Samuel Eger has been selected as a 2018 Healthy Appalachia Institute Research Fellow to work with the University of Virginia’s Ryan White Clinic and PositiveLinks Program in Charlottesville this summer.

Eger will join a research team of UVA faculty, staff and students, working closely with Dr. Rebecca Dillingham, associate professor of medicine and director of the UVA Center for Global Health. He is a Junior Physical Chemistry Major, and Physics Minor from Virginia Beach, VA. He plans to attend medical school after graduation.

“I am tremendously grateful to the Healthy Appalachian Institute for providing me with the opportunity to perform professional healthcare-oriented research.,” Eger said. “I expect it to be a life-changing experience and look forward to working with Dr. Dillingham and her team. I think that the PositiveLinks program is a brilliant step forward in expanding patient autonomy and well being through education, empowerment, and companionship. As I am pursuing a career in medicine, I am excited to work with patients in a clinical setting and to help expand and improve the program.”

PositiveLinks is a smartphone app that links people living with HIV with education and management tools, wellness promotion strategies, social support, self-monitoring, technology and healthcare.

“We are grateful for the partnerships with UVA Health System and UVA Center for Global Health that make this type of research opportunity possible for our students,” said Margie Tomann, director of the Healthy Appalachia Institute. “The opportunity to join a research team in Charlottesville will be transformative for Sam, his personal and professional development, and his future career.”

Since 2009 Healthy Appalachia Institute has supported 47 UVa-Wise students as Research Fellows, Practice Fellows and Global Health Scholars. Engaging undergraduate students in public health education, research, and practice aligns directly with HAI’s mission to build capacity within communities, organizations, coalitions, and individuals, to address public health challenges in Southwest Virginia; and the College’s E2020 Strategy to Accelerate the development of experiential learning opportunities including international study, academic engagement, undergraduate research and student internships and highlighting experiential learning as foundation to a UVa-Wise education.

For more information about Healthy Appalachia Institute please contact Margie Tomann at