Marking an Important Milestone in Haiti

Reprinted from BWH President’s Perspective 27 February 2020

Like many people around the world, I watched the news in horror and disbelief on Jan. 12, 2010, when a devastating earthquake struck Haiti. The ensuing humanitarian crisis resulted in the deaths of nearly a quarter-million people, an even greater number of injuries and unprecedented levels of destruction.

In January, on the eve of the earthquake’s 10-year anniversary, I was overjoyed to learn that Partners In Health’s Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais in Haiti was awarded institutional accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education International, which accredits medical residency and fellowship programs around the world.

This remarkable recognition has special meaning for me. Less than two weeks prior to the earthquake, I had rejoined our Brigham family to begin serving as president here. In those early days, I witnessed how quickly our faculty, staff and trainees mobilized to support Haiti’s immediate relief needs and long-term recovery efforts. This outpouring of caring and generosity reinforced why the Brigham has always been close to my heart.
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‘Our Hope Never Dies’: Brigham Honors Haiti Earthquake Victims

Reprinted from BWH Bulletin 17 January 2020

For Nadia Raymond, MSN, MHA, RN, the memory of returning to her home country of Haiti days after the island’s 2010 catastrophic earthquake is still painfully vivid. One of the worst natural disasters in the nation’s history, the 7.0-magnitude quake left a devastating wake of death, trauma and destruction.

Attendees, including Nadia Raymond (center left) and Jennifer Goldsmith (center right), join hands and sing in Haitian Creole.

Raymond, a professional development manager in the Brigham’s Center for Nursing Excellence and co-leader of EqualHealth’s Women’s Leadership Roundtable, recalled what it was like gazing out the window during her ride from the airport to where she had been deployed to support the relief effort.

Parks, architecture, the presidential palace, her old high school, a new nursing school — all destroyed in the disaster, which killed an estimated 230,000 people and injured countless more. At that time, Raymond was among the many Brigham faculty, staff and trainees who responded to the humanitarian crisis to support their Haitian health care colleagues on the ground.

Reflecting on the experience during a recent event in Bornstein Amphitheater to commemorate the disaster’s 10th anniversary, Raymond said her colleagues’ swift, compassionate response and the courage of those affected by the quake gave her hope — a feeling that continues to shine brightly a decade later.
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Persevering to Improve Care: A BWH physician researcher in Haiti

Reprinted from BWH President’s Perspective November 2019

Serena Koenig, MD, MPH

When infectious disease specialist Serena Koenig, MD, of our Division of Global Health Equity, first traveled to Haiti 15 years ago, she was overwhelmed by what she witnessed: devastating poverty and a health care system in shambles. Since then, she has committed her career to providing dignified health care to the people of Haiti and relentlessly pursuing research to advance that work in the face of heartbreaking conditions.

Today, Haiti is in crisis. Dr. Koenig, who collaborates closely with an internationally celebrated Haitian organization called GHESKIO, recently had the harrowing experience of being unable to hear co-workers during a meeting due to the noise of gunfire outside. Continue reading “Persevering to Improve Care: A BWH physician researcher in Haiti”

BWH Empowers the Next Generation of Native American Health Care Leaders

Reprinted from BWH Clinical Research News October 30 2019

At Princeton University, rising sophomore Jessica Lambert found no shortage of opportunities to advance her studies and gain experience as she pursues a career in public health and indigenous studies. But as she considered her options for internships earlier this summer, one stood out above the rest: the Four Directions Summer Research Program.

From left: Jessica Lambert and research fellow Mayra Pinilla Vera collaborate in the lab

.Part of the Brigham’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Four Directions aspires to train the next generation of Native American health care leaders through an eight-week research internship with mentoring, networking and hands-on experience at the Brigham and Harvard Medical School. The program connects students with a faculty mentor, whom they work with on a basic science or translational research project, culminating in a final project presentation.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Four Directions has trained more than 200 students to date.
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Tackling Tuberculosis: BWH leads global innovation in TB Care

Reprinted from BWH Clinical Research News Sept 2019

At the Brigham, researchers are taking approaches to tuberculosis (TB) treatment, looking at this notorious infectious disease from genetic, chemical and public health angles. Many researchers from the Brigham work in affiliation with Socios En Salud (Partners In Health) in Peru, as well as tackling research at home and at other global locations.

Developing Sustainable Systems and Increasing Access

Courtney Yuen, PhD

One researcher who focuses on TB, Courtney Yuen, PhD, associate epidemiologist in the Division of Global Health Equity, obtained her doctorate in chemistry, initially thinking she would pursue a career focused on basic science. But upon realizing the length of time it can take research in a lab to impact people and their health, she decided to retrain as an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in hopes of seeing the more direct effect her work could have on people’s welfare.

“I wanted to focus my research on an area that affects vulnerable populations, and TB falls into this category. TB is a disease of inequality,” Yuen said. “In the U.S., it disproportionately affects people in homeless shelters or prison, as well as immigrants and refugees. Globally, it tends to affect people in countries that don’t have as many resources and are at the center of the AIDS epidemic.”
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Inspiring Health Equity in Neonatal Care – screening hyperbilirubinemia in low-resource settings

Reprinted from BWH Clinical and Research News 8/8/2019

The Brigham Global Newborn Health team includes Lee who is holding her daughter, who was the  first subject of the Bili-ruler validation study, Rachel Whelan (pictured), Pratik Panchal, and Lian Folger. .

In many ways, Anne CC Lee, MD, MPH, has dedicated her life to empowering and advocating for others. As a pediatrician specializing in newborn medicine, she spends her clinical hours caring for infants in a hospital setting. As a researcher, she directs the Global Newborn Health Lab at the Brigham, where she leads efforts to improve maternal and newborn health. As a mentor and a mother, she inspires and cultivates personal growth in those around her.

Through her work in global maternal-newborn health research, Lee seeks to delineate the major causes of newborn and maternal morbidity and mortality in low-income settings. Based on these findings, she and her team work to design interventions to improve health outcomes.

“There are huge discrepancies across the globe in terms of access to basic health care, which result in huge disparities in morbidity and mortality,” said Lee. “The research we do in our lab is focused on reducing inequities in maternal and newborn care.”

Continue reading “Inspiring Health Equity in Neonatal Care – screening hyperbilirubinemia in low-resource settings”