Michele Yehieli, M.P.H. '89, Dr.P.H. '95

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Yehieli, associate professor in the Division of Health Promotion and Education at the University of Northern Iowa, has worked for more than two decades around the world with nonprofits, government organizations, clinics, and private corporations in public health positions serving at-risk individuals and communities. In 1996, she created the Global Health Corps, a model experiential learning organization that has trained 400 students in the provision of culturally appropriate health care. Based at the University of Northern Iowa, the Global Health Corps has provided culturally appropriate public health programs for more than 40,000 diverse and underserved persons throughout the United States, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean.

With funding from the National Institutes of Health, Yehieli founded the Iowa EXPORT Center of Excellence on Health Disparities in 2003, the only such organization in the state devoted to promoting health equity among immigrant, refugee, minority and rural populations. The center conducts applied research, education, training, and outreach activities with health organizations that serve patients from multiple ethnic backgrounds.

Yehieli has received numerous local, state and national honors for outstanding teaching, scholarship and service in health and human rights. She has published six books, several chapters, and more than 70 peer-reviewed journal and lay articles. Many of her publications focus on cultural patterns, health practices and underlying belief systems of underserved groups. Yehieli regularly works with dozens of special populations in Iowa, such as Bosnian refugees, the Amish, and Latino immigrants, and she speaks Hebrew, Mandarin Chinese and German. She is also chair of the Black Hawk County Board of Health.