Department Newsletter - December 2014









Blind Spot - BookDr. Salmaan Keshavjee of Harvard Medical School releases “Blind Spot: How Neoliberalism Infiltrated Global Health”

Salmaan Keshavjee, MD, PhD, ScM, released his book, “Blind Spot: How Neoliberalism Infiltrated Global Health” this fall, with a foreword by Dr. Paul Farmer. Neoliberalism has been the defining paradigm in global health since the latter part of the twentieth century. What started as an untested and unproven theory that the creation of unfettered markets would give rise to political democracy led to policies that promoted the belief that private markets were the optimal agents for the distribution of social goods, including healthcare.

A vivid illustration of the infiltration of neoliberal ideology into the design and implementation of development programs, this case study, set in post-Soviet Tajikistan’s remote eastern province of Badakhshan, draws on extensive ethnographic and historical material to examine a “revolving drug fund” program—used by numerous nongovernmental organizations globally to address shortages of high-quality pharmaceuticals in poor communities. Provocative, rigorous, and accessible, Blind Spot offers a cautionary tale about the forces driving decision making in health and development policy today, illustrating how the privatization of health care can have catastrophic outcomes for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.


David Jones, PhD, MDDavid Jones, PhD, MD, received a Collaborative Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, for his project with Kavita Sivaramakrishnan (Columbia University), “Relocating Heart Disease in the Tropics: Race, Risk, and Modernization in Post-Independence India.” The grant began on October 1, 2014 and will run for three years. This supports one of Dr. Jones' current research projects on the history of heart disease and cardiac Rx in India.




Edward Hundert, MDEdward Hundert, MD, Dean for Medical Education, was appointed the Daniel D. Federman, M.D. Professor in Residence of Global Health and Social Medicine and Medical Education. Congratulations Dr. Hundert!





Dr. Robert Riviello (Trauma, Acute care Surgeon from BWH, CSPH, HRH programs), Dr. Shilpa Murthy (surgery resident CSPH), Dr. Neo Tapela (PIH, BWH), and Dr. Lydia Pace (BWH)On Wednesday October 22, 2014 during breast cancer awareness month, the country of Rwanda held its first National Symposium on the Management of Breast Cancer. Integral to the success of this national symposium from Boston were Dr. Robert Riviello (Trauma, Acute care Surgeon from BWH, CSPH, HRH programs), Dr. Shilpa Murthy (surgery resident CSPH), Dr. Neo Tapela (PIH, BWH), and Dr. Lydia Pace (BWH). It was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Health, University of Rwanda department of surgery, Rwanda Biomedical center, PIH, BWH, and DFCI.

Over a 150 individuals participated including, district and referral hospital doctors, surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses, medical and public health students, residents from University of Rwanda and Ministry of Health officials.


Brooke Schoepf, PhD has been awarded the AIDS and Anthropology Research Group's 2014 Distinguished Service Award "in recognition of exceptionally meritorious contributions to the improvement of the health of people infected with or at risk of infection with HIV...[and whose work] promotes anthropology as a field concerned with improving the quality of human life."

Recent Events

This fall Arthur Kleinman gave the Higgins Lecture to the School of Humanities at Clark University; the keynote address to the Gulbenkian Foundation Global Mental Health Platform in Lisbon, Portugal, as well as lectures at the University of Lisbon’s Institute of Social Research and Medical School. He also gave lectures on Religion and Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and on Caregiving as Moral Experience to the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School. At Johns Hopkins University, he delivered talks to the Berman Institute of Bioethics as well as the Department of Anthropology, where he presented a forthcoming book co-authored with Iain Wilkinson, A Passion for Society: Social Suffering, Social Science, and Social Care.


Zero TB Deaths Team Conducts First Training in DelhiZero TB Deaths Team Conducts First Training in Delhi

The Zero TB Deaths Team, a project of the Department's MDRTB Scaleup Initiative under Dr. Salmaan Keshavjee, conducted a 3-day training at the University of Chicago Center in Delhi for 26 people directly affected by TB in India. The training—one of the first of its kind for TB in India—provided TB survivors, family members of TB patients, and health workers with expert-led training on how to become more effective policy advocates for ending TB deaths through public narrative, media workshops, and advocacy training. Speakers included expert physicians, community organizers, journalists, and policy advisors. Further trainings are planned to take place throughout India in 2015. Pictured here (left to right): Zero TB Deaths Program Manager, Ankur Asthana; DGHSM Visiting Research Fellows Darshali Vyas and Vadim Kogan; and Haiyya Community Organizing Trainers,  Jill Shah and Natasha Chaudhary.


Recent Publications

  • Vanessa B. Kerry and Sadath Sayeed, Leveraging Opportunities for Critical Care in Resource-Limited Settings, 2014-09-01Z, Volume 9, Issue 3, Pages 275-279, Copyright © 2014 World Heart Federation (Geneva) [to view the full article, please use this link with your HUID login]!/content/playCon....
  • Herce ME, Elmore SN, Kalanga N, Keck JW, Wroe EB, Phiri A, Mayfield A, Chingoli F, Beste JA, Tengatenga L, Bazile J, Krakauer EL, Rigodon J (Krakauer & Rigodon are co-senior authors). Assessing and responding to palliative care needs in rural sub-Saharan Africa: Results from a model intervention and situation analysis in Malawi. PLoS One 2014, 9(10): e110457. Available at:
  • Courtwright AM, Brackett S, Cadge W, Krakauer EL, Robinson EM (Krakauer & Robinson are co-senior authors). Experience with a hospital policy on not offering cardiopulmonary resuscitation when believed more harmful than beneficial. J Crit Care, in press.
  • Krakauer EL, Cham NTP, Husain SA, Hai Yen NT, Joranson DE, Khue LN, Maurer MA. Toward safe accessibility of opioid pain medicines in Vietnam and other developing countries: A balanced policy method. J Pain Symptom Manage, in press.
  • Paudel BD, Ryan KM, Brown MS, Krakauer EL, Rajagopal MR, Maurer MA, Cleary JF. Opioid availability and palliative care in Nepal: Influence of an international pain policy fellowship. J Pain Symptom Manage, in press.
  • Hundert, EM. A Systems Approach to the Multi-Layered Hidden Curriculum. In Hafferty FW and O’Donnell J, eds. The Hidden Curriculum in Health Professions Education. Dartmouth College Press, 2014.


Invited Presentations

Dr. Krakauer gave an invited lecture entitled: “Can integration of palliative care with community-based treatment of DR-TB improve treatment outcomes?” at the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 45th World Conference in Barcelona, Spain on October 30, 2014.