Global Alliance on Disability and Health Innovation (GANDHI) (2017-2018)

Life can change in an instant. Without notice, an acute illness or injury can be life-altering. The most vulnerable and underserved population is those who suffer acutely from loss of functionality and drastic change in social role as they transition home from the hospital. Yet this experience and the transition home receive little attention globally.

Founded in 2016, the Global Alliance on Disability and Health Innovation supports the development of innovative interdisciplinary approaches to promote functional independence, community reintegration and an improved quality of life after an acute injury or illness. In 2017-18, the project’s goal was to grow the alliance in breadth (number of countries) and depth (research in phase I countries), and continue to engage in international mixed methods research committed to health system strengthening to support the transition home from the hospital for adults newly living with disability.

The team expanded their research to include pilot studies and stakeholder analysis in the Asia-Pacific region, while deepening patient-level research in Uganda, where a pilot study on pediatric post-surgical populations was begun in 2016-17. This research produced several manuscripts under review on global transitional care, barriers to medication adherence, patient adjustment after strokes and post-hospital services to support children with identified surgical needs.

The team also hosted the Duke Kunshan Conference on Digital Health and Science Innovation: Partnerships Between Academia and Industry in October 2017. The program featured international experts in global health, digital health and biomedical technologies, precision health, chronic diseases and more.


Summer 2017 – Summer 2018

Team Outputs

Sarah Jean Barton, Sahil Sandhu, Isabelle Doan, Lillian Blanchard, Alex Dai, Alexandra Paulenich, Emily R. Smith, Brittney J. van de Water, Anna H. Martin,  Jasmine Seider, Florence Namaganda, Shem Opolot, Nelia Ekeji, Mathama Malakha Bility, Janet Prvu Bettger. 2019. Perceived barriers and supports to accessing community-based services for Uganda’s pediatric post-surgical population,” Disability and Rehabilitation.

Chelsea Liu, Shuai Shao, Chang Liu, Gary G. Bennett, Janet Prvu Bettger, Lijing L. Yan. 2019. “Academia-industry digital health collaborations: A cross-cultural analysis of barriers and facilitators.” Digital Health 5:1-9.

Supports and Barriers to Community-based Care for Children with Disabilities in Uganda (poster by Sarah Jean Barton, Lillian Blanchard, Alex Dai, Isabelle Doan, Alex Paulenich, Sahil Sandhu, Janet Prvu Bettger); Judges’ Selection Runner-up at Bass Connections Showcase, April 18, 2018

Lillian Blanchard ’19, Sahil Sandhu ’20 and Jacqueline Xu ’19, Bass Connections Follow-on Student Research Award

Sarah Barton (Th.D. Program in Theology), Bass Connections Award for Outstanding Mentorship

Addressing Hospital to Home Transitions in Care in Low, Middle and High Income Countries (poster by Jackie Xu)

Qualitative Inquiry for Improving Stroke Care in China (Jackie Xu)


30 Days to Duke (2018): Bass Connections


Athina Vrosgou

Maaz Mulla

Natalie Yu

This Team in the News

These Ph.D. Graduates Incorporated Bass Connections into Their Doctoral Education

How Bass Connections Helped Shape My Career in Medicine and Theology

These Seniors Took Their Bass Connections Research Further and Graduated with Distinction

Four Students Pilot Help Desk Initiative to Address Health Disparities in Durham

Duke Students from across the University Share Their Global Health Research

Meet the Members of the 2018-19 Student Advisory Council

Duke Seniors Share What Was Most Meaningful about Their Bass Connections Experiences

Bass Connections Showcase Presents Research Highlights from Durham to Malaysia

Judges’ Selection for Best Poster Goes to Team Exploring Health Needs of Refugees in Durham

Global Health Projects Featured Prominently among Bass Connections Awards

Three Graduate Students Honored for Outstanding Bass Connections Mentorship

Meet the 2018 Recipients of Bass Connections Follow-on Research Awards

Qualitative Inquiry for Improving Stroke Care in China (repost)

Physical Therapy Student Contributes to Study on Neurosurgery Patients and Rehabilitation Services in Uganda

Leveraging Technology and Cross-sector Partnerships to Improve Stroke Care in China

Three Duke Campuses Collaborate on Digital Health Conference in China

Digital Health Conference in China Brings Together Multiple Perspectives

See related teams, Global Alliance on Disability and Health Innovation (GANDHI): What Makes Innovation Stick? (2018-2019) and Global Alliance on Disability and Health Innovation (GANDHI) (2016-2017).

Bass Connections team members in China

Team Leaders

  • Janet Prvu Bettger, School of Medicine-Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Kearsley Stewart, Duke Global Health Institute

/graduate Team Members

  • Gabrielle Harris, Clinical Research - Non-Degree
  • Sarah Jean Barton, Doctor of Theology

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Chelsea Liu, Computer Science (AB)
  • Natalie Yu Chin Wen, Program II (BS)
  • Jacqueline Xu, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Athina Vrosgou, Cultural Anthropology (AB)
  • Rachel Shapiro, Computer Science (AB)
  • Sahil Sandhu, Program II (BS)
  • Alexandra Paulenich, Biology (AB)
  • Maaz Mulla, Biology (BS)
  • Elish Mahajan, Biology (BS)
  • Alexandria Hurley, Biology (BS)
  • Isabelle Doan, Biology (BS)
  • Chunxi Ding, Computer Science (BS)
  • Alex Dai, Biology (BS)
  • Lillian Blanchard, Psychology (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Amy Pastva, School of Medicine - Physical Therapy
  • Ryan Shaw, School of Nursing
  • Lijing Yan, Duke Kunshan University
  • Gary Bennett, Arts & Sciences-Psychology and Neuroscience

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Access Health
  • Duke Kunshan University
  • Duke-NUS Medical School