UNK Zambia group

A group of UNK students and faculty traveled to Zambia this summer to work with Dr. Marjie Heier, left, at the Chifundo Rural Health Center, where Heier serves as medical director. Heier will speak Wednesday during the Global Perspective on Telecare and Rural Health forum hosted by UNK. 

KEARNEY – Dr. Marjie Heier, medical director at the Chifundo Rural Health Center in Zambia, is among the panelists speaking Wednesday (Sept. 25) during the Global Perspective on Telecare and Rural Health forum hosted by the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The event, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Nebraskan Student Union Ponderosa Room, will address rural health care issues and the use of technology and teleservices during three sessions featuring 12 different panelists. The forum is free and open to the public, with parking passes available by emailing earlychildfamadv@unk.edu.

A Schuyler native and University of Nebraska Medical Center graduate, Heier practiced family medicine in Nebraska for more than 20 years before moving to Africa to serve at the Chifundo Rural Health Center. She has visited UNK each of the past six years to guest lecture in classrooms and participate in community forums, and she was a featured presenter at the James E. Smith Midwest Conference on World Affairs hosted by UNK in 2016 and 2018.

Heier also hosts students and faculty from UNK and other institutions who assist at Chifundo Rural Health Center, which is located on the campus of Ambassador International University in south-central Zambia, about 40 miles east of the capital city of Lusaka. The clinic serves staff and students at the university, as well as a district of about 65,000 people, some of whom walk a couple hours to access the free care.

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“Dr. Heier brings a unique perspective to this forum because of her ongoing relationship with UNK and because she is uniquely qualified to discuss rural health and virtual care issues from both a rural Nebraska and rural Zambia perspective. She can provide insight into the medical profession and public service on a global scale,” said Toni Hill, an associate professor of family studies and director of UNK’s early childhood and family advocacy program.

Heier will also speak to UNK students in the classroom and present to local service organizations during her visit.

The other panelists for the forum, which is supported by grants from the University of Nebraska Africa Teaching Initiative and UNK’s Faculty Senate Artists and Lecturers Committee, are:

Mark Callahan – chief operating officer, Mary Lanning Healthcare

Cathrin Carithers – clinical associate professor and assistant dean, UNMC College of Nursing Kearney Division

Travis Gregg – chief strategy officer, Kearney Regional Medical Center

Cynthia Hadenfeldt – assistant professor, Creighton University College of Nursing

Michelle Howe – pediatrician

John Jacobsen – president, Click Family Healthcare

Kelly Messbarger – registered nurse, CHI Health St. Elizabeth

Miechelle McKelvey – professor and chair, UNK Department of Communication Disorders

Beth Reynolds-Lewis – emergency systems specialist, Region 3 Behavioral Health Services

Nancy Stuart – instructor, UNMC College of Nursing Kearney Division

Jan Wright – human resources staff development and training, Great Plains Health

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