2015-2016 Luce Scholar

Lao Friends Hospital for Children Luang Prabang, LAOS

During his Luce year, Sam Lewis will work at the Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC) in Luang Prabang, Laos. Replicating the successful model of Treatment + Education + Prevention at the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, the LFHC is the first full-service pediatric hospital in northern Laos and is located on the grounds of the Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital. It is also a medical training and community outreach center, with lecture rooms and library to teach pediatric medicine to the future leaders of the hospital, kitchen and laundry for families visiting the hospital, and a vegetable garden to teach families how to prepare nutritious meals.

Sam Lewis grew up in a small town just outside of Albany, New York. He has been interested in health and medicine from a young age, and has conducted biomedical and cellular biology research at Albany Medical College, the University of Pennsylvania, Williams College, and the University of Washington, where he was a 2013 Amgen Scholar in the Center for Lung Biology. Inspired by the power of science, Sam aspires to a future when the benefits of modern medicine are shared equally across the globe, and all people have access to the healthcare needed to lead healthy lives. In pursuing his interest in global health and development, Sam has taken courses and acted as a graduate-level teaching assistant at the Center for Development Economics at Williams College, studied abroad at Université Paris Diderot in Paris, and worked as a research assistant for Innovations for Poverty Action in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In Burkina Faso, Sam assisted in the design and implementation of a two-year randomized controlled trial studying the benefits of an agricultural inventory credit system, an experience that cemented his passion to reduce inequality and improve health globally. Sam has also explored poverty and the challenges facing marginalized communities within the United States, volunteering with the Washington D.C. homeless community and interning at an immigrant and refugee health clinic in Portland, Maine. Most recently, Sam investigated traditional belief systems, health issues, and environmental injustice in Navajo Nation as a Gaudino Fellow. Sam will graduate Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College in June 2015 with a B.A. in Biology. He is the recipient of a Dr. Herchel Smith Fellowship for study at the University of Cambridge, where he will pursue graduate studies in public health. Ultimately, Sam hopes to work at the intersection of global health research and policy, improving health care quality and access in low- and middle-income countries by implementing evidence-based policy. In addition to his interest in health, Sam helps lead efforts to increase institutional commitment to sustainability through his work with the Williams Environmental Council and the Williams Divestment Initiative. Growing up with road trips to the National Parks, Sam loves to spend time outdoors biking and hiking, and appreciates a good meal and movie.