Global Women's Health Fellowship Alumni

Kirsten Austad, MD (2016-2018)

As a passionate advocate, clinician, and researcher, Dr. Austad focused on two principle studies during her time as a Global Women's Health Fellow: the use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs) among Mayan women, including education and provision of birth control; and cervical cancer screenings that test for the underlying causes (e.g., HPV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia). Ultimately, her work aims to advocate for safe motherhood and reaffirm a woman's self-agency and reproductive rights.

Dr. Austad attended Harvard Medical School and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Boston Medical Center, and spent time with Wuqu’ Kawoq, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to improving the health of Mayan communities. Because of the discrimination and lack of services in Mayan languages, many indigenous people face seemingly insurmountable barrier to care. Together with her patients, Dr. Austad works to eliminate these barriers and increase accessibility to health services such as prenatal care, family planning, and nutrition education. She has seen how these services can have an enormous impact on a woman's self-efficacy in terms of caring for her children and retaining control of her body in the face of poverty and gender inequality. Because of this, Dr. Austad deeply believes that the highest impact and cost-effective interventions exist in the realm of women's health.

Naima Joseph, MD (2016-2018)

Dr. Naima Joseph's belief in social justice and health equity led her to become a physician, attending University of Connecticut School of Medicine, followed by a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. It was as an Americorp volunteer at a high risk obstetric clinic for HIV-positive refugee women whose sisters and mothers had died during childbirth that she first saw the barriers to care that high risk, marginalized women face. Since then, her work has aimed to collaborate with women in resource-constrained settings, specifically around maternal risks of pregnancy and childbirth, gynecologic cancers, and the implementation of cervical cancer screenings.

Dr. Joseph also has international experience, working in Haiti to investigate why women delay seeking care during obstetric emergencies, as well as serving as a Global Health Fellow for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Through her research and clinical practice around issues of cervical screening, Dr. Joseph is contributing towards improving cancer related morbidity worldwide and improving healthcare for women.

Wan-Ju Wu, MD, MPH (2016-2018)

Dr. Wan-Ju Wu received her MD from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and her MPH from Boston University. She completed residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health and Sciences University in 2016. She has worked on HIV/AIDS and women's health projects in China, Burma, South Africa, and Nepal. Prior to medical school, as coordinator of a girls youth group in Western Kenya, Dr. Wu witnessed the life-altering impact that access to abortion services can have at critical points in a woman's life. This has motivated her work in improving access to quality reproductive health care, both in the US and abroad. Her research interests include community-based initiatives for provision of family planning services and strategies to improve implementation of reproductive health programs.

Rose Molina, MD, MPH (2015-2017)

Dr. Rose Molina joined the Global Women’s Health Fellowship after completing residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Molina received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, such as the Massachusetts Medical Society International Health Studies Grant, the ACOG District I John Gibbons Medical Student Award and John Burch Award, the Expanding the Boundaries Grant, and most recently the Partners Center of Expertise in Global and Humanitarian Health Travel Grant.

Lara Jirmanus, MD, MPH (2014-2016)

Dr. Lara Jirmanus is a faculty member at Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School and a fellow with the Harvard FXB Center for Health & Human Rights. Her past research has addressed health care access among immigrant populations, the effects of group prenatal care on patient outcomes, leishmaniasis in rural Brazil, and the involvement of community-based organizations in the global HIV/AIDS response. She has also done extensive work in Lebanon including: teaching a global health and social medicine course at the American University of Beirut Medical School for two years, serving as Chief Resident in Family Medicine where she supervised residents caring for Syrian refugees in mobile and community clinics, and running a community-based participatory project with Lebanese and Syrian refugees to promote women’s and children’s health in an urban slum in Beirut. The goals of her ongoing work are threefold: 1) to empower women and strengthen their agency to care for sick children and prevent childhood illness; 2) to increase the uptake of family planning services; and 3) to create best practices for fostering social cohesion in a climate of political instability.

Hanni Stoklosa, MD, MPH (2013-2015)

Dr. Hanni Stoklosa is an Emergency Medicine Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Clinical Instructor at the Harvard School of Medicine. Dr. Stoklosa has extensive international experience in advocacy, research, and teaching focused on eliminating disparities. She has worked in South Sudan, Liberia, Egypt, China, Taiwan, Australia, India, Thailand, the Philippines, and Guatemala on gender based violence, emergency response infrastructure, mental health, and HIV/AIDS. Her current research focus is on the health consequences of human trafficking. Dr. Stoklosa is the co-founder and executive director of HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, Linkages) Trafficking, an international network of professionals dedicated to improving the health of trafficking survivors. She serves on the advisory board of the Department of Health and Human Services Health and Trafficking Education Initiative and in 2014, Dr. Stoklosa testified before Congress on the examination of the Trafficking Awareness Training for the Health Care Act of that year.

Sheela Maru, MD, MPH (2013-2015)

Dr. Sheela Maru completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston Medical Center in 2013, and graduated from the Global Women's Health Fellowship in 2015. She is currently the Associate Director of Global Health and Instructor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Maru is an Instructor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston University. Her research and advocacy interests include access to reproductive health services for rural women in South Asia, maternal mortality reduction, and healthcare responses to gender-based violence. Her current projects are in Nepal, with Possible Health, and in Boston. Dr. Maru continues her work with the Division of Women's Health as a Research Associate where she researches innovative and adaptive models of health care delivery to prevent maternal mortality based on a community's needs and cultural realities.

Rasha Khoury, MD, MPH (2012-2014)

Dr. Rasha Khoury, is a Palestinian woman from East Jerusalem who completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco in 2012 and her MPH at the Harvard School of Public Health in 2013. Dr. Khoury graduated from the Global Women's Health Fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital as a joint fellow in our Global Women's Health and Family Planning Fellowships in 2014. Her fellowship project focused on randomized study evaluating the effect of community health worker-led family planning counseling on postpartum contraceptive uptake in the West Bank. Dr. Khoury believes in task-sharing as a vehicle for reproductive justice.

Lydia Pace, MD, MPH (2012-2014)

Dr. Lydia Pace is an Associate Physician in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Pace trained in Internal Medicine/Primary Care and is interested in preventive services for women and women’s health care policy both in the U.S. and globally. In Rwanda, she is studying the experiences of women with benign and malignant breast disease at two Partners in Health-supported district hospitals. Dr. Pace is also working in the Women’s Health Program of Partners in Health-Rwanda.

Neha Pagidipati, M.D., M.P.H. (2011-2013)

Dr. Neha Pagidipati earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 2008 prior to completing her residency in Brigham and Women’s Internal Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Pagidipati focused her research on cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women in India, in particular, how a primary healthcare system, that is mainly dedicated to maternal and child health, can be expanded to effectively incorporate CVD prevention in women. Her first year was dedicated to epidemiologic and cost-effectiveness studies to better characterize the Indian population, its risk factors, and barriers to CVD preventive care. In her second year, she implemented a cost-effectiveness study assessing a CVD screening strategy for women in urban India. Through this study, she was able to show that screening urban women above the age of 30 for CVD is cost-effective compared to the current standard of care strategy. This finding may have implications for healthcare guidelines, policy and for integration into the current maternal healthcare infrastructure in urban India. Dr. Pagidipati is currently completing a Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease at Duke University School of Medicine.

Marisa Nadas, MD, MPH (2010-2012)

Dr. Marisa Nadas earned her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2006 and went on to complete her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston Medical Center in 2010. During her tenure as a Global Women’s Health Fellow, Dr. Nadas’ primary focus was to reduce maternal mortality in Botswana in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MOH) through the development of curriculum on Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care (EmONC). Her research involved identifying Master Trainers (MT), crafting curriculum that target the gaps in skills and knowledge as identified by the MOH, and conducting pre- and post-tests to evaluate the effectiveness of the materials, training, workshops and clinical simulations. Evaluation of this EmONC pilot demonstrates that rigorous educational methodology can be successfully applied to trainings in low-middle income countries. With national rollout of the training, future evaluation will elucidate the effect of this type of training on maternal and neonatal outcomes. After her fellowship, Dr. Nadas joined the faculty of the Boston Medical Center as an OBGYN Attending Physician. She later moved to New York City, where she is currently an Attending Physician at Jacobi Medical Center, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women's Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the Chair of the Implementation Committee at EqualHealth.

Jennifer Scott, MD, MBA, MPH (2009-2011)

Dr. Jennifer Scott earned her medical degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and her MBA from the University of Colorado Graduate School of Business before completing a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), where she also served as Administrative Chief Resident. Dr. Scott’s clinical and research interests are in gender-based violence and reproductive health in displaced populations and conflict settings. During the Global Women’s Health Fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Dr. Scott conducted research on gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and South Sudan. She also helped to establish a reproductive health program at a field hospital in post-earthquake Haiti. Currently, Dr. Scott is the Director of the Global and Community Health Program in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at BIDMC and works as an obstetrician and gynecologist at The Dimock Center. She continues to hold a research faculty appointment in the Division of Women’s Health at Brigham and Women's and her research is focused on gender inequality and gender-based violence in humanitarian settings. She also continues to work with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) Women in War program.

Felicia Lester, MD, MS, MPH (2009–2011)

Dr. Felicia Lester became the first fellow to ever be simultaneously enrolled in the Division of Women’s Health Family Planning Fellowship and the Global Women’s Health Fellowship. She received her MD degree from University of California San Francisco her MPH degree from UC Berkley, and completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCSF in June 2009. Her interest lies in exploring the impact of reproductive choice on women’s health here and abroad. In addition to a busy clinical schedule in Boston during her fellowship where she developed advanced clinical skills in abortion and family planning, she also combined her expertise in family planning with her experience and interest in global health to work with Partners In Health in Rwanda. Her work in Rwanda focused on developing and implementing protocols and training for integrated family planning, pregnancy and childbirth services, and undertaking a pilot study of the feasibility of conducting a randomized trial of immediate post-cesarean IUD insertion in Uganda. Dr. Lester is currently a Clinical Instructor at the University of California, San Francisco.

Kathleen M. Powis, MD, MPH, MBA (2007-2009)

Dr. Kathleen Powis received her MBA degree from the University of Richmond and her MD degree from the Medical College of Virginia prior to completing her residency (and serving as Chief Resident) in the Harvard Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. During her fellowship, Dr. Powis worked in Botswana with Drs. Roger Shapiro and Max Essex on the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Initiative (HAI), in addition to completing her MPH degree at the Harvard School of Public Health and serving as Assistant Residency Director of the Harvard Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program at MGH. Dr. Powis’ research interests include prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and ensure optimal health for HIV infected pregnant women and their infants. Dr. Powis is continuing her work in Botswana and is an instructor in internal medicine and pediatrics at MGH.

Ingrid Katz, MD, MHS (2007-2009)

Dr. Ingrid Katz is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. She graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College, and obtained a Master's in Health Science from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health before pursuing her M.D. at University of California at San Francisco, graduating AOA. She developed her interest in Global Women's Health while working at the Ministry of Women's Rights in Paris, and subsequently with the Population Council and UNICEF in Vietnam, where she focused on reproductive health research. After medical school, Dr. Katz completed her training in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and did an Infectious Disease Fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center while concurrently doing a Global Women's Health Fellowship at BWH. During her medical training, she did research at the HIV Division at the World Health Organization, and was an Editorial Fellow at the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Katz has since assumed a faculty position in the Division of Women’s Health at BWH; her research focuses on the social and behavioral determinants of health promotion in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, she is studying sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV and HPV that disproportionately impact women globally. She has been working in South Africa for the past six years, focusing on factors affecting treatment-related decision-making among people living with HIV. She has been the recipient of the Harvard Catalyst KL2 Medical Research Investigator Training (MeRIT) Award, the Harvard Global Health Institute Travel Award, the Eleanor and Miles Shore Award, the CROI Young Investigator Award, and the Center for AIDS Prevention Scholar Award. She is currently funded through a K23 Career Development Award.

Margaret Bourdeaux, MD, MPH (2007-2009)

Dr. Margaret Bourdeaux received her BA in Psychology from Harvard University in 1997, her MD from Yale Medical School in 2003, and her MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2009. She is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, and completed her residency at the Harvard Combined Medicine and Pediatric Residency Program in 2007. She completed the Global Women’s Health Fellowship within the Division of Women’s Health in 2009. Prior to medical school she worked as a child advocate and community organizer for Boston Medical Center’s Department of Pediatrics. In medical school she conducted research regarding refugee health and humanitarian response while working in Kosovar refugee camps during and after the 1999 war. She has conducted several case studies that address the relationship between health policy, humanitarian response organizations and health care status of displaced populations—ranging from assessing barriers to health care for women and children displaced by Hurricane Katrina to the policies of international actors in Kosovo that shaped the emergence of its post-war health system. Currently her work addresses the role the US Department of Defense plays in the spheres of development, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response. Now working in Newborn Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Bourdeaux focuses on monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian response systems, health care delivery in societies with high levels of insecurity and violence, and the political and policy factors that shape the emergence of health care outcomes and systems in post-conflict societies.


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