Leena Ghrayeb receives Fulbright U.S. Student Award for 2023-2024

CHEPS Faculty Director Amy Cohn (left) and Leena Ghrayeb. Photo by Marcin Szczepanski/U-M College of Engineering

The Center for Healthcare Engineering & Patient Safety (CHEPS) is excited to share that University of Michigan Industrial and Operations Engineering PhD student Leena Ghrayeb has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award in Engineering to Jordan for the 2023-2024 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

As a Fulbright participant, Leena will conduct research abroad for the 2023-2024 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. This work will contribute to the third chapter of her doctoral dissertation, which focuses on evaluating the operational impacts of tailoring prenatal care to patients’ medical and social needs through industrial and operations research approaches. Disparities in pregnancy-related outcomes exist across the globe—and are being addressed here at CHEPS through the Prenatal Plan for Appropriate Tailored Healthcare (PATH) project, which Leena has worked on since the Fall 2020 semester—but her Fulbright research will be primarily concerned with reducing maternal mortality rates amongst refugee populations in Jordan.

As the country currently hosting the largest number of asylum seekers in the Eastern Mediterranean region, Jordan does allow refugees access to healthcare through both non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the public health system. However, financial and structural barriers can still prevent patients from receiving the care they need. Recognizing the significant relationship between inadequate prenatal care attendance and poor maternal outcomes, Leena wants to better understand the prenatal care systems in place—as well as their barriers—for refugee communities in Jordan. To achieve this, she plans to work closely with clinicians in Jordan to obtain relevant prenatal care data and gain insights on the systems currently in place for patients.

Ultimately, Leena hopes to develop robust, flexible, data-driven operations research tools that enable decision makers to best allocate their limited resources with patient-centered outcomes in mind.

Headshot of Leena Ghrayeb/

“I feel deeply honored to be a recipient of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program award, and I look forward to this amazing opportunity to conduct research that will hopefully benefit the communities that mean the most to me. I would like to thank my PhD advisors, mentors, friends, family, and of course, CHEPS for their support and guidance!” shared Leena.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected in an open, merit-based competition that considers leadership potential, academic and/or professional achievement, and record of service. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from over 160 countries the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Congratulations on your Fulbright U.S. Student Program award, Leena! Whether from across the room or across the ocean, you have full support from CHEPS.

– Written by Hannah Buck, CHEPS Staff