Global Women’s Health Fellowship Current Fellows

First Year Fellows: 2016-2018

Kirsten Austad, MD

Dr. Kirsten Austad brings passion for women's health and experience working with marginalized women in Guatemala to the Global Women's Health Fellowship. Having attended Harvard Medical School and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Boston Medical Center, she has 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.

As a passionate advocate, clinician, and researcher, Dr. Austad will focus on two principle studies in 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.

Naima Joseph, MD

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

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 current research interests include community-based initiatives for provision of family planning services and strategies to improve implementation of reproductive health programs.

She joins our division as a dual fellow for Global Women's Health and Family Planning. Her fellowship work will focus on interventions to improve postpartum contraception in Nepal.



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