Highlights from International Night at the Kellogg Eye Center

Monte A. Del Monte, M.D., Donna Donato, Christine C. Nelson, M.D., Senait Fesseha, M.D., J.D., Jonathan D. Trobe, M.D., and Joshua Erlich, MD, MPH, commemorate International Night at Kellogg.
Monte A. Del Monte, M.D., Donna Donato, Christine C. Nelson, M.D., Senait Fesseha, M.D., J.D., and Jonathan D. Trobe, M.D., commemorate International Night at Kellogg.

Each year, the accomplishments of the  Kellogg Eye Center for International Ophthalmology (KECIO) are  celebrated on International Night.  The evening’s keynote speaker was Senait Fesseha, M.D., J.D. Born in Ethiopia, Dr. Fisseha was educated in the U.S. and the U.K. She trained in obstetrics and gynecology, including a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Michigan Medicine. As an associate professor at U-M, she served as  medical director of the Michigan Center for Reproductive Medicine and was the founding executive director  of the Center for International Reproductive Health Training. Dr. Fesseha helped Michigan set up a partnership  with St. Paul's hospital in Ethiopia (see page 22).  She joined the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation in 2015 as director of international programs.

One of the world’s foremost experts in reproductive health access in developing countries, Dr. Fisseha challenged the audience to “tip the scales of power” in global health. Among her recommendations: address inequalities in leadership and research collaboration and move beyond a disease-specific focus toward efforts that strengthen health systems—from supply chain logistics to workforce development and informatics.

Dr. Fisseha credits U-M with providing the opportunities, mentorship and support she needed to pursue a career in global health. “Home is where your story begins,” she told the audience, “and here  is where my story began.”

International Collaborations

During the 2019 event, three trainees shared highlights  of their global outreach projects with KECIO, which included  clinical and research initiatives with partners in Ethiopia, Jamaica and India. 

Equally important is KECIO’s work to bring visiting  scholars to Michigan for specialized training. At the event  Sherry Day, O.D., shared details about Kellogg’s curriculum  in specialty contact lenses and low-vision rehabilitation. Now  in its sixth year, the courses have been completed by trainees from as far away as Israel, Kenya, Poland and Taiwan.