MMSc-GHD Class of 2018
Mercedes Aguerrebere Gomez Urquiza, MD
Mercedes Aguerrebere is a Mexican physician, especially interested in comprehensive primary care and mental health. She has been working with Partners In Health/Compañeros En Salud (PIH/CES) in Mexico since February 2013, when she decided to compete her social service year in rural Chiapas. Aware of the huge burden of mental illness in the region and the lack of services to cope with this burden, Mercedes decided to stay at CES as the Mental Health Coordinator. Since 2014, she has been building a model for integrating mental health services in rural primary care clinics. Her research interests include scaling-up of mental health interventions, comprehensive primary care and medical education. Mercedes aspires to work within or alongside governmental institutions to strengthen the Mexican health system so that it succeeds in protecting the right to health by providing effective health services, including mental health care, to the most vulnerable.
Dalia Alnuaimi, MD
Dalia Alnuaimi is an Internal Medicine resident from the United Arab Emirates. She graduated from UAE university medical school before completing her residency in Tawam Hospital in affiliation with John Hopkins. During her Residency she completed Global Clinical Scholars Research Training (GCSRT) program in Harvard as well as undergoing a Harvard Translational Medicine course. She is currently affiliated with Al Jalila Foundation for medical research, an organization that focuses on promoting medical research and education in the region. She aspires to work to improve health care delivery to underserved populations using innovative methods that utilize translational medicine concepts.
David Angelson, PhD
David Angelson is a New Zealand-based epidemiologist; a PhD graduate from the University of Auckland's Faculty of Medical Health Sciences, School of Population Health, Health Systems Section. Most recently (2011-2015), he served as an ICA-3 Public Health Advisor to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). He has served three branches of the United Nations (UNPFII, UNDP, and WHO), and was a research fellow/visiting scholar at Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women's Hospital and Lunds Universitet Medicinska Fakulteten (Sweden) during his doctoral studies. His research interests include environmental health and renewable energy technologies, international health, indigenous health, and the public health consequences of climate change.
Elsie Ballah, MD
Elsie Ballah was born and raised in Liberia. She is a 2009 graduate of the only medical college in Liberia, the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, University of Liberia and is currently a general practitioner. Elsie worked as an intern at the J.F. Kennedy Medical Center, Liberia, for one year, after which she underwent six months of intensive training in obstetric emergency care at the Phebe Hospital and C. B. Dunbar Maternity Hospital in Bong County, Liberia. After the 6 months training, she worked at the C. B. Dunbar Maternity Hospital providing emergency obstetric care. She now serves as the County Health Officer of the Grand Gedeh County Health Team, leading the county health team to deliver health services to a population of about 148,000 at the community, clinic, health center and hospital level. She is also attached to the obstetrics ward of the only county hospital, Martha Tubman Memorial Hospital, with a commitment to improving maternal and neonatal health services. Elsie is a 2015 graduate of the Global Health Delivery Intensive Program at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research interests focus on addressing health concerns in rural Libera including provision of TB care and prevention of maternal mortality.
Ntombifuthi Dennis, MPH
Ntombifuthi Dennis is a Swazi Public Health practitioner. She currently serves as the National Prevention Manager for Swaziland’s National AIDS Council referred to as the National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS. She has over 8 years of progressively challenging experiences in the area of Public Health where she has been involved in policy and strategy development and resource mobilization for HIV prevention interventions. She works with both government and civil society supporting the design and execution of bilateral and multilateral sponsored national HIV programs targeting women and girls, young people and other key populations and is currently Co-Principal Investigator on the Evaluation of the Impact Incentives for HIV Prevention. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of Witwatersrand, a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Swaziland, a Certificate in Health Communication from Wits University. Ntombifuthi is a Mandela Washington Fellow and a recipient of the 2007 Swaziland’s Young Professional of The Year Award. Her research interests include assessing the feasibility of providing PrEP to high-risk adolescent girls and young women and evaluating the impact of incentives on risk-taking behaviors among young people.
Farzad Kasraei, MD
Farzad Kasraei graduated with a degree in medicine in 2004, and joined the Global Fund program to Fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria as project manager 2005-2007. Meanwhile he established AIDS/Addiction Research and Intervention Association, an NGO that seeks to close the gaps left by governmental and UN projects in access and cost through volunteer programs. As the CEO of this NGO, Dr. Kasraei won The International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) Award for Offender Management/Treatment and Reintegration in 2007 and raised funds from European Union (EC) for HIV prevention, drug treatment and rehabilitation programs. During 2005-2009, the WHO, UNODC and World Bank invited him to consult on regional and inter-regional events and conferences on HIV prevention, harm reduction and drug treatment. In 2010, he joined the Red Crescent Hospital in Dubai which serves low-income and susceptible populations. There, Dr. Kasraei treated many patients from over 180 countries. From 2013 to 2014, he completed the Global Clinical Scholars Research Training (GCSRT) program at Harvard. For his MMSc-GHD research, he seeks integrate research and innovative models and technology for expanding health-care delivery to underserved populations.
Odell Kumeh, MD
Odell Kumeh is a physician who trained in Liberia at A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Sinkor, and post internship surgical training at Phebe Hospital in Suakoko, and Redemption Hospital. She served as County Health Officer of Maryland County in Liberia, in the Southeastern Region from 2009 to 2015. She currently serves as County Health Officer of Bomi County in the North Western Region of Liberia. She has completed extensive training including: in 2015 the Global Health Delivery Intensive Program at Harvard University; in 2011, a three month sponsored USAID intensive training at Stella Maris Polytechnic University on Human resources for Health, financial management, organizational strategy and leadership, as well as trainings with USAID Maternal Child Health Integrated Program, Asahikawa University on Health Systems Administration, training focused on health sector planning, infectious disease management and surveillance and policy in Sapporo, Japan, sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In 2010, she received a Certificate from Faiyoun University in Egypt for six week intensive training on quality control, quality assurance, control of infectious diseases and health care management. She attended the World Health Assembly in 2010 as one of Liberia’s delegates. Her interests center on maternal and child health, for instance, ensuring that no woman should die while giving birth and that every child should be fully immunized.
Alexander Miamen Alexander Giovanni Miamen is a Liberian born Cancer Research Scientist. He is also the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of a non-profit cancer research and advocacy group, The Liberian Cancer Education and Research foundation. The foundation works on integrating otherwise care “naïve” cancer patients of African descent into the health care system, and to educate members of the community on the benefits of earlier diagnosis and cancer prevention measures. Alexander completed his graduate studies in Cancer Immunotherapy at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, with Dr. Lewis Roberts. With the high incidence and disproportional presentation of Hepatocellular Carcinomas (HCC), primarily liver cancer, in sub-Saharan Africa and recent immigrants from that region, Alexander decided to focus on developing novel therapeutic modalities to the treatment of one of the few cancers with a projected increase in both presentation and mortality in the next few decades. His work has led to groundbreaking therapeutic approaches in the treatment of HCC at the Mayo Clinic, and numerous scientific publications. Alexander’s work with the African immigrant communities in Minnesota has led to numerous recognitions. Alexander hopes to bring his expertise in the design and implementation of design thinking to the building of sustainable healthcare delivery systems in the prevention of non-communicable diseases in Liberia.
Sandeep Nanwani, MD
Sandeep Nanwani graduated from Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta and received his MD degree in 2015. He has worked actively with displaced and street-based populations to assist them in navigating the health system to obtain care. He is an active member of several community-based organizations serving various populations including street youths, beggars, transgender populations, and sex workers. Dr. Nanwani is an activist in the call for the decriminalization of street-based work. Currently he works as a case manager in a state-funded community shelter for displaced HIV positive people and is also a volunteer in a state institution which harbors the homeless including many of which with major mental illness and disabilities. He has worked on research projects with young HIV positive populations under the HIV working group in the center of tropical medicine, Universitas, Gadjah Mada.
Michelson Padovany, MD
Michelson Padovany is a general surgeon who has worked for Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante (PIH/ZL) in Haiti since completing residency in 2012. Born in Mirebalais, Michelson grew up between the rural Central Plateau and the urban capital of Port au Prince. When PIH/ZL opened the tertiary level hospital, Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM) in 2013, he returned to the place of his birth to perform the first surgery at this revolutionary facility. He has since continued to work as a surgeon at HUM where he has helped grow the dynamic surgical program by pioneering the implementation of laparoscopy procedures and by creating an oncology surgical service. He is dedicated to raising the standard of surgical care available to the poor through inter-disciplinary education, being a mentor to surgical residents, increasing access to technology, and creating systematic approaches to comprehensive surgical care. He believes access to quality surgical care should be a right for all, and hopes to push the boundaries of surgery in the field of global health. He hopes the MMSc program, combined with his technical expertise, will allow him to develop innovative models for surgical care delivery.
Hannah Sehn has worked with Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE), a sister organization of PIH, based in Gallup, NM, since 2010. She currently works as the Planning & Partnerships Manager. She enjoys finding innovative ways to support and integrate community health workers (CHWs) into health care teams in order to address health disparities and improve patient outcomes. She has helped adapt and create education materials, facilitate local capacity building with CHWs and clinic partners, and collaborate to build stronger clinic-community linkages with all COPE’s partners – CHRs, community members, health facilities, Navajo Nation Department of Health programs, the New Mexico Department of Health, to leverage resources to bring about system level change. Focusing on partnerships and community guided solutions, she has worked with COPE to build programming to improve cancer outcomes by creating a Patient and Family Advisory Committee and local stakeholder coalition. These organizations work to understand community assets and opportunities to enable patients to receive the type of holistic care that is culturally sensitive, patient-centered, and addresses social determinants of health, such as access to healthy foods. In addition to her work with COPE, Sehn is an Advisory Council member for a Nicaraguan-based association of CHWs that work in several municipalities throughout the country. In this capacity, she helps support and foster CHW activities and collaborations with the Ministry of Health.
Tianhang Zhou, MD
Tianhang Zhou graduated from Peking University in China and attained her MD degree in 2015. She has completed standard training in Peking University Institute of Mental Health as a psychiatric resident, from 2013 to 2015. She was a visiting research fellow at Harvard Medical School/McLean hospital in 2016. She was actively involved in a series of projects aiming at mental health promotion for migrant workers, and other clinical research programs aiming at providing more effective mental health service for patients. This clinical and research work experiences help her to understand the current predicament of mental health service and psychiatrists in China. She has conducted research projects to explore the quality of life and burnout status of Chinese health care staff. With perception of the significance of mental health promotion, her research interest is health promotion among Chinese medical staff, especially for mental health professionals.