“La Charla”: The impact of one YSN alumnus in Nicaragua

When Simone Ippoliti ’16 MSN was accepted to Yale School of Nursing, she was instantly attracted to YSN’s commitment to global health. By the end of her Graduate Entry Pre-Specialty (GEPN) year, Simone met with Patricia Ryan-Krause, director of the Global Health Concentration, to discuss ways Simone could become involved. They discussed Patricia’s yearly nursing trip to Troilo, Nicaragua, and how the nation had some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the western hemisphere.

What began in that first meeting ultimately lead to a mentorship and partnership that lasted well beyond Simone’s three years at YSN. Patricia encouraged Simone to apply for a Downs Fellowship—a program at the Yale School of Public Health that sponsors Yale students to live, learn, work, and research in low- and middle-income countries. During her time in Nicaragua on the Down’s Fellowship, Simone examined the impact of sexual and reproductive health intervention on the rates of teen pregnancy. She then went on to spend a further three months in Troilo the following summer, working with a community health nurse and teaching adolescents about sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, and empowerment.