Department Newsletter - July 2013

Department of Global Health and Social Medicine

July 2013 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxVolume 2, Number 4

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



To Repair the World | Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation

Dr. Paul Farmer continues to discuss topics from his newest book "To Repair the World." Recent interviews include:



Safe Motherhood, Safe Childhood | Equitable Access to Health Care

Save the Date - for the biennial Programs in Global Health and Social Change symposium on October 23-24, 2013 at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA. We will be joined by clinical experts, community activists, and senior policy and administrative leaders as we discuss recent efforts to improve the quality of care delivered to vulnerable populations of women and children. Registration will begin in early September. Stay tuned for more details!


Robert Truog | 2013 Spinoza Chair

On June 3-7, 2013, Robert Truog, MD, professor of medical ethics, anaesthesiology & pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a senior associate in Critical Care Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, was honored as the Spinoza Chair at the University of Amsterdam. Dr. Truog says, "This is one of the most gratifying awards I have received." The award was centered around a public lecture that Dr. Truog gave on Death, Dying, and Organ Donation." While visiting the University of Amsterdam, Dr. Truog also conducted multiple graduate seminars on topics such as rationing of scarce healthcare resources, ethical issues in clinical research and randomized controlled trials, medical futility, disclosure of medical errors to patients and families, ethical dilemmas in modern palliative care, and ethical challenges in teaching relational and communication skills.


envisionEnvision 2013 Panel: Non Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and COPD cause more than 36 million deaths every year. In April, Gene Bukhman, MD, PhD, Director, Program in Global Non Communicable Disease and Social Change, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine joined Gaya Gamehewage, Office of the Director General, World Health Organization (moderator) and Jay Olshansky, Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, and Researcher, Center on Aging, University of Chicago (panelist) in New York at the Envision 2013 conference. The panelists spoke of the groundbreaking work and the audience members added perspectives to inform a lively discussion about how society can reduce the impact of these diseases and unleash untapped human potential. To view the panel discussion, click here.


1st Meeting of the Non-Communicable Disease Synergies Network | Kigali

The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Rwanda hosted the first meeting of the Non-Communicable Disease Synergies Network in Kigali, Rwanda on July 15-16, 2013. The event was an opportunity to share experiences relating to planning and implementation for the control of NCDs with a focus on equitable health systems responses that include the most vulnerable. This meeting was attended by policy makers and practitioners from low- and middle-income countries as well as international experts and partners. To hear more about this event, please contact Gene Bukhman.


US Communities Initiative

GHDonline, part of the Global Health Delivery Project, recently opened the US Communities Initiative to create opportunities for health care professionals across the United States to share resources, ideas, and information in virtual communities. The new communities went public on June 3, 2013. Amol Navathe, MD, PhD, announced the first virtual community that is part of this initiative: the Innovating Health Care Delivery Community.



Susan Briggs, MD, MPH, FACS is a general and trauma surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital, associate professor of surgery at HMS, and affiliate of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine Program in Global Surgery and Social Change. Dr. Briggs was recently honored with the Project HOPE Global Health Partner Award in recognition of her time and expertise contributed to benefit the health of others. To read more about Project HOPE and the award, please visit their website. Congratulations Susan!

Rajesh Panjabi, MD, MPH, is an associate physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as affiliate of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, working with the Program in Global Medical Education and Social Change and the Program in Global Primary Care and Social Change. Dr. Panjabi, co-founder of Last Mile Health, was recently recognized in GOOD Magazine’s GOOD 100, awarded the 2013 Segal Family Foundation Rising Star Award, and received a prestigious three-year grant from the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. This recognition and support will allow Last Mile Health to continue its goal of increasing access and providing quality healthcare to Liberians living in remote last mile villages. Visit Last Mile Health. Congratulations Raj!

Nir Eyal, DPhil, associate professor of global health and social medicine and his team recently won a NIAID R21 grant titled “The Ethics of Electronic Adherence Monitoring for HIV Research and Care in Uganda.” Dr. Eyal will be joined by Jessica Haberer, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (co-PI), collaborators in Uganda and Harvard School of Public Health, and Jeff Campbell, an HMS student, who will take a year off from formal studies to work in Mbarara, Uganda. The study will assess ethical concerns about the use of electronic adherence monitoring systems in HIV research in a resource-limited, rural setting. The team plans to translate the results into recommendations for researchers and institutional review boards, and potentially for clinicians and public health officials. Congratulations Nir (and team)!


  • Hildebrandt S. Anatomische Gesellschaft from 1933 to 1950: a professional society under political strain- the Benninghoff papers. Ann Anat, published online June 5, 2013
  • Hildebrandt S. Wolfgang Bargmann (1906-1978) and Heinrich von Hayek (1900-1969): Careers in anatomy continuing through German National Socialism to postwar leadership, Annals of Anatomy, published online 4/23/13,
  • Hildebrandt S. The women on Stieve’s list: victims of National Socialism whose bodies were used for anatomical research. Clinical Anatomy 26:3-21, 2013
  • Bohl M, Holman A, Mueller DA, Gruppen LD, Hildebrandt S. The Willed Donor Interview Project: Medical student and donor expectations. Anatomical Sciences Education 6(2):90-100, 2013
  • Hildebrandt S. The case of Robert Herrlinger: A unique postwar controversy on the ethics of the anatomical use of bodies of the executed during National Socialism. Annals of Anatomy 195:11-24, 2013
  • Hildebrandt S. Research on bodies of the executed in German anatomy: An accepted method that changed during the Third Reich. Study of anatomical journals from 1924 to 1951, Clinical Anatomy 26(3):304-26, 2013




Nir Eyal | Invited speaker
Dr. Eyal has been invited to visit Roskilde University in Denmark for a week in August. There he will lecture and collaborate with an ethics program, three of whose postdocs he has informally mentored over the years.

Nir Eyal | Connell Ethics Lecture
Dr. Eyal delivered the Connell Ethics Lecture at Massachusetts General Hospital in April on “Repeat triage in disaster relief: questions from Haiti.” The lecture was such a great success that there is interest in creating it into a video to train nurses and other clinicians.