Having extensive international travel experience, School of Nursing alumna Kristin Ringstad (’15) knew she wanted to make an impact in her field on a global scale.
After attending the 19th World Congress on Disaster Emergency Medicine in South Africa and completing her final practicum in Samoa, she began working with an NGO called Global Environmental Health Lab (GEH Lab) and is currently a member of the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine.
Ringstad, a public health nurse in Salmon Arm, is setting out on her next adventure to conduct field research with a team of five other GEH Lab volunteers heading to Mandalay, Myanmar.
“Our team will be helping the local communities conduct public health research related to migration, occupational health and risk assessments,” said Ringstad. “The focus of my research will be the physical and mental health impacts of disasters on healthcare professionals, as well as child health and communicable diseases.”
Myanmar has one of the highest child mortality rates in the world and the highest in Southeast Asia. Environmental health interventions are expected to be one of the most effective and affordable ways to protect public health compared to the conventional approaches.
She is travelling with a group who will represent six different countries and six different disciplines with the goal of increasing the scientific knowledge base for policy decisions while simultaneously fostering the next generation of public health leaders.
“These experiences have provided me with insight into the vast opportunities available for multidisciplinary collaborations, research and global health issues and ultimately influenced me to pursue further opportunties in this field,” she said.
She attributes her experiences in the nursing program and the opportunities to study and travel abroad with allowing her to expand her knowledge on research and global health.