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Loyola grad wins prestigious global health scholarship

October 25, 2013

A Loyola University New Orleans graduate known for her service to others is the sole winner of a prestigious global health scholarship from the Medical School for International Health, a joint program at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and Columbia University Medical Center. Kristie Hadley ’11 received a four-year, $12,000 per-year scholarship to the school—the only four-year, North American style medical school that incorporates global health coursework into all years of its curriculum.

Hadley’s scholarship recognizes her extensive global health activities and interests, especially while working in Guatemala as a translator for the Pop Wuj community clinic and with Loyola’s Ignacio Volunteers program to serve disadvantaged people in Belize and Jamaica. She graduated magna cum laude from Loyola and holds a degree in sociology with a minor in both women’s studies and pre-medical studies.

“At Loyola, I began to appreciate the impact health and well-being has on every part of a person’s life, so medicine was a natural progression. For me, medicine in general is about learning to place yourself in the patient’s shoes,” Hadley said of her education at Loyola, one of 28 Jesuit higher education institutions nationwide.

The Medical School for International Health attracts a significant number of Jesuit-educated applicants, and nearly 10 percent of the student body and alumni are from undergraduate and graduate programs of U.S. Jesuit institutions. The mission of the international medical school to humanize medicine on a global scale meshes well with the Jesuit philosophy of service to others, especially service to the poor and underserved.

“My favorite tenet of the Jesuits is the challenge to be ‘men and women with and for others,’ the emphasis being on the ‘with,’” Hadley said. “While I could work on the ‘for’ at any medical school, the Medical School for International Health, with its focus on humanistic medicine on a global scale, could help me learn the ‘with.’”

While at Loyola, she helped develop a new international volunteer effort for the university’s Ignacio Volunteer Program in the Mayan villages of southern Belize. Together with seven others, she helped create a camp for young children in a village without electricity and running water.

“Kristie was truly an outstanding young woman here at Loyola and had a true compassion and empathy with and for those with whom she worked and served. She shared her gifts and talents and had an amazing ability to outreach to both the young children and the aged alike,” said the Rev. Ted Dziak, S.J., vice president for Mission and Ministry at Loyola. “She saw medicine as a way to continue to share her gifts and skills in service to her life and future career. We are all proud of her.”

Applications for the Medical School for International Health are available online.

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