is proud to present the 4th biennial Emergency Medicine in the Developing World conference, to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from the 5th to 7th November 2013.

November 5-7, 2013: Cape Town International Convention Centre
Title: 4th Biennial Emergency Medicine in the Developing World Conference

April 03, 2013: UW Global Health Symposium, Madison, WI
Title: Abdominal Surgical Emergencies in Ethiopia: A Shifting Paradigm

April 03, 2013: UW Global Health Symposium, Madison, WI
Title: Partnering to Improve Emergency Nursing in Ethiopia: Challenges and Successes

November 06, 2012: Wisconsin State Journal
Title: Ethiopia: UW Hospital staff focuses on teaching emergency medicine

October 2012: UW Department of Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine
Title: Ethiopian Society of Emergency Medicine Professionals Conference

October 5, 2012: Ethiopia Society for Emergency Medicine Professionals, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Title: Ethiopian Society for Emergency Medicine Professionals: Inaugural Conference

October 26, 2011: UW Hospital and Clinics
Title: UW Health Vascular Surgeon Honored for Work in Ethiopia

July 11, 2011: 2011 AAU/P2P/UW Work Plan Meetings, Madison, WI
Title: Presentations on the Ethiopia Emergency Medicine Partnership

March 02, 2011: UW Global Health Symposium, Madison, WI
Title: The Development of Emergency Medical Services Training in Ethiopia

2010: Center for African Studies Research Report
Title: Emergency Medicine Development for Africa

December 23, 2010: UW School of Medicine and Public Health
Title: UW School of Medicine and Public Health Builds on Ethiopia Partnership

May 10, 2010: 2010 AAU/P2P/UW Work Plan Meetings, Madison, WI
Title: International Perspectives in Emergency Medicine: The Ethiopia Initiative

May 6, 2010: UW Hospital and Clinics
Title: The Ethiopia Project, a photo slide show

Spring 2010: UW Hospital and Clinics
Title: Vascular Surgeon Leads Program to Build Emergency Services in Ethiopia

February 15, 2010: American International Health Alliance
Title: New Emergency Medicine Training Center Opens at Addis Ababa University/Black Lion Hospital

September 23, 2009: 2009 AAU/P2P/UW Work Plan Meetings, Madison, WI
Title: Strengthening Emergency Medical Services in Ethiopia: A New Twinning Center Partnership
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