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Exploring Healthcare Delivery at Indian Health Service, Navajo Nation

IMG_2810Working at the Indian Health Service (IHS) in Gallup, New Mexico brought new meaning to the concept of health care delivery for Shubha Bhat, MD, a resident in Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Department of Medicine. Throughout her time with IHS, Bhat gained new insights, such as the importance and need for the integration of behavioral health within primary care, as well as how to effectively utilize Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist used to manage alcohol dependence.

A house in Navajo Nation.
A house in Navajo Nation.

Her presentations during Infectious Disease Rounds and Intensive Care Unit Rounds at the Gallup Indian Medical Center illustrated her successes, as she discussed her findings after caring for a particularly complex patient to a team of physicians and care providers. At the conclusion of her first week, she had gained a better understanding of the nuances in treating latent and active TB, and how to monitor for drug side effects.   Continue reading “Exploring Healthcare Delivery at Indian Health Service, Navajo Nation”

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Learning the Depth of “Whatever it Takes”

Written by Alexi Matousek, MD, MPH, an Arthur Tracy Cabot Fellow and Global Health Equity in Surgery resident at BWH. 

Matousek with Emanes Baptiste, a patient in the surgical accompaniment program.
Alexi Matousek, MD, MPH with Emanes Baptiste, a patient in the surgical accompaniment program.

The cornerstone of global health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is the longstanding connection with Partners In Health (PIH) – the NGO founded by Paul Farmer. A key component to the mission of PIH is to “do whatever it takes to make [our patients] well – just as we would do if a member of our own families or we ourselves were ill.”

This philosophy is what drew me to the Brigham and to the Department of Surgery, which established a specialized residency track in global surgery. I have spent more than 20 years working on development projects in Haiti with my family, and finding a training program where I could further develop skills in public health and surgical practice among the poor was extremely important to me. I was fortunate to land a research fellowship at the Center for Surgery and Public Health, affording me the opportunity to return to Haiti and bring a new skill set to bear on the problems of access and outcomes measurement in global surgery and begin to discover what it truly means to do “whatever it takes.” Continue reading “Learning the Depth of “Whatever it Takes””

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BWHers Examine Reparation Program in Colombia

Written by Patrick Vinck, PhD, of BWH Emergency Medicine, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and associate faculty with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

Phuong Pham, PhD, MPH, of BWH Emergency Medicine and collaborators present their findings to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and more than 20 high-level officials.
Phuong Pham, PhD, MPH, of BWH Emergency Medicine and collaborators present their findings to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and more than 20 high-level officials.

After conducting a systematic evaluation of Colombia’s reparation program from September 2014 through May 2015, Phuong Pham, PhD, MPH, of BWH Emergency Medicine, associate faculty member with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and a research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, recently presented findings from the evaluation to the country’s president Juan Manuel Santos.

The U.S. Agency for International Development and Management Systems International contacted the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, as well as Phuong and I, about working in Colombia, based on our previous experience with assessing how victims of armed conflicts and communities rebuild their lives after violence, including the role of transitional justice. Continue reading “BWHers Examine Reparation Program in Colombia”

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Operation Walk Boston Medical Students Receive Prestigious Grant

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Chris Devine
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Amy Yu

Chris Devine and Amy Yu, first-year M.D. candidates at Harvard Medical School, have been awarded the Rheumatology Research Foundation’s Medical Student Preceptorship, a prestigious, competitive award to advance their research conducted during the Operation Walk Boston 2015 mission.

Devine and Yu work under the guidance of Dr. Jeffrey N Katz, Operation Walk Boston Director of Outcomes Research and  Director of the Orthopaedic and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research (OrACORe) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Devine and Yu are leading qualitative research projects to understand cross-cultural differences in clinicians’ pain management practices and patients’ perception of pain. Continue reading “Operation Walk Boston Medical Students Receive Prestigious Grant”

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After earthquake, a vision for Nepal’s future

BWH’s Duncan Maru, MD, PHD, of the Division of Global Health Equity, was in Nepal working with Possible to strengthen health care systems in the region when a record-breaking earthquake struck on April 25. Since then, Maru has been involved with Nepal’s post-earthquake planning and response efforts, while continuing to strengthen the health system in Nepal.

Maru recently co-authored two pieces with senior Nepali government officials about Nepal’s health care system. In the Washington Post, “Building back better after an earthquake” explores the global response to the earthquake, and how to leverage this influx of assistance to sustainably strengthen infrastructure in the country.

“Access, excess and medical transformation: Delivering durable health care in Nepal,” appearing in the Health Affairs Blog, describes some of the challenges and inequalities in Nepal’s health care sector, and proposes a new Durable Healthcare Organization model for care. This model “blends the access and scale of the public sector, the customer orientation and management practices of the private sector, and innovation of philanthropists and academics.”