Kristofer Rau is an Assistant Professor at the Virginia Tech-Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM), where he directs the neuroscience curriculum for first year medical students. He has a BS degree in microbiology from Auburn University, and earned his PhD (biomedical science / neuroscience) from the University of Florida. He has over 20 years of research experience in the fields of pain and spinal cord injury. He also has a life-long passion for community service, STEAM outreach, and advocacy for the under-served community. For this reason, he helps develop immersive opportunities for VTCSOM medical students to engage with their community to improve their skills in empathy, compassion, and communication. For the public, these programs are intended to broaden understanding of how the human body works, promote life-long healthy choices, and encourage under-represented groups to consider careers in science and medicine.
As a scientist, I am a big fan of statistics and details. While the data clearly shows the effectiveness of CHIP’s evidence-based program in advancing maternal and child health in our community, to me it is the case-by-case relationships that CHIP leadership and staff build with individual families that is most amazing about this organization. Having gone on home visits with CHIP’s talented and dedicated family case managers and community health nurses, I have observed the impact that the organization has on supporting families. CHIP takes a holistic and team-based approach in partnering with parents/guardians to benefit the physical and mental health of the entire family. Each month, CHIP families know that they have a support network that they can count on, who genuinely cares about their wellbeing. CHIP’s vision, mission, and core values truly resonate with me, and it is a privilege to play a minor role in such a remarkable organization!