Elizabeth Campa, MSc, MMSc
MMSc-GHD Class of 2020
A 2020 graduate of the MMSc-GHD program, we are proud to congratulate Elizabeth Campa on her recent appointment as the Director of the University of Global Health Equity's Haiti campus. She will be responsible or driving cross-functional engagement in the development of continuous UGHE-Haiti academic and research activities, as well as developing annual plans leading to expanding offerings in training, mentoring, and clinical services, and education in liaison with UGHE in Rwanda.
During her time in the program, Eizabeth's thesis project focused on cesarean section wound care in rural Haiti. She sought to understand the post-cesarean section experience for both women and clinicians. The study produced a preliminary discharge checklist for women after a cesarean section and, most importantly, identified where there were gaps in how information is shared and how patients understand it. The study also brought to light the importance of having a discharge checklist available for women to take home with them and train clinicians in this area. The findings of the study will be presented to clinical leadership in Haiti and at the Haitian Ministry of Health after the COVID crisis.
With such a large success after her graduation in May, we wanted her perspective on the MMSc-GHD experience and its impact on her career. Again, the MMSc-GHD program is proud to congratulate Elizabeth Campa!
Why was getting a master’s degree important to you and your career?
I received my first graduate degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2007. My overseas career benefited very much from what I learned during my time in London. Over the last five years, as my portfolio at Zanmi Lasante grew, supporting cervical cancer, maternal and child health among other clinical areas, I knew I needed to continue my education and broaden my understanding of global health. The world is so different now from in 2007. While I have been in the field of humanitarian assistance for 20 years, I am still learning every day.
Why did you choose the MMSc-GHD program?
I knew that I would need to continue working while completing a graduate degree, and the PIH headquarters are also located in Boston, which would facilitate working with the Boston and Haiti teams. Knowing I could get on the T, be at the PIH office for a mid-day meeting and be back to the Longwood campus a few hours later made this an easy choice. Secondly, I felt very comfortable knowing that I already knew many of the individuals who were teaching on the course through their research on HIV/AIDs, TB, nutrition, etc. Lastly and most importantly, I knew that an education at Harvard was going to be the best in the world. I dreamed of receiving an education at Harvard since age 8. As a daughter of Cuban immigrants, I did not know how or when that would ever be possible. I strongly believe that all roads led to my studying in the MMSc-GHD program and my work in Global Health.
What about the MMSc-GHD program that surprised you the most?
How manageable the courses were. By this, I mean, if you complete your readings, submit assignments on time, follow professors’ advice, come prepared, attend class, and participate, you will succeed. The professors of the program are AMAZING and are so approachable, kind, and willing to assist you at points of the program. They want you to succeed, and you feel part of the Global Health family during and after you complete the program.
How would you say the program has impacted your everyday work?
I feel as if I see everything through a different lens. I think back to the Ethnography course in the first semester with Drs. Mary Jo Delvecchio and Byron Good and thought the course was not going to be interesting and, on a Friday afternoon, difficult to keep my attention. I have said to my professors that I could not have been more wrong. What I learned in that Ethnography class, the readings provided during the course, listening to Mary Jo and Byron's life experiences, shaped a new way of how I think. I am always going a mile a minute with so much work on my plate, but I now take steps back, listen better, ask more questions. I have spent the last 20 years working across the world, and I am grateful for how the course loads encouraged me to be more analytical, more confident in my day-to-day work.