The Frist Global Health Leaders (FGHL) program affords young health professional students, residents, and fellows the opportunity to serve and train abroad in underserved communities for up to one semester. In doing so, they will bolster capacity in clinics in need of support as well as offer training to community health workers to promote sustainability upon their departure from these communities. As part of the program, they blog about their experiences here. For more information, visit our program page.

FGHL Gretchen Edwards Headshot

Gretchen Edwards is a general surgery resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is from Nashville, TN, and received her BS degree in Biology at Georgetown University in Washington, DC with a minor in Spanish. She completed her MD degree at Vanderbilt. She elected to stay in Nashville and pursue her general surgery training at Vanderbilt. She is currently in her third year of training and plans to obtain her Masters in Public Health during her upcoming two years of research. During her residency, she has become particularly interested in health outcomes and has a clinical interest in General Surgery. In her free time she enjoys running, hiking, and cooking. She looks forward to the opportunity to travel to and learn from the experience at Kijabe, Kenya.


FGHL Tara Lane Headshot

Tara Lane is an Internal Medicine and Pediatrics (Med-Peds) resident physician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  She grew up outside of Philadelphia and ventured across the state to the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied Rehabilitation Science and Spanish. After college she spent two years teaching middle school science in Houston, TX through Teach for America. While she loved working in education, she decided to change paths and attend medical school at the University of North Carolina. During medical school her love for learning about new cultures sparked an interest in global health, and this was solidified when she participated in and later cod-led an annual women’s health clinic in southern Honduras called the Honduran Health Alliance. She hopes to work in primary care and public health after completing residency. She is excited to travel to Lusaka, Zambia to spend time working and learning in the University Teaching Hospital.

FGHL Maren Shipe Headshot

Maren Shipe is a general surgery resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is from Everett, Washington and received her BA degree in Anthropological Sciences and Human Biology at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. She completed her MD degree and her Masters of Public Health at University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, during which she spent time in Kiboga, Uganda and Naivasha, Kenya. She did her thesis work on internationally adopted children with cleft lip and palate. She is currently a third-year general surgery resident at Vanderbilt, and plans to do research in thoracic surgery next year. She enjoys spending time cooking, hiking, and watching football with her fiancé Paul. 

FGHL Diane Haddad Headshot
Diane Haddad is a general surgery resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She was born in Amman, Jordan and moved to the United States at an early age. She received her BS in Molecular Genetics with a minor in Arabic at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She completed her MD at Boston University where she learned about the social determinants of health while caring for vulnerable populations. She completed a Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship in South Africa examining barriers to prenatal care. With a commitment to building more equitable healthcare systems, she came to Nashville for her surgical training and is planning on spending her research years examining health disparities in surgical care while obtaining her MPH with a Health Policy focus. She is very excited for the opportunity to travel to Kijabe, Kenya and invest in their healthcare system. 

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