At HSPH and Harvard
At HSPH, Norma Swenson MPH serves as Faculty in the Maternal and Child Health Concentration and is Faculty and Co-Founder of the Women, Gender, and Health Concentration. Describing herself as a global practitioner of advocacy and activism, and a public health organizer, Swenson draws on the full range of her experience supporting diverse health activist efforts on behalf of women and health, as well as referencing the extensive literature in the health sciences and the humanities. Her patient advocacy skills bring her into multiple clinical environments where she works closely with patients and practitioners to improve communication and decision-making. Among other areas of inquiry and writing, Swenson’s expertise includes most health and medical care technologies used primarily on healthy women throughout the life-cycle, as well as aspects of medical education and training, human sexuality, health care-giving, bioethical questions, health reform, violence, and the politics of women and health. In addition, Norma consults frequently with faculty members and officers in universities overseas on public health issues.
At Harvard University Swenson is an Affiliate of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality program at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Group on Reproductive Health and Rights at the Population and Development Center. She has been a member of the university’s committees on Science, and on Human Rights. She has served on the HSPH Alumni Council and has been the HSPH Commencement speaker. Norma often works as formal or informal advisor and resource on behalf of students from many diverse backgrounds and schools. Currently she teaches “Women, Health, and Development: Reconciling Science and Policy”, from a global, interdisciplinary perspective in the Dept. of Society, Human Development, and Health at HSPH. Drawing students from across Harvard’s many schools as well as HSPH, this course, founded by Dr. Jane Gardner, is arguably the first and longest-running women and health offering at Harvard University.