Sylvia Stellmacher of Bainbridge Island has been accepted into the University of Washington Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.
“I feel lucky to receive this award among all my inspiring classmates and colleagues, and I look forward to contributing to the organization as I spend time on Bainbridge between residency interviews, running the beautiful trails and planning a costumed comeback at this year’s Turkey Trot,” Stellmacher said.
“I am especially grateful to all the Bainbridge public school teachers who helped prepare me to get to where I am now,” she added. “Without their support, I wouldn’t know where electrons go during oxidizing reactions, or how to draw a proper Punnet square.”
As a first-year medical student with an interest in developing successful global health solutions, Stellmacher was selected to be a member of the UW School of Medicine’s Global Health Immersion Program — the UW’s flagship global health program for pre-clinical medical students.
Through the program Stellmacher was sent to Dakar, a resource-limited community in Senegal and spent eight weeks learning about the top healthcare needs and priorities, collaboratively working to explore solutions to key challenges.
Her efforts culminated in a research project, “Informing Nutritional Decisions Among People Living with HIV in Dakar, Senegal.” Stellmacher worked with 10 social workers to develop a pictographic tool to help people with HIV and AIDS learn how to support their health through informed nutritional decision-making.
The Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society is a professional medical organization made up of 132 chapters in medical schools across the country that recognize and advocate for excellence in scholarship and the highest ideals in the profession of medicine.
The top 25 percent of a medical school class is eligible for nomination to the society, and up to 16 percent of the graduating class of medical students can be chosen based on academic performance, leadership among their peers, professionalism and a firm sense of ethics, promise of future success in medicine, and a commitment to service in the school and community.
Stellmacher attended Bainbridge High School and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington, where she graduated with honors. After graduating from the UW she spent two years as a Global Citizenship Fellow with UNICEF USA.
Following her graduation from medical school in December 2020 and completing her residency and possibly a fellowship, she hopes to practice rural hospital and critical care medicine.