Newsletter - Fall 2016

Fall 2016

News & Announcements

Awards, Appointments & Honors


Recent Publications

Seminars, Workshops & Lectures



Congratulations to Mercedes Becerra, ScD, on her richly deserved promotion to Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine. Meche was recognized for her contributions as an epidemiologist addressing clinical and policy questions critical to the control of drug-resistant tuberculosis through early diagnosis, prompt initiation of effective care, and improved infection control. Noted especially were her attention to preventing the spread of TB among the household contacts of TB patients and her co-founding of the Sentinel Project, a global network of investigators and clinicians dedicated to addressing the gaps in care for children with drug-resistant TB. We are delighted with and proud of Meche’s success and confident that her work will continue to flourish.




Dr. Paul Farmer gives address at the Harvard Medical School Department of Otolaryngology Graduation

This summer, Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, delivered the graduation address at the Harvard Medical School Department of Otolaryngology 2016 Graduation, held at Massachusetts Eye and Ear on June 24. Invited by the Office of Global Surgery and Health at Mass. Eye and Ear, which is directed by Dr. Mack Cheney, Dr. Farmer’s address, “Are the Ears, Nose, and Throat in the Head and Neck? What about the Eyes? Subspecialty Medicine and the Future of Global Health Equity,” stressed the importance of surgical specialties in global health and the need for surgery worldwide.


Anne Becker, MD, PhD, is on sabbatical leave until the end of February 2017. During her sabbatical, Anne is co-editing a book on a framework for global mental health; developing a Freshman Seminar proposal in the domain of global mental health and the social sciences; and re-engaging with research interests in Fiji, focusing on community-based health messaging to improve uptake of mental health and NCD care. Concurrently, she has stepped out of the Vice Chair role through which she has contributed enormously to the administration and growth of our department, the establishment of the Programs in Global Health and Social Change and the new master’s degree, guidance on implementing our shared vision, and mentoring of our faculty and trainees. We are deeply grateful to Anne for her seven years of service as Vice Chair.




On June 30, 2016, Arthur Kleinman completed his term as Victor and William Fung Director, Harvard Asia Center. During his eight years as director, the Asia Center grew in programs, faculty and student activities, endowment and salience for the rest of Harvard. In April Kleinman co-chaired with his former student Jim Yong Kim, now President of the World Bank, and Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, an international meeting at the World Bank on global mental health that sought to raise funds for the implementation of depression and anxiety treatment programs in primary care and community settings, especially in poor societies. In May and June Kleinman gave lectures at University of California Davis, Sun Yat-Sen University and Beijing Normal University in China, Kyoto Gakuen University in Japan, and the University of Lisbon. He was appointed visiting professor at Sun Yat-Sen University. He will also be serving as Adjunct Professor, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kleinman is on sabbatical in fall semester 2016 and is working hard to finish a book tentatively titled The Soul of Care.




Seeking speakers and panelists for the Mass Medical Society’s Conference on Global and Community Health for Trainees 

DGHE faculty member Lisa Gruenberg is involved in planning the Mass Medical Society’s Conference on Global and Community Health for Trainees and is seeking speakers and panelists for the event for part or all of the day, or to attend a networking lunch. This highly successful program will be held at MGH on Saturday, January 21, 2017 and is developed and run by medical and dental schools across Massachusetts and New England.

The planning leadership is identifying students and/or residents willing to join the multi-institution planning committee to develop the entire program and/or an institutional planning group based at HMS or HSDM responsible for a single panel or workshop. If you are interested in this work, please contact Christina Dervishian at and cc Dr. Gruenberg at The 2016 program may be found here.

Launch of the Social Medicine Consortium

Michelle Morse, MD, instructor in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, global health and social medicine affiliate with the Program in Global Medical Education and Social Change, deputy chief medical officer for Partners In Health, and co-director of EqualHealth, is a founding member of Social Medicine Consortium. The newly launched consortium is an umbrella entity that brings together the collective voices of organizations, institutions, and individuals who believe that social medicine should be integrated into education of all health professionals.  The consortium collaborates to further mutual priorities and interests and continue to build the social medicine movement. The functions of the consortium include education, advocacy and research on social medicine education.



A Harvard Hero Among Us

On June 6, 2016, Kelly O’Connor, administrative manager for Paul Farmer’s team, was honored as a “Harvard Hero” at a celebration with family, friends, and colleagues. Kelly was one of 63 outstanding Harvard staff members from across the University selected this year. President Drew Faust, who presided and delivered citations to each Hero, said this about Kelly, “Kelly O’Connor, from the hub of the department of Global Health and Social Medicine, you boost the health of people locally and globally—whether counseling colleagues, faculty, and students or coordinating teams fighting Ebola in West Africa or drug-resistant tuberculosis in Siberia. Even in complex and stressful situations, you inject composure and compassion—and, when the time is right, a dose of levity.” Dr. Farmer, who nominated Kelly, says that she is “a woman with a mission.” He goes on to say that the work that Kelly does is not for the faint of heart and that her work is that of a, “true unsung hero, who manages not only to organize chaos in support of a mission, but also serves as a living link between Harvard and the scores of places our faculty and students work. Her arrival to Harvard has improved our lives and the lives of people she’s unlikely to meet.” —Congratulations, Kelly!