Erica Felker-Kantor has been a crucial part of Konbit Sante’s research initiative that is hosted in collaboration with the Haiti Medical Education Project team. The initiative is to develop a research methods course for Justinien University Hospital (JUH).
Erica first became involved with Konbit Sante in 2012 when she was pursuing her MPH degree at Johns Hopkins University. Erica stated, “Nate Nickerson, Konbit Sante’s former executive director, had come to speak about the organization and I had experience working in Haiti previously, as a language fellow in Haitian Creole.Therefore, I was drawn to the organization.”
Erica has worked in the field of global health for 13 years and is a social epidemiologist. She has a doctoral degree in global health and community behavioral science from Tulane University School of Public Health, an MPH degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a MA degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida.
Her path into the healthcare field, and specifically to Haiti, began through her education when she was working on her master’s degree thesis along the Haitian-Dominican border, reviewing maternal healthcare services.
Erica mentioned, “I have worked in Haiti since 2010 and speak Haitian Creole fluently. Haiti is very special to me and I hope to continue to work there in the future. The people are extremely welcoming and I love the culture and language.”
Erica’s personal connection to Konbit Sante’s mission stems from the admiration she has for the country of Haiti. She indicated, “My passion for Haiti and also the organization’s philosophy to work closely with Haitian healthcare leaders and partners to strengthen capacity to improve health outcomes, is what drew me in.”
As an active volunteer for one year, Erica has been a key part of the research initiative at JUH that is underway to improve patient healthcare outcomes. The research methods course is focused around quality improvement projects within the various services at the hospital. The overall goal is to provide some basic research tools for research and evaluation.
“We are grateful for her involvement at Konbit Sante and look forward to her contributions on the team,” said executive director Rupal Ramesh Shah. She added, “Volunteers like Erica enable Konbit Sante to fulfill our mission on the ground in Cap-Haitien.”