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Failing health systems — Our people

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A survivor's empathy

[ Fall 2014 ] HSPH alumna's immigrant journey inspires career transforming teens' health. Angela Diaz, MPH '02, knows what it's like to overcome nearly impossible odds—and to pay forward the hard lessons she learned along the way. She spent her childhood in extreme…

Public health politician

August 19, 2014 — When she was running for a seat in Japan’s house of representatives, Mayuko Toyota, SM ’02, one day found herself standing in the rain on crutches, giving a speech at a common venue for politicking in that country:…

The ACA and jobs

February 2014 – Katherine Baicker, professor of health economics at Harvard School of Public Health, talks about the potential effects of the Affordable Care Act on employment. (Conversations in Public Health, 5:01) Please click the play icon above to play this podcast…

The Impact of Financial Aid

Emmanuel Akintoye, MPH '14 Many ambitious Nigerian children aspire to medical school, but while he had reached this goal, Emmanuel Akintoye wanted something more. He found it in public health. "I knew from the first moment that this is what I want…

Helping ‘the poorest of the poor’

June 23, 2014 -- Anubhav and Arunika Agarwal share more than a marriage. Both earned MBAs focused on health management in their home country of India. Both worked in India and Afghanistan on health improvement projects. And both are about to graduate…

Improving health for people with disabilities

May 9, 2014 —The phone call from Ghana clinched Asare Christian’s career path. His grandmother was exhibiting sudden, puzzling symptoms including loss of balance, coordination, and bladder function. To Christian, who was learning about brain injury in his clinical rotation in rehabilitation…

ACA this week - Do enrollment targets matter?

March, 2014 – Although the number of people signing up for health care through the federal and state marketplaces is currently behind the administration’s target, Benjamin Sommers, professor of health policy and economics at Harvard School of Public Health, says a more…

Fixing a broken health care system

February 2014 -- Ashish Jha, professor of health policy at Harvard School of Public Health, shares his thoughts on what he refers to as "probably the most dangerous place in the world for a human being—an American hospital. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/campaign/

Working the system

[ Fall 2012 ] As director of the second-largest health department in Washington State, Anthony Chen, MPH ’06, tackles all the issues—from infections to inequities—that shape people’s health. The elderly Taiwanese man had been Anthony Chen’s patient for years. When the patient…

Case-based learning

[ Spring 2009 ] Innovative course prepares students to cope with complexity Imagine yourself as a candidate for the master's degree in public health at Harvard. Your task: Acquire the skills and leadership traits to solve complex public health issues. Your timeline: Nine or…

Society is his patient

[ Spring 2009 ] Julio Frenk's arrival in January as the seventh Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) was, in a sense, a homecoming. It was in 1953 that his father, a research fellow at Boston's Children's Hospital, was doing experiments…

A launchpad for leaders

[ Fall 2011 ] When Roy Wade was a medical resident at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, one patient in the pediatric clinic he was working in really stuck with him: a 16-year-old girl with a deeply troubled history of depression and…

Reining in Health Costs

The making of reformer Sarah Iselin By the latest estimates, only 2.6 percent of Massachusetts residents lack health insurance, the lowest rate of any U.S. state. "It's amazing," says Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) alumna Sarah Iselin, who has been part of the…

The art of getting things done

[ Spring/Summer 2012 ] On January 19, 2011, HSPH professor William Hsiao walked onto the podium in the well of the Vermont State House. Before him sat both chambers of the state legislature. Above him stood hundreds of onlookers in the observation…

Teaching leadership to leaders

[ Fall 2011 ] The National Preparedness Leadership Initiative teaches seasoned professionals how to handle unprecedented disasters. At  the World Trade Center on 9/11, the New York Fire Department set up a command center at the bottom of World Trade Center One.…

Don't I know you from Chennai?

[Winter 2009] Reunited childhood friends share passion for helping kids In July, incoming MPH student Mohan Sundararaj was settling into an orientation session at the Harvard School of Public Health when a familiar face popped out of the crowd. "It hit me…

Public health and the U.S. economy

[ Fall 2012 ] How the next U.S. president can stack the deck in favor of people’s health and wealth in 2013 With the November 2012 elections on the horizon, Americans surveyed in national polls consistently rank the economy as their number…

Saving lives in the heat of battle

[ Fall 2011 ] Christian Benjamin, MD, MPH ’96 and Michael McCarten, DO, MPH ’99  are delivering evidence-based military medicine in Afghanistan Medics roll a badly wounded U.S. soldier into the military hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He has lost both legs to…

Alumni Award of Merit Winners 2009

[Fall 2009] Scientific Pioneers, Inspirational Teachers Call them pioneers for delving into unexplored research areas. Call them conventional-wisdom busters for proving that common health risks can be limited or eliminated. Or call them mentors who challenge students and guide them to be…

From patient to public health leader

[ Spring/Summer 2010 ] Indian Health Services Director Yvette Roubideaux is on a quest to improve American Indian health. As a child in Rapid City, South Dakota, Yvette Roubideaux, MD, MPH’97, used to fill her bag with books whenever she went to the doctor.…

Why IS health care reform so elusive?

[ Fall 2011 ] Interview with John McDonough John McDonough, HSPH professor of the practice of public health, was a senior adviser on the U.S. Senate committee responsible for developing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the landmark health care reform…

Alumni award winners: What we know now

[ Winter 2011] We asked this year’s winners James Dalen, Fernando Guerra, Lynn Rosenberg, and David Schottenfeld: What do you know now about improving the public’s health that you didn’t when you started out in your career? James Dalen, SM '72 “The people are ahead of their doctors.”…

Questioning our enchantment with high technology

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] After spending more than 25 years as a doctor—eventually becoming physician in-chief at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital— Howard Hiatt knew firsthand the limitations of U.S. health care: a penchant for expensive, high-tech treatments, lack of rigorous evaluation of…

Can cost-effective health care = better health care?

[Winter 2010] Cost-effectiveness research pinpoints best values for limited health care dollars—and the results may surprise you An interview with Harvard School of Public Health’s Milton Weinstein offers some revealing insights into how the U.S. health care system could save money by focusing on…

HPV screening: Saving lives in resource-poor nations

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] Each year, approximately half a million women develop cervical cancer, a malignancy linked to high-risk strains of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV). In wealthy nations, cervical cancer deaths have plummeted over the six decades that the Pap…

China's leaders, HSPH experts unite in health reform effort

[ Spring 2009 ] At the height of China's SARS outbreak in the spring of 2003, with Beijing reporting hundreds of new cases a day, Yuanli Liu woke up at 3 a.m. in Boston to a ringing telephone. On the line was a senior Chinese government…

Talking health care reform: A conversation with Meredith Rosenthal

[ Spring/Summer 2010 ] On March 21, 2010, the United States House of Representatives passed the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid more than four decades earlier. Soon after, the Review caught up with health economist Meredith B. Rosenthal to…

Karen DeSalvo, SM '02, named National Coordinator for Health IT

Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently announced the appointment of HSPH alumna Karen DeSalvo, SM '02, as the next National Coordinator for Health Information Technology starting January 13, 2014. DeSalvo will replace fellow HSPH graduate Farzad Mostashari, SM…

Obamacare and the insurance kerfuffle

John McDonough, professor of public health practice at Harvard School of Public Health and director of the HSPH Center for Public Health Leadership, discussed technical problems and controversies surrounding the Obamacare rollout on recent episodes of a new podcast series moderated by…

Shining a light on medical errors

Lucian Leape has made a career out of other people’s mistakes. Over the past three decades, his research has focused largely on strategies for reducing those all-too-common errors that kill tens of thousands of patients every year. Leape began looking into medical…

Studying health inequalities

"I love teaching; I love speaking; and I love inspiring other people to be passionate about what I'm passionate about." Clare rosenfeld Evans, SD '16; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Taplin Fellow Clare Rosenfeld Evans was seven years old…

Working to change the system

“When the department chair called me and warmly invited me to the program and offered me the Carson Fellowship, I was floored. That’s when I knew I’d be coming here.” Bethany Holmes, SM '12; Health Policy & Management; Carson Fellow Bethany Holmes, SM…

Reforming health care systems

"Harvard is number one in the world. I felt if I really want to reform health care systems and work in global health, why don't I learn from the best?" Oluwatosin Omole, MPH '12; Health Policy & Management…

Getting things right in the operating room

Atul Gawande Powerful ideas aren’t always complicated. One remarkably simple intervention devised by HSPH professor and alumnus Atul Gawande—a brief checklist for surgeons, similar to the safety checklists used by airplane pilots—has already prevented tens of thousands of…