I arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand in late September 2017, to begin a USAID grant funded research project as a part of a bigger Southeast Asian needs assessment. This project is in partnership with Arizona State University’s (ASU) Global Development Research Scholarship and Chiang Mai Universities’ Faculty of Nursing program (CMU). The work I am doing here in Chiang Mai will also contribute to my requirement for my Doctor of Behavioral Health PhD program, with expected graduation in 2018.

Participating in this international placement has allowed me to work with local Thai Nurses and healthcare providers in the community setting. We were able to collect data in Saraphi District in 1 main district hospital and 4 sub-district health-promotion hospitals. With this information, we will be able to see the community health needs of the patient population and begin to map an action plan to address the rise of Non-Communicable Diseases in Southeast Asia. I have recently finished data collection with 131 patient participants, 7 hospital leader participants, and 20 hospital provider participants. We are very pleased at this success! To see an overview of the project, check out the slides from my end of project presentation!

During my time in Chiang Mai I was fortunate enough to have the support of the CMU faculty and the Dean herself. I owe the success of our data collection to the foundational partnerships and support of the Dean, Dr. Wipada Kunaviktikul, and my host preceptor, Professor Dr. Patraporn Tungpunkorm. In addition to data collection and research in Saraphi, I was able to participate in growing the body of knowledge for our project by presenting our information at a few events:

  • Guest Lecturer, CMU- “Concepts of Integrated Behavioral Health and Health Behavior Change”
  • Guest Lecturer, CMU- “Modeling Integrated Behavioral Health for School-Based programs”
  • Keynote Speaker- USIAD Bangkok: presentation to the Deputy Director of Asian Health Mission about the CMU project
  • Keynote Speaker, Taiwan Conference on IT Solutions for Integrated Healthcare – “Integrated Behavioral Health Needs Assessment in Asia”
  • Publication- Ho Chi Minh City Conference on Community Mental Health – “Toward Integration, A Needs Assessment in Southeast Asia”

As I return to the USA, I take with me a rich experience in research, but also the valued partnerships and friendships I have made in Chiang Mai through Global Development. I will always consider Chiang Mai a second home and I look forward to the future collaboration between ASU and CMU. Thank you, CMU, for hosting me. Until next time!