We are delighted to congratulate Andrea Berkemeier (Bioethics & Society, 2015) on her recent double success: securing a job at VHL Alliance, and admission to the prestigious University of Michigan Medical School, one of the highest ranked programmes in the US.
Andrea was one of 19 students in first cohort of the Bioethics & Society Programme, launched at GHSM in September 2014.
In 2014/15, Andrea was the recipient of one of the prestigious Roger M. Jones fellowships. She blogged about her year in London here: https://rogermjones.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/meet-andrea/
Andrea’s education at GHSM has helped her serve as the team leader of the VHLA patient databank, the largest international resource of its kind for patients with VHL, a genetic condition which predisposes affected individuals to develop tumors—sometimes cancer—in many organs of the body. Andrea is serving as a consultant for the VHL Alliance (VHLA), the US nonprofit organization with whom she partnered for her Bioethics & Society’s research in reproductive counseling for young people diagnosed with VHL.
In this role, Andrea liaisons with the National Organization for Rare Disorders which maintains the databank platform, ensures the research project aligns with IRB approved research ethics, and is currently overseeing a new survey launch which will provide patients with opportunities to submit more detailed medical and lifestyle histories. Her work is truly international: in April 2017 she will serve as the VHLA delegate for the International Kidney Cancer Coalition Conference in Warsaw, Poland.
Since VHL is a complex condition, VHLA has developed the international Clinical Care Center (CCC) endorsement, which helps patients connect with institutions that are experienced in offering outstanding coordinated patient care. Andrea leads the renewal process for established CCCs and works to establish new centers based on geographic needs. As part of this process, she has helped outline the prudent ethical, medical, and financial reasons why VHL patients should receive their screening and treatment at CCCs as early as they are diagnosed instead of waiting to be transferred after a health crisis has developed. This helps VHL patients receive appropriate health management independent of their postal address.
Andrea also works directly with patients, serving as the first line of support when they contact the VHLA. While a patient may require a referral to a more specialized professional, Andrea views every interaction with a patient, no matter how brief, as an opportunity to internalize the philosophy of personalized medicine that she desire to practice as a physician.
In July 2017, Andrea is delighted to return to the University of Michigan (also her alma mater– BSE Biomedical Engineering, 2014) for medical school.
Applications are open for entry September 2017 for the Bioethics & Society Programme.
Watch a short video in which Andrea talks about studying Bioethics & Society at King’s College London:
For inquiries about the programme contact Dr Silvia Camporesi: firstname.lastname@example.org