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Millwood, VA, June 3, 2013

Two medical residents, pediatrician Dr. April Edwards and primary care specialist Dr. Megan Rau, first year resident physicians at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University have been awarded prestigious scholarships honoring Dr Charles A. Sanders, Chairman Emeritus at Project HOPE and former CEO of Glaxo, a GlaxoSmithKline heritage company. These residents will confront the diverse health care challenges of India and the Dominican Republic through this scholarship, funded by the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation and administered by Project HOPE, a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization.

Dr. Edwards, a specialist in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, has worked as a certified HIV counselor at UNC’s student operated health clinic, and has public health experience in Spain and Kenya.  Dr. Edwards will work at HOPE’s maternal and child health clinic in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

“I believe that health education is empowering for women and will ultimately build stronger families in underserved communities,” said Dr. Edwards, who will perform well-child exams, treat infections and more serious endemic diseases such as dengue fever.  She will also participate in community outreach activities to raise awareness of preventive care.

Dr. Rau, who has public health experience in Mexico, Jamaica and Rwanda, will work at the NRI General Hospital in Vijayawada, India. Dr. Rau will provide clinical services to patients, share her medical expertise with local health care practitioners and work under the supervision of a faculty member of the NRI Academy of Sciences.

“Treating patients in India, in one of the most impoverished regions of the world, will be challenging and rewarding.  I believe this international experience will help me better serve my own community, wherever I settle in the future,” said Dr. Rau.

The deans of North Carolina’s four medical schools are providing leadership and oversight for the scholarship program, which offers opportunities for medical residents from Duke University, East Carolina University, the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University to provide care for underserved communities worldwide.

“Dr. Edwards and Dr. Rau are ideal Sanders Scholars, driven by a desire to better understand the challenges facing patients in the developing world and to make a positive impact on the lives of the most vulnerable,” said John P. Howe III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE.

Dr. Sanders, who served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Project HOPE for more than 20 years, has maintained HOPE’s focus on building the capacity of health care systems in emerging countries by training physicians and other professionals.  The scholarship program honors this commitment and supports the work to which Dr. Sanders has dedicated his life.

Drs. Edwards and Rau will begin their one to two month medical missions in early 2014.  They follow pediatrics specialist Dr. Meredith Miller of UNC, Chapel Hill, who was the first Sanders Scholar. Like Dr. Edwards, Dr. Miller was also assigned to the Project Hope site in the Dominican Republic, where she addressed the health needs of hundreds of women and children in Santo Domingo.

The Sanders Scholarship will cover all costs related to the program, including preparation/orientation, insurance, airfare, and an in-country daily stipend.  New applicants will be invited to submit applications for future scholarships to work at HOPE’s medical sites in the developing world.  For more information on the residency scholarship, please visit:

http://www.projecthope.org/scholarship

About Project HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, as well as conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries. Visit our website projecthope.org and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg.   

About The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation

The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation is an independent self-funding 501(c)3 nonprofit organization supporting activities that help meet the educational and health needs of today's society and future generations. Since our establishment in 1986, we have awarded over $60 million in grants. We pay approximately $3 million in grants each year to North Carolina nonprofit organizations. Visit our website ncgskfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @NCGSKFound.

Media Contact

Geraldine Carroll   Tel. 540.257.3746   gcarroll@projecthope.org

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