Dr. Jay-Sheree Allen is an NMF Scholar who gained an unexpected passion and purpose through our GE-NMF Global Health Fellows Program at a hospital in Ghana. After being chosen for her residency, Dr. Allen flew to Ghana for this six week service-learning program, and received the most career-altering experience of her life.
The next six weeks helped her understand not only the hardships of basic medical procedures in a third-world country, but nuances in the healthcare industry. While she had a strong interest in seeing patients, she could not help but notice how stressed the two full-time physicians were due to lack of resources, and decided to become proactive.
During her service-learning program, Dr. Allen created a crowdfunding page for the hospital (St. Luke’s Clinic, Apam Ghana) and raised over $2,700 USD (over 10,000 CEDIs). St. Luke’s Clinic shared a large adult blood pressure cuff among multiple wards, stethoscopes were limited, and many of the pediatric beds were without mosquito nets, which is especially concerning considering that malaria is a commonly treated condition. After collecting the funds, Dr. Allen asked different departments within the clinic what they needed and provided basic needs for the whole hospital. Born and raised in Jamaica, Dr. Allen was inspired by missionary groups who came to her school, who encouraged her and other young women to be educated and lead. “I remember having missionary groups from the US come speak to us, instilling that you could make your life what you wanted,” she said.
Focusing on women’s healthcare abroad, Dr. Allen is looking forward to her upcoming projects, specifically a 4 week Global Health Elective at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital through the Mayo International Health Program.. “While in undergrad, I participated in a program for women who are interested in sciences: to travel the world and show young girls how they could make a difference in STEM fields. I can remember having a moment while I was teaching in Tanzania to a classroom full of young women: I was the woman reflecting the same message of hope I received in Jamaica. They could be whoever they wanted to be. I owe it to every young woman I meet to instill the same hope that was given to me.” Dr. Allen recently contacted NMF to connect her with Dr. Gilbert Buckle, CEO of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for mentorship during her upcoming trip to Ghana in April 2017.