August 8, 2016
July 13, 2016
HEAL co-founder Phuoc Le published an article titled “What Are the Ethical Issues Facing Global-Health Trainees Overseas?” The article discusses four groups of ethical dilemmas faced by healthcare workers at the University of California, San Francisco while working overseas in low-resource settings. Download Dr. Le’s article here.
May 17, 2016
HEAL Fellow Robin Goldman featured on the UCSF Division of Hospital Medicine web page! Read more about Robin’s journey and inspiration for serving in the global health space!
“There is a real emphasis and understanding that there is so much interaction between social factors and health, and social justice and health. Many people are sick because they are poor. We don’t see this perspective everywhere in Medicine, so it has been rewarding to work with people who understand this.”
May 11, 2016
HEAL Fellow Isha Nirola, who works as the Director of Community Health at Possible in Nepal, was recently featured in the Atlantic! Check out the full article here!
“The more I engaged in this kind of work the more I realized that I actually identified more as a global citizen,” she says, “and a global citizen who also wanted to come back to her ancestral home.”
March 30, 2016
HEAL Program Director Joseph Scarpelli presented on HEAL at the Macy Regional Conference on Innovations in Graduate Medical Education. Check out the full article here!
“Taking this idea a step further, initiatives such as Health Equity Action and Leadership (HEAL) are tapping the ‘unmet passion’ of medical students and residents to pursue global health projects ‘serving the poorest of the poor,’ said Joseph Scarpelli, MPH.”
February 24, 2016
If you did not get an opportunity to attend “Injustice and Health,” you can read about it here! You can also watch the full teach-in on the website. Phuoc Le, MD, MPH, an assistant clinical professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at UCSF, believes medical training should encourage health practitioners to take the time to fully understand the narrative of their patients to enable them to provide the best care possible.
February 6, 2016
Dr. Sriram Shamasunder gave a powerful TEDx Berkeley talk, and you can see it here! After watching it, you will be pondering on the question “whose suffering matters less and why?” Congrats, Dr. Shamasunder and thanks for your hard work in advancing global health, both in the HEAL Initiative and beyond!
February 1, 2016
HEAL is very excited to share that Dr. Phuoc Le will be the keynote speaker for the 2016 Mason Model World Health Organization Conference on April 9th! The theme is Refugee Health. Congratulations, Dr. Le! Thank you for your advocacy in global health!
January 24, 2016
Our co-founder, Dr. Phuoc Le, will serve on a panel for an upcoming event titled “Injustice and Health,” moderated by CNN Correspondent Soledad O’Brien. This is a FREE event, but registration is required. Check out the website for more information! Congratulations Dr. Le on being selected as a panelist! We appreciate all that you do for HEAL.
December 15, 2015
HEAL’s Co-Founder Dr. Sriram Shamasunder, will be a speaker in the 2016 TedxBerkeley event! He will be sharing insights about his global health work as it relates to his personal experiences. Use Promo Code: SriramShamasunder20 to get 20% off tickets! Congratulations, Dr. Shamasunder! And thank you for your hard work in helping raise awareness of global health equity!
December 10, 2015
HEAL and Co-Founder Dr. Phuoc Le featured in the “When Disaster Strikes” section of UCSF Magazine
November 26, 2015
The HEAL Initiative Fall 2015 newsletter is available for download below!
March 20, 2015
The HEAL Initiative Spring 2015 newsletter is available for download below!
July 14, 2015
The HEAL Initiative inaugural fellowship cohort (Dr. Jimena Masa from Chiapas, Mexico and Dr. Michael Tutt from Fort Defiance, Arizona) interviewed by KCBS radio.
May 10, 2015
April 3, 2015
March 29, 2015
February 19, 2015
UCSF and the Ebola Response:“The response to Ebola is clearly going to be a many years-long process, maybe even a decades-long process.”
HEAL fellow Ami Waters and Co-Founder Phuoc Le share their recent experiences working in Liberia.
December 1, 2014
November 18, 2014Comfort & empathy are often tactile. Dr. Phuoc Le writes about providing “no touch” care in Liberia and what it means for the doctor-patient relationship.
November 13, 2014The African Advocacy Network invited Sri to talk on 91.7 FM, and he gives some great insight into the chronic problems underlying the current Ebola crisis and explains the work HEAL is doing to address such issues. Great clip. Sri is on starting at 70 minutes. Listen here: Africa mix 11/13 ABC News publishes a story they did on a premature infant Phuoc took care of at UCSF- before going to Liberia.
November 6, 2014Phuoc’s last State-side interview as he heads off to Liberia today
November 3, 2014
November 1, 2014HEAL Co-Founder featured on NBC Nightly News on his upcoming trip to Liberia.
October 30, 2014NPR interview with Dr. Phuoc Le. Click here to listen. Article from the San Francisco Chronicle. Click here for the full article.
October 29, 2014A call to action written by HEAL Co-Founders Phuoc and Sri gets published in the Huffington Post:
October 27, 2014Dr. Le returns to CNN!
October 25, 2014Dr. Phuoc Le, who will be traveling to Liberia to help out with the Ebola relief efforts, is interviewed on CNN about the treatment of healthcare workers upon their return from West Africa.
October 23, 2014The HEAL Initiative’s mission in one minute.
October 22, 2014Current fellow Dr. Ami Waters featured in The Sun, a local newspaper from her home town in Williamson County, Texas!
October 22, 2014Dr. Sriram Shamasunder shares the following piece where he reflects on his ongoing commitment to health for all in rural Haiti.
|An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. –Ben Franklin|
Poem from Haiti
–by Sriram Shamasunder, Oct 22, 2014
Nobody should die from diseases we know how to treat. Currently in all areas of the world over 50,000 people die daily from diseases we can treat. One component of getting good care in very poor places is to have the human capacity and training to deliver good care.
Two UCSF Physicians have started a project called the HEAL initiative(www.healinitiative.org) that aims to address health workforce in resource poor communities. HEAL initiative works at sites domestically and internationally, from Navajo Nation in New Mexico to Liberia and Haiti and India to both improve the quality of care, support and train local health professionals.
The work that is about health care but is also beyond health care. It is about solidarity and justice. A simple home visit can shape the way anyone thinks about health. Last week, HEAL initiative founders accompanied some skilled community health workers at Zanmi Lasante in Haiti on home visits.
Zanmi Lasante, the sister health organization of Partners in Health in Haiti have been making patient home visits for decades. Patient home visits are deeply embedded in the philosophy of finding the most vulnerable patients and getting health care to them instead of waiting passively for sick people to come to the hospital.
This past week, we trekked up the mountain to reach a patient’s house in rural Haiti. The community health workers sit with patients and discuss what ails them on many levels.
The travel can be arduous. The rivers become so swollen in the rainy season they are impassable. The stony mountains jab at our heels as we make our way up the hill. The heat blazes to leave soaked skin.
But it is this journey on foot that so much is revealed: the distance for a patient to the nearest hospital, and the fortitude required to walk that journey. What it might be like to cross a river barefoot with a two year old on your hip. When someone can’t pay for medicines or health care, what other costs may be suffocating their budget?
On arrival to the house, the family structure is revealed, how many people are staying under one roof, what material makes up that roof, straw or tin or concrete? Does the patient own his/her own land? Are there crops rising up from the soil or is the land barren?
On one home visit we came across this grandmother inspired this poem. There was a simultaneous feeling that her needs are deep, and suffering immense. But also a hope.
Towards Flooding Homes with Dignity
In the mountains of Haiti looking out over the central plateau
the hills roll along like massive unripen green mangos scattered across as far as I can see
light falls at an angle
creates a color
I have never seen
an urgent rain scatters as fast as it came
ushers in it’s place a sweet scent that I cannot name
the old woman in front of me
in rural Haiti
her daughter has left to Port au Prince to find work
leaving several young children behind
this grandmother cajoles the
emaciated land to cough up fruit and nuts that might feed three hungry bellies
a desperation easy to feel as
sticky midday Haitian heat against skin
her loneliness as obvious as any aching swollen joints
and probably pangs her more
why would I not spend the rest of my days
her wrinkled hand clasped in mine?
what solidarity other than this could be more important?
what task more important could beg me away?
what edifice could pretend to promise more purpose
for a longing human heart?
today I wish I was a tin roof
long and lean
without slits or holes
I would spread out over this small house
so rain does not fall through
like an unwelcome drunken guest
a wet collapse across the mud floor
but between the stuttering rain
if we listen
an army of skilled Haitian health workers gathers strength in the distance
nurses, accompanateurs, doctors, mental health workers
in every corner of the land
like a prayer as precious as health
like a clandestine blessing
the Haitian health worker peace army
will spread out like a cool breeze
throughout the landscape
they will walk over the massive unripe mango like hills
at the precipice of this old woman’s house
to offer the clasp of a hand
and some fruit
cover her small plot of land
with the solidarity of the right to health
scatter seeds across soil that grow into
food to fill bellies
flood her home with
flood her home
flood her home
with something other
In addition to a community heath model, Zanmi Lasante is training a generation of physicians and nurses in a new tertiary facility. There is a new generation of surgeons, and family medicine doctors, and advanced care nurses, and internists going through advanced training in large numbers for the fist time. This the Haiti health professional peace army that will lead for years to come. What makes this tertiary hospital important is that it is embedded in a community health model with accompanateurs as the cornerstone.
The community health model of Zanmi Lasante is a simple solidarity of sitting and listening in a patient’s home, of seeking out the most vulnerable and sitting with them side by side. As we walk to their houses, we tie some of the most vulnerable into community clinics as well as a high quality tertiary facility with skilled Haitian health professionals. To witness this solidarity and movement towards health as a human right is to witness something precious becoming conferred as a right. It is changing the landscape in Haiti as slowly but as surely as the rain or the earthquake. The HEAL initiative aims to train a generation both domestically and internationally that might become skilled at flooding homes with dignity
Author: Sriram Shamasunder, MD (previously featured on DailyGood: “A Doctor-Poet’s Birthday in Burundi“) Department of Medicine, Division of Hospital Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, e-mail: sshamasund (at) medicine.ucsf.edu . Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.