Mara Hansen, MS, Antares – Mississippi Delta Health Access Corporation Project, 2011

Mara Hansen picture (alum_mara_hansen.jpg)Mara moved to Boston after spending nearly three years working in rural Morocco and Guatemala in community-based programs focused on improving the health of women and children.  At HSPH her appreciation for the importance of private networks that serve the poor deepened through work in India and participation in the Antares project in the Mississippi Delta region. In Mississippi, like much of the developing world, public financing for health is the most significant pool of funds available to help improve health outcomes among the poor. However, systemic bottlenecks prevent many people from accessing critical services.  “Through Antares, we were able to design a private enterprise to close the loop – connecting the poor to critical services and reducing expensive emergency room visits that were billed to the state”.  After HSPH, Mara joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where she has worked in evaluation and the delivery of technologies and services to the poor through private channels.  “Antares sparked my interest in the potential for private delivery models to transform health outcomes for the poor. As a bonus, our interdisciplinary team was a really stellar group”.


Callae Snively, MS, Antares – Pro Mujer Mexico Project, 2011

Prior to HSPH, Callae worked in pharmaceutical consulting and gained a first hand perspective of the complexities of drug development and bringing a drug to market. Wanting to further her knowledge of the scientific research side of medical technology development, Callae moved to Perú to work as an infectious disease researcher studying tuberculosis and Chagas disease. Callae initially joined Antares wanting to further global social change and work within a team bridging the gap between business professionals and public health practitioners. However, after partnering with Pro Mujer for two consecutive years in México and Perú, Callae maintains “Antares was the single most influential experience during my time at Harvard.” She adds that “Antares is nothing like your standard student project, it is a true partnership with a fully committed field organization, a devoted student team and truly incredible teaching team supporting your efforts.” This enriching environment caused Antares to transform her approach to public health leading to her current research leveraging market-based supply chain analysis to increase access to treatment for the tropical neglected disease Chagas disease. Additionally, she states “that the Antares network is a family of like-minded individuals who share a similar global vision.” The Antares network led to the opportunity to work with a 2009 Antares alum growing his mhealth startup to increase access and adherence to medicines globally. Overall “Antares has completely altered my career path and cemented my entrepreneurial aspirations to develop efficient and sustainable solutions to increase access to medicines in developing countries.”


Leeda Rashid, MD, MPH, Antares – CARE Hospitals Project, 2009

Leeda Rashid (alum_rashid.png)Born in Afghanistan, to which she remains deeply connected, Leeda trained as a physician. Prior to Antares, her background included clinical research and practice, health education through media, and participation in the Rural Expansion of Afghanistan’s Community-Based Healthcare (REACH) program of the Ministry of Public Health. At HSPH, Leeda was part of the Antares – CARE Hospitals project, focused on expanding primary and secondary care to rural communities in India. Now finishing her residency in family medicine, Leeda credits the Antares experience with “altering the trajectory” of her career.  “Antares opened my eyes to the fact that it is impossible to address the clinical issues if we can’t address the socioeconomic issues. I realized that I would be frustrated working at the individual level – I need to do something with broader impact.” Leeda spent a month in Afghanistan conducting an assessment of emergency and acute care, with the hope that an evidenced-based approach may support improved health priority-setting and care delivery. Surveys and focus groups highlighted challenges related to the availability of high-quality pharmaceuticals, leading Leeda to expand her current research to include better understanding the Afghan pharmaceutical supply chain.  As she considers potential avenues to address Afghanistan’s health gaps, Leeda said, “Through Antares I have come to see that commercial approaches hold great potential – this is a new way of thinking for me.”

Gabriela Salvador, MD, MPH, Antares – Pro Mujer Project, 2008

Gabriela Salvador (alum_salvador.png)Gabriela was born and raised in Argentina. After medical training and a residency in ophthalmology, Gabriela pursued clinical practice in both public and private sectors. The desire to shift from community to population-level health led her to pursue an MPH at HSPH.  Gabriela worked with the Antares – Pro Mujer project in 2008, which emphasized the power of health services linked to a microfinance platform, both to further Pro Mujer’s mission and to differentiate itself in the increasingly competitive microfinance markets of Latin America. For Gabriela, “Antares is a unique opportunity for HSPH and HBS students to reach populations in need, working on high impact, complex projects that require a multidisciplinary approach – my most enriching academic experience by far.” After the project was completed, Pro Mujer management continued to seek Gabriela’s input as a consultant and advisor, and in 2010 convinced her to leave her position at Partners Healthcare in Boston to become Director of Health and Human Development Services for Pro Mujer International. Today, with Gabriela’s help, Pro Mujer is fully committed to the strategic importance of its health services. Gabriela’s team is currently piloting a new approach, designed to be financially self-sustaining, which incorporates regular screening and follow-up to improve preventative care for all clients. The 2011 Antares Field Study team (three students each from HBS and HSPH) will be an integral part of that effort, with Gabriela’s role coming full-circle in Antares, from student participant to project partner.

Jun Fukuyoshi, MBA, Antares – LiveWell Clinics Project, 2008

Jun Fukuyoshi (alum_fukuyoshi.png)Prior to HBS, as a brand manager for Proctor & Gamble in Japan, Jun developed deep experience in marketing strategy and execution, with a particular appreciation for the importance of customizing for targeted consumer segments. With Antares, he worked on the LiveWell Clinics project, focused on the design of a sustainable model for a chain of pharmacies and clinics to reach underserved communities in Kenya. “Before Antares, I didn’t know how much marketing could impact healthcare,” Jun recalled. “The idea that I could help save lives with skills that I had learned in business and at HBS has never stopped exciting me. “Together with a Japanese friend at HSPH, Jun returned to his country to establish CancerScan, a commercial firm that applies marketing targeting strategies to public health. With cancer a major issue, despite universal health insurance and a solid public health infrastructure, only 20% of Japanese women over 40 were getting screened for breast-cancer, compared with 70% in the U.S.  Within six months, CancerScan had tripled the number of breast cancer screenings in Japan. It is now well-known, growing and profitable. “Even after two years, every morning I still jump to my feet to go to work,” Jun said. “I cannot thank the faculty and the donors behind Antares enough.”