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HEAL Quarterly Newsletter: February 2017

The HEAL Team would like to wish you and your loved ones a wonderful new year! As this year begins, we reflect on our progress thus far and set new goals to continue deepening our service to vulnerable communities. Thank you for being on this journey with us! 

Crowdfunding Update

Thanks to your support and that of our generous donors, we surpassed our goal of raising over $30,000 in our year-end crowdfunding campaign! With a match from an anonymous donor, our total reaches $40,000! Your efforts will allow us to continue deepening our mission to provide safe treatment and equal care for equal lives, everywhere. Your generosity is humbling. 

New Team Members

Operations and Strategy Director

Sangeeta Tripathi joins the HEAL Initiative with more than a decade of work in global health and a deep belief in the possibility of a more just world. She has worked on the rapid acceleration of pediatric HIV treatment and on strategies to scale the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (pMTCT) with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), UNICEF, the WHO, and Johnson & Johnson’s worldwide philanthropic group. She has focused on working with key stakeholders – especially Ministries of Health, partners, and local health workers, to build ever-more responsive and impactful programming at sub-national, national, and global levels to improve health systems. Sangeeta earned her Bachelors in International Development Studies (Brown University) and a Masters in Public Policy (Harvard Kennedy School). Sangeeta believes deeply in strengthening people, teams, and in innovating systems to transform what is possible in health.

Program Assistant

Akeemi Martinez is joining HEAL as a Program Assistant. She is based in Gallup, New Mexico and a member of the Navajo Nation. In the past year Akeemi has worked as a video teacher for the Media Arts Center San Diego, was a docent for the San Diego Natural History Museum, as well as an assistant teacher at St. Mark’s in the Valley Day School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her interests include improving health on the Navajo Nation, media arts, and taking care of elders and children. Akeemi is also the Program Assistant on the FVRx team for the Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE) Project. She is excited to be working with the HEAL Initiative!

Standing with Standing Rock


In solidarity, HEAL continues to actively stand with Water Protectors of the Standing Rock community. In December 2016, HEAL co-founder Dr. Phuoc Le and Fellow Leonard Shirley Jr. arrived at camp to take part in the #NoDAPL non-violent action for social justice, coordinating medical care for all those who were fighting against the proposed Dakota Access pipeline. Though the easement of the pipeline was denied, many protesters were left wondering about the fate of the pipeline under the new administration. As Native Americans continue to face discrimination and racism across the Dakotas, we as HEAL will remain faithful in our belief of fighting for equal care for equal lives, anywhere.

To read more about our Fellows' thoughts on Standing Rock, please visit our blog here

New Partner Sites

As we finalize our latest class of inspiring fellows, we have made placements with the following new international and domestic partner sites:
In rural Tamil Nadu, India...

Tribal Health Initiative works to improve the lives of the tribal communities through a variety of programs in health care, community health, farming and craft work.
In South Gujurat, India...
Sewa Rural is a voluntary development organization that runs Kasturba Hospital, a community health project, and training in primary health care. 
In Salinas, CA...

Natividad Medical Center is an acute care hospital in a medically underserved area and the only teaching hospital on the Central Coast. 
A conversation with... 
Rose Ochieng, Lifelong Medical Center/Last Mile Health Fellow 
Currently a rotating fellow at both Lifelong Medical Center and Last Mile Health in Liberia, Rose grew up up in Kenya, finished medical school at Kansas State University, and is now furthering her devotion in global health. 

1. Rose, you have said that you have always wanted global health experience as part of your training. Can you tell us a little bit about how they decision has impacted your career in medicine?

This has guided how I pursued my training starting from medical school to now. I began with initially shadowing doctors in Kenya, then being involved in medical mission trips in Belize during medical school and then doing a rotation in India. Additionally, this encouraged me to pursue an MPH, given this would be a valuable addition to my global health career in terms of understanding population health, cultural awareness, and expanding my interactions in the global health arena. 

2. We've enjoyed having you as an integral part of our HEAL team. What impact do you hope to make as a HEAL Fellow? 
I hope to be part of a shining light in how effective global health training can do good in preparation for providing healthcare anywhere, regardless of environment conditions or geographical location. Contributing in bridging the gap of under-resourced health care delivery by collaborating with the stakeholders in such environments. Being part of the Fellowship also ensures keeping in contact with great, like-minded individuals with a passion for this work. I hope to continue this interaction, even after graduating, and to become a mentor to future fellows or those who are considering global health as a career move.
2. What is most difficult about your work in global health? Most rewarding?

At times, it is really about realizing how much inequality in resources that exist when it comes to delivery of healthcare. Even just what seems to be simple primary care. Seeing patients in need, knowing what they ideally need to improve their health, but feeling helpless because there are no resources to begin with that you can recommend. Ultimately, telling someone that there is nothing you can do right now while knowing that if given the appropriate tools, you can easily handle the issue successfully is one of the difficult things about this work. What is rewarding is the many different people that I get to interact with, from the patients to all my colleagues, to the normal everyday people on the street that I can casually and happily say "hello" to. 

Upcoming Talks

January 26th-27th 2017     

Dr. Ami Waters (HEAL Fellow 2014-2016) will represent Last Mile Health at a public talk hosted by UBS. Dr. Waters will present on her work at LMH and serve as a panelist at ‘Women for Women,’ a discussion exploring women’s issues of global and regional relevance.

February 3rd-4th 2017

Dr. Sriram Shamasunder will serve as the keynote speaker at the Global Health Conference Midwest (GHCM) at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

February 21st 2017

Joseph Scarpelli will speak at Brookdale College's Global Citizenship Project Great Global Read.

April 7th 2017

Dr. Phuoc Le will attend the CUGH conference in Washington D.C. and serve as a panelist for the session "Pedagogical Paradigms in Global Health: An overview of theory, tools, and innovations".

April 29th 2017

Dr. Robin Tittle and Dr. Sriram Shamasunder have been invited to serve as panelists at the Social Medicine Consortium Conference 2017: Beyond Reimagining in Malcolm X College in Chicago. 

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HEAL Initiative · 533 Parnassus Ave · San Francisco, California 94143 · USA

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