Nathan McGlone

Major: Biology
Curent status: Undergradute 
Institution: University of Virginia's College at Wise 


Since 2009, Healthy Appalachia Institute has supported seven UVa-Wise students as Global Health Scholars, in collaboration with the U.Va. Center for Global Health. Students spend their summer in Limpopo, South Africa working with a research team of student, and faculty from U.Va. and The University of Venda. Nathan McGlone, the 2015 Global Health Scholar received additional funding from the UVa-Wise International Programs Scholarship Committee to support his travel to South Africa. His research focused on ‘Community Health in Limpopo: Exploring Management of Diabetes and Hypertension in a Nurse-Led Community Based Health Center in Limpopo Province’.  Here is an article that he wrote. 

“This whole summer was a major learning experience for me. I had never been aware before of how imperative communication can be when conducting research. This was particularly evident in the research in which I was involved. Our research was conducted on a type of patient-healthcare provider interaction called Motivational Interviewing. This project's origins derived from previous research in the Limpopo region of South Africa, and as a result, we conducted training sessions for Community Health Workers (CHW's) followed by observations in the field. By training these CHW's in the skills and knowledge of Motivational Interviewing, these front line health care providers would be able to assist their patients with chronic illnesses.  They would be able to do this through engaging the patients into motivating themselves towards living a healthier lifestyle. Having the honor of being a Healthy Appalachia Institute Fellow has been nothing short of an eye-opening experience. Previous to my research journey to South Africa this June, I had only been abroad for a week in high school.  This trip was significantly more impactful.  Living in another country for an extended amount of time, the many subtleties of the American lifestyle became evident. From this time, you really can gain a different perspective and learn that not everything that seems to work so well is truly the best. At the same time, things you take for granted can be an integral part of the life we lead. For example, I had heard from several ofmy elders that there used to be 'service men' at gas stations that would fill your gas, wash your windshields, and so forth. I was able to witness this during my time in South Africa.  Similarly, the luxury of having a consistent power source was clearly shown to me on a couple of occasions. In addition to having gained much knowledge this summer from these experiences, one of the most valuable (and my personal favorites) components of this trip was the forming of friendships. From this trip, I have made many friends who have become near and dear to me, and whom I not only hope to keep in close contact with, but also hope to see again soon.”