In Nepal BWH Women’s Health Fellows assess gaps in service delivery and reproductive rights

Wan-Ju Wu, MD, MPH is a Connors Center Global Women’s Health/Family Planning Fellow

Through the Global Women’s Health/Family Planning Fellowship I have had the opportunity to work with Possible, a nonprofit organization in Nepal, on community-based interventions to improve uptake of postpartum contraception. With my colleague, Sheela Maru, who also completed the Fellowship I have recently focused on critical issues of access to family planning and safe abortion care.

In 2009 the Supreme Court of Nepal found that reproductive rights are considered to be an inseparable part of women’s human rights and within that, the right to abortion is seen to hold an important place.(Lakshmi Dhikta v. Nepal, Supreme Court of Nepal). Prior to 2002, Nepal had very restrictive abortion laws that prosecuted and imprisoned women and their family members for undergoing pregnancy terminations. Now 15 years after legalization, Nepal is an important case study on successful early implementation of safe abortion services, but persistent challenges exist in issues of access, equity, and quality. 

“In 2009 the Supreme Court of Nepal found that reproductive rights are considered to be an inseparable part of women’s human rights.”

Continue reading “In Nepal BWH Women’s Health Fellows assess gaps in service delivery and reproductive rights”

Community Care with a Global Reach

Dr. Ronald Warner is a primary care physician at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Community Physicians in Hyde Park. He is President of the Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Medical Staff.

Dr. Warner and medical assistant Felecia Gooding collaborate at the Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Community Physicians in Hyde Park.

As a community physician in the Hyde Park office of Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Community Physicians, I see patients who were born and raised in Hyde Park as well as a large patient population from all over the world who have settled in the neighborhood. While global health often involves a physician traveling to other parts of the world, my patients come from across the city with deep roots to many countries. It’s an honor to connect with patients and their families, to understand the contexts of their lives outside the walls of our office.

Our patient population is a mix of individuals from very different backgrounds and for me personally it’s always interesting and important to hear how they came to us and what they’re doing. Marc and Monique are two of my patients who were born in Haiti and now live in Jamaica Plain. Their lives are not easy given their heath status. Marc has Parkinson’s disease and Monique has COPD. They both also have diabetes. Their complex medical conditions mean their health needs close monitoring. Luckily, their daughter Mirlande lives nearby and is able to help coordinate their care with my office and myself.

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BWH/MGH Emergency Medicine Resident studies point of care Ultrasounds in Columbia

Alister Martin, a second year resident in the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine program, traveled to Columbia with a  Partners Center of Expertise Global Health grant.

martin a_1e

He had three goals upon arrival:
1) doing shifts in the emergency department at a local hospital here,
2) executing our research project on the utilization of point of care ultrasound with the goal of investigating potential behavioral economics interventions to increase its use among emergency department residents, and
3) taking full immersion Spanish classes.

How would he fit that into four short weeks?

Read the answers in the  Partners Center of Expertise in Global and Humanitarian Health Blog,

Partners Center of Expertise Global Health Symposium: residents focus on global career paths

Anne Rigg, Partners Graduate Medical Education
Jennifer Goldsmith, BWH Division of Global Health Equity

The Partners Centers of Expertise for residents and fellows offer enrichment opportunities in the areas of Global and Humanitarian Health, Quality and Safety, Medical Education, and Health Policy and Management.  Established in 2009, the Center of Expertise in Global and Humanitarian Health offers travel grants and monthly faculty-led dinner sessions focused on global health topics and career development.  On November 12, 2016 the Center of Expertise in Global and Humanitarian Health hosted its inaugural Global Health Symposium.GH symposium 2016_3

Drs. Geren Stone, Mrak Siedner and Serena Koenig on the Global Health Research Careers Panel

The Global Health Symposium was developed by Drs. Joe Rhatigan and Geren Stone.  Dr. Rhatigan serves as Associate Chief of Global Health Equity at BWH and Residency Director of the BWH Howard and Doris Hiatt Residency in Global Health Equity.  Dr. Stone is the Director of the Global Medicine Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital and actingMGH co-leader of this COE.  Dr. Rhatigan was enthusiastic about the full day program for trainees. “The range of experience in global health at Partners is exceptional.  Creating a unified day where trainees could interact with these leaders and one another seemed like a terrific and effective way to draw from the strengths of our community.”

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BWH Haiti Administrative Fellowship Fosters Pharmacy Quality Improvement at Hopital Universitaire de Mirebalais

Jennifer Goldsmith
Director of Administration, Division of Global Health Equity
3 November 2016

Read more about Samahel’s work and collaboration with BWH in Pharmacy Today.

Although I have visited the Hôpital Universitaire Mirebalais (HUM) in Haiti before, my latest trip there marked the first time I received a behind-the-scenes look at its pharmacy. The impact that access to prescription drugs has on the lives of the hospital’s patients cannot be understated and it is made possible by the significant effort put into organizing medications and treatments, which is key to the pharmacy’s efficiency. Inventory management and supply chain are highly specialized operations distinct from the biochemical side of pharmacy work.

I was in the Mirebalais pharmacy in my role as fellowship director for the Walton Global Health Administration Fellowship, which was established in 2014 in BWH’s Division of Global Health Equity. Several generous BWH donors envisioned a program that would build on the existing bonds between BWH, Partners In Health (PIH) and PIH’s Haiti-based organization Zanmi LaSante (ZL). Through the fellowship, ZL administration and leadership would build skills to match the needs of a new 300-bed teaching hospital that was built in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. To date, six fellows have participated in the program; among them is Samahel Joseph, director of Pharmacies at HUM.

Continue reading “BWH Haiti Administrative Fellowship Fosters Pharmacy Quality Improvement at Hopital Universitaire de Mirebalais”

BWH Continues as partner in building provider capacity and health equity in Rwanda

From BWH Bulletin 8/26/16 by Jessica Zimmerman
16_08-pf_im_hrh Traumatized by years of civil war and a devastating act of genocide in the early 1990s, Rwanda used to be a place where hope was in short supply.

Over time, however, the country came back stronger than ever—investing in education, infrastructure and regional trade—and Rwanda’s economy enjoyed one of the largest growth rates in the world last year. Still, one critical resource remained scarce: health care.

In 2010, the World Health Organization reported that Rwanda had one of the lowest rates of physicians per capita in the world. A country of nearly 11 million people, Rwanda was home to about 600 physicians at that time. Most were concentrated in large cities like Kigali, leaving rural areas underserved, especially in terms of specialists. Continue reading “BWH Continues as partner in building provider capacity and health equity in Rwanda”

Emergency Medicine Fellows Assist Refugees in Greece

From BWH Bulletin 9/22/16 by Kim Hooper

For BWH International Emergency Medicine fellow Nirma D. Bustamante, MD, having the opportunity to travel to Greece to care for refugees is an experience she will always cherish.

Front row, second from left: Nirma Bustamante with other volunteers at a refugee camp in northern Greece.

“I had the privilege of caring for, and most importantly, getting to know the most incredible human beings,” said Bustamante, of the Division International Emergency Medicine and Humanitarian Programs in the Department of Emergency Medicine at BWH, which prepares leaders in global health and humanitarian response.

Earlier this month, Bustamante spent more than two weeks at a refugee camp in northern Greece, along with volunteers from Team Rubicon, which recruits, trains and deploys U.S. military veterans and health professionals to aid in disaster-response operations around the world. Bustamante provided primary and urgent care to Syrian and Iraqi refugees, developed care plans and helped patients access specialty care in the local community.

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BWH physician serves as anesthesiology faculty in Rwanda

Building capacity in specialty care is key to BWH partnership with Human Resources for Health Rwanda
From BWH Bulletin 8/25/16 by Jessica Zimmerman

Training residents in anesthesiology is not only about teaching them the medicine behind the specialty, says Jill Lanahan, MD, of the BWH Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine. It’s also about sharing a passion for the profession to inspire them to join the field.

Lanahan has done exactly that at the Brigham since March 2014, and for the next year she will share that same expertise and enthusiasm for anesthesiology with the next g16_08_25_jill_Lanahaneneration of physicians in Rwanda as part of the Human Resources for Health (HRH) Program, a collaborative, seven-year project between the Rwandan government, BWH, Harvard Medical School and more than 20 other academic institutions in the U.S. The program recently began its fifth year.

Lanahan—who relocated with her family to the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on Aug. 2—will spend one day each week doing didactic training with her new crop of residents. The other four days will consist of clinical training in the operating room. During her year-long position, she will offer three months of training in cardiac anesthesia, her primary area of clinical interest. Continue reading “BWH physician serves as anesthesiology faculty in Rwanda”

Combating Human Trafficking: An Interview With Hanni Marie Stoklosa, MD, MPH

Interview with Hanni Marie Stoklosa, MD, MPH

By Rachel I. Fortinsky

Dr. Hanni M. Stoklosa, MD, MPH

Hanni Marie Stoklosa, MD, MPH’s background as a BWH emergency physician has inspired her work in addressing human trafficking. She founded an organization focused on combating human trafficking. Health Education Advocacy Linkage (HEAL) Trafficking  (  focuses on addressing the health-related problems that trafficked victims face from a public health standpoint. In her role as researcher, advocate, and nationally and internationally recognized expert, she has years of experience in addressing this global problem. Dr. Stoklosa has done extensive research in all areas of trafficking including sex trafficking and labor trafficking. She is a leading force in addressing the myriad of health issues which are often overlooked by health professionals, as well as a force in advocating for human trafficking legislation before the US Congress. Dr. Stoklosa has advised the US Department of Health and Human Services and was recently named an American Board of Emergency Medicine fellow (2015-2017) of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine). She holds appointments at Harvard Medical School, the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. She has extensive international experience in many countries.  “I conducted qualitative interviews to further understand the anti-trafficking landscape and the gaps in response.” Her work has affected populations in India, Nepal, Thailand, and Kazakhstan, as well as Australia, China, Egypt, Guatemala, Liberia, the Philippines, South Sudan, and Taiwan. Most recently, Dr. Stoklosa has written a text (forthcoming, Springer Publishing in 2017) Human Trafficking Is a Public Health Issue: A Paradigm Expansion in the United States. Continue reading “Combating Human Trafficking: An Interview With Hanni Marie Stoklosa, MD, MPH”

Operation Walk Boston Volunteers Go the Extra Mile

Kara Burge (center), a staff nurse in Orthopaedic Surgery, with two Operation Walk Boston patients
Kara Burge (center), a staff nurse in Orthopaedic Surgery, with two Operation Walk Boston patients

A year had passed since a young man came to the clinic with severe joint disease in his hips that left him unable to stand up straight, his torso pitched forward about 45 degrees as he steadied himself on a crutch.

But thanks in part to a group of volunteer clinicians from the Brigham, he was now running laps up and down a hallway at a hospital in the Dominican Republic, where he had received bilateral hip-joint replacement surgery through Operation Walk Boston—an orthopedic medical mission founded by Thomas S. Thornhill, MD, former chair of the BWH Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

The program partners with Hospital General de la Plaza de la Salud in Santo Domingo to perform hip- and knee-joint replacements for patients who can’t afford the procedures. It completed its ninth mission in April. Continue reading “Operation Walk Boston Volunteers Go the Extra Mile”