Department Newsletter - May 2013

Department of Global Health and Social Medicine

May 2013 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxVolume 2, Number 3

Announcements Recent Publications
Awards & Committee Appointments Seminars, Lectures, Workshops, & Abstracts



To Repair the WorldTo Repair the World

To Repair the World is a collection of short speeches by Dr. Paul Farmer. Through his book, he encourages young people to tackle the greatest challenges of our times. The book promises to be engaging, often humorous, and always inspiring, as these speeches bring to light the brilliance and force of Farmer's vision in a single, accessible volume. To celebrate this book launch, several events will be held across the country. Please visit the Partners In Health website to view the schedule of these events. To Repair the World is published by the University of California Press and is available through The following are just a few of the public appearances and reviews of the book.

  • 10 Questions for Paul Farmer | Time Video | Belinda Luscombe, editor for Time Magazine interviews Dr. Farmer.
  • Dr. Paul Farmer on Rwanda's Health Leap, Haiti's Struggles & How Communities Can Repair the World | Democracy Now! A Daily Independent Global News Hour | Amy Goodman interviews Dr. Farmer.
  • New York Journal of Books | Roberta E. Winter reviews Dr. Farmer's newest book and states, "Bravo, Dr. Farmer, for saying what most clinicians are loathe to admit."


Abundance Foundation
Abundance Foundation Fellowship in Global Health Implementation Science

On April 23, 2013, Harvard Medical School approved the Abundance Foundation Fellowship in Global Health Implementation Science. Giuseppe Raviola, MD, MPH, director of the Program in Global Mental Health and Social Change (PGMHSC) will serve as the fellowship director/PI. The Fellowship will be housed in the PGMHSC and will build on the Dr. Mario Pagenel Fellowship in Mental Health Delivery, now entering its third year. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Stephanie Smith will be the inaugural Abundance fellow beginning this summer. There will also be two new Pagenel Fellows - Dr. Rupi Legha in Haiti and Dr. Robyn Osrow in Rwanda.


Harvard Travel AssistPlease note that your International SOS Program has been replaced with Harvard Travel Assist

Introducing Harvard Travel Assist
The services are the same, but the name and number are new! As of April 1, 2013, assistance for international travelers, including medical referrals, emergency evacuation, and repatriation, as well as access to country-specific safety and medical information is now offered by Harvard Travel Assist, and the accompanying emergency phone number (617-998-0000). This replaces the International SOS name and phone number. Please visit the Harvard Travel Assist website for details.


Nancy Oriol, MD, lecturer, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, dean for students, Harvard Medical School, and associate professor of anaesthesia, Brigham and Women's Hospital, has received the 2013 HMS/HSDM Dean's Community Service Award for Lifetime Achievement. To read about this award and others, please visit The Office for Diversity Inclusion & Community Partnership at HMS website.

Mercedes Becerra, associate professor of global health and social medicine, has received the A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award for 2012-2013. Harvard Medical School established the Excellence in Mentoring Awards to recognize the value of quality mentoring relationships and the impact they have on professional development and career advancement in clinical medicine, teaching, research, and administration. The awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, from 4:00-5:30 pm in the TMEC Amphitheater, 260 Longwood Avenue, with an informal reception immediately following. Congratulations Meche!

Susan Briggs, MD, MPH, FACS, affiliate in the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change, associate professor of surgery, Harvard Medical School; director, International Trauma and Disaster Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Surgery, will be honored on June 11, 2013, at the Project Hope's "HOPE Gala" as a 2013 Global Health Award recipient. Congratulations Susan!






Ted Kaptchuk | Program in Placebo Studies in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation presents "The Science of Placebo"
On June 19 and June 20, four world renowned researchers will speak to the science of placebo -- the neurobiological and clinical factors involved with the placebo response and its role in health care and research design.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | 4:00-5:30 pm | Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

  • Fabrizio Benedetti, MD, Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience, University of Turin Medical School and the National Institutes of Neuroscience, Italy.
  • Tor Wager, PhD, Director, Cognitive and Affective Control Laboratory, and Associate Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado, Boulder

Thursday, June 20, 2013 | 4:00-5:30 pm | Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

  • Predrag Petrovic, MD, Sensor Researcher, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
  • Ted Kaptchuk, Director, Program in Placebo Studies and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

For more information, please call (617) 945-7827 or visit the website.


Paul Farmer | Health Equity Activist Talks Social Justice
The Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice and the Church in the 21st Century, hosted Dr. Farmer and Professor Roberto Goizueta at the event "Accompaniment: Liberation Theology, Solidarity and Life of Service." Connor Farley at The Heights (the independent student newspaper of Boston College) covered the event.

Charlotte Wu and colleagues | Oral presentation
At the 36th Annual Meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine (April 24-27, 2013), Charlotte Wu, MD, affiliate in the Program of Global Primary Care and Social Change, associate physician, Division of General Internal Medicine and Division of Global Health Equity, Phyllis Jen Center for Primary Care, Brigham and Women's Hospital; instructor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, and colleagues gave an oral presentation, "A population management system for improving colorectal screening rates in primary care setting." To access a PDF of the program, click here.

Also, in March 2013, Charlotte gave an invited presentation in Saigon, Vietnam, at the Harvard AIDS Initiative in Vietnam (HAIVN) on, "Quality Improvement in Resource Limited Settings. To find out more about the HAIVN, click here.