Johns Hopkins Gazette | March 30, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 30, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 28
Master of Health Science Student Named One of 18 Luce Scholars

By Tim Parsons
Bloomberg School of Public Health

Britt Ehrhardt, a master of health science student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the 2008 recipient of the school's Dean's Alumni Advisory Council Scholarship, has been named one of 18 Luce Scholars by the Luce Foundation.

Ehrhardt will travel to Asia to live and work as part of the Luce Scholarship Program, designed to increase cross-cultural awareness for young American leaders.

She said she hopes to intern in Thailand or the Philippines with a nurses' association or professional association of health workers. Internships are arranged by the foundation for each scholar based on his or her specific interest, background, qualifications and experience.

Throughout her career, Ehrhardt has worked to address various public health issues such as disease prevention and limited access to health care in the United States and Africa. As an MHS student, she did her thesis research on a mobile health program that provides health services to nearly 10,000 South African students in rural secondary schools. Earlier, she served as a technical adviser for the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of HIV/AIDS in Namibia, where she advised a network of HIV counseling and testing centers on service promotion and marketing. Prior to her role at USAID, Ehrhardt worked for the Firelight Foundation addressing health issues in southern and eastern Africa.

"My work in rural Africa has made it clear to me that the world faces extreme shortages and maldistributions of its health workforce," Ehrhardt said. "Too few are trained, and most choose urban areas over rural, and rich countries over poor ones, leaving many communities struggling to fill the gap left by health worker shortages. As a Luce Scholar, I hope to see how social and behavioral sciences are used to change work environments in Asia and decrease health workforce shortages."

Launched in 1974, the Luce Scholars Program is aimed at young Americans in a variety of professional fields. It is unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for leaders who have had no prior experience in Asia and who may not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia or their Asian counterparts.


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