Shaping Futures, Healing Communities: The SAGH Narrative

“The [service] trips were very popular from the get-go, and they have just expanded since.”

The Student Alliance for Global Health is an organization at the University of Nebraska Medical Center uniting UNMC students, faculty and the local community aiming to create a broader awareness of global health challenges. Through a variety of events and initiatives, SAGH provides platforms for learning, discussion and action about global health endeavors worldwide.

Kristina Pravoverov is a MD/PhD student at UNMC and the current vice president of SAGH. After learning about SAGH’s mission during her first year of medical school, Pravoverov quickly recognized the alignment between her passion for travel and her desire to advocate for the intersection of social justice and health disparities. Soon after joining, she applied for the Jamaica Medical Service trip and began her work with SAGH.

“I was only a first-year medical student, and I was not very confident in my clinical abilities or my clinical knowledge,” said Pravoverov. “But what I realized the first day that I was there was that I had the support of incredible faculty that were able to guide me and help me become a better future physician,” she said.

Sara Pirtle is the faculty adviser of SAGH. Her connection with SAGH dates to its creation during 1995-1996, when two medical students recognized the absence of an organization catering to students who were passionate about global health. These two students then took the initiative to establish SAGH, a decision that received official approval from UNMC, making it a part of the institution ever since.

“The [service] trips were very popular from the get-go, and they have just expanded since,” Pirtle said. “There’s been robust donations all along … and now we have a nice donation vehicle that started last year with the giving days.”

Last year, SAGH received $300 from donors during UNMC’s giving day, For the Greater Good. “Which is, frankly speaking, a drop in the bucket compared to what we need for our service trips,” Pirtle said. “But it’s all helpful and we need a lot of money to have a robust offering of service trips.”

Donations received by SAGH go toward allowing students to provide health care services, education and outreach to underserved communities. Your support of this mission impacts the lives of students like Kristina Pravoverov and instructors like Sara Pirtle.


Student Alliance for Global Health

The UNMC Student Alliance for Global Health brings together UNMC students, faculty and community members to learn about global health issues and to support global health initiatives at home and abroad.