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Meet the Division of Emergency Medicine & Global Health team.
Chief: Thomas Burke, MD, FACEP, FRSM
Thomas F. Burke, MD, FACEP, FRSM is Chief of the Division of Global Health and Human Rights in the department of emergency medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, a practicing emergency physician, and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Burke has extensive experience in the public health arena as a senior emergency physician, a faculty member and researcher, and as a leader in the nonprofit sector directing overseas health interventions since 1994. Current active programs on the African continent include community-based maternal and infant health delivery and human resource development; advanced midwifery training; national maternal and child health strategic planning; and development of service and research capacity. Much of his work involves global health technologies; he leads MGH’s 2013 Saving Lives at Birth Transition to Scale winning-team for its “Scaling up uterine balloon tamponade” grant. He has led 6 teams (lead or subcontractor) that have been finalists at Saving Lives at Birth and 3 teams that have won Saving Lives at Birth awards (2 Seed and 1 Transition to Scale awards). Dr. Burke was the founding Director of the MGH Center for Global Health, the African Institute for Health Transformation, the Ujenzi Charitable Trust, and the popular Harvard Summer School program in Western Kenya. Prior to joining MGH, Dr. Burke was Associate Clinical Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and a faculty member for the hospital’s Division of International Health and Humanitarian Programs. Dr. Burke is widely recognized as an expert on disruptive innovations for the poor and consequently holds several prestigious grants and awards. He is often invited to speak at high profile forums and leading universities around the globe, and he is widely published. Dr. Burke serves on the Harvard Medical School Committee on Admissions and the Harvard University Center for African Studies. He earned his medical degree at Albany Medical College and his bachelors in neuroscience and mathematics at the University of Massachusetts.
Faculty and Director of Operations: Moytrayee Guha, MPH
Moytrayee Guha, MPH is the Director of Operations and Finance for the Division of Global Health and Human Rights at Massachusetts General Hospital. Ms. Guha is a public health and healthcare management professional with 7+ years of experience in global health, program development, program management, quantitative and qualitative research, epidemiology, grant management, operations and strategy development. She has traveled extensively to resource-limited countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, India and Thailand for global health and humanitarian work. Prior to her role at MGH, Ms. Guha served as a Maternal and Child Health Consultant for the United Nations and HIV/AIDS Research Fellow for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She was also a Program Officer for Columbia University’s International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP). Additionally, she has held various research and healthcare management positions at Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Brown University. Ms. Guha earned her Master of Public Health degree from Columbia University.
Faculty and Director of Maternal Health: Melody Eckardt, MD, MPH
Melody Eckardt, MD, MPH, is a leader in advancing the science of saving the lives of mothers and newborns, traveling extensively as a speaker, educator, and leading researcher. The Division of Global Health and Human Rights is focused on high impact, low cost innovations and in fact just this past week(Friday) was recognized for the second year in a row as a global leader at the Saving Lives at Birth Competition here in Washington DC. Most recently Melody’s work has focused on new and innovative ways to end postpartum hemorrhage, make cesarean section available when needed for every African woman, and to discover a new and remarkable way to prevent fistula. As an obstetrician/ gynecologist, Melody also serves as the Director of Global Health for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston University Medical Center and she is the Director of Women’s Refugee Health in the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights. Melody teaches at both Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School.
Director of Newborn Health: Brett D. Nelson, MD, MPH, DTM&H
Brett Nelson, MD, MPH, DTM&H is an attending pediatrician and global health faculty member at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. His professional interests are health care provision, development, research, and advocacy for vulnerable populations, particularly newborns and children in settings affected by poverty, conflict, or disaster. Dr Nelson received advanced degrees in medicine and public health at Johns Hopkins and a diploma degree in tropical medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has been involved in clinical care, academic research, program management, and global health consultancy in dozens of resource-limited areas while working for organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, Médecins Sans Frontières, UNICEF, International Rescue Committee, International Red Cross and Red Crescent, Johns Hopkins University, and Harvard University. Dr Nelson helped establish the United States’ first Pediatric Global Health Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and was its first fellow. Recently in Liberia, Dr Nelson served as the country’s Senior Pediatrician and as the Interim Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Newborn Medicine for Liberia's sole teaching hospital. He currently leads newborn and child health programs in several countries in East and West Africa. Dr Nelson works clinically as a newborn hospitalist, he is the Director of Pediatric and Newborn Programs at the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Global Health and Human Rights, and he co-directs a popular course at Harvard Medical School on global health and tropical medicine
Senior Advisor: Lorraine Freed Garg, MD, MPH
Lori Freed Garg, MD, MPH is a Senior Advisor in the Division of Global Health and Human Rights at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to joining the Division, she was the Director of Maternal and Child Health Services in the Division of Family Health Services at the New Jersey Department of Health. In this role, she oversaw Perinatal and Reproductive Health Services, Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology, Child and Adolescent Health and Children’s Oral Health Programs. Before that, she served as the Medical Director of Newborn Screening and Genetic Services for the State of New Jersey, where she led the first statewide implementation of newborn critical congenital heart disease screening in the United States. Dr. Garg attended medical school at the University of California, San Francisco; trained in pediatrics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and then completed a fellowship in adolescent medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. While at Johns Hopkins, she also completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, a research fellowship, and earned a Masters in Public Health Degree. Upon completion of training, she spent 7 years on the faculty of Boston Children’s Hospital in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine where she provided medical care to adolescent patients, conducted research in adolescent health-related issues, and taught adolescent medicine to students and residents.
Senior Faculty: Sigmund Kharasch, MD
Dr. Sigmund Kharasch, MD, is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician and attending physician in the Pediatric Emergency department at MGH. He is a graduate of Rush Medical College in Chicago and completed his Pediatric Residency and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship at Boston City Hospital. Dr. Kharasch was the Director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Boston Medical Center from 1996-2008 and joined the staff at MGH in 2012. From 2010-2011, he moved with his wife and 3 children to Israel where he was an attending physician in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. He continues to return to this area of conflict 3 times per year where he works with Arab and Jewish families as well as residents and attendings in the Department of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine. His research in Israel has ranged from pulmonary infections in children, asthma, child abuse, and many more. He is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Visiting Professor at Hadassah, Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Senior Faculty: Kevin Schwartz, MD
Kevin Schwartz, MD is a pediatric hospitalist and pediatric emergency medicine attending at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He is Co-Founder and U.S. Executive Director of The Child is Innocent, an NGO focusing on education and leadership development for youth in post-conflict Northern Uganda. His prior academic work has focused on pediatric resident and medical student education in resource-limited settings, the use of high-fidelity simulation in global health clinical training, as well as pediatric oncology outcomes in low-income countries. He has completed training in general pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, pediatric emergency medicine at Boston Medical Center, and an additional year of clinical pediatric hematology and oncology training at Brown University.
Fellowship Director: Hiren Patel, MD, MPH, FACEP
Hiren Patel, MD, MPH, FACEP is the Director of Fellowship for the Division of Global Health and Human Rights at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Patel is an American board certified emergency medicine physician that has had widespread training in public health, global health and international emergency medicine development, systems building, as well as relief management and implementation around the globe. This includes emergency medicine pre-hospital systems development in Accra, Ghana, emergency first aid response management in Atlantis, South Africa, emergency medicine education, training and systems building in Siaya county, Kenya, emergency disaster response and trauma stabilization in Mosul, Iraq, sex trafficking abolition work in Delhi, India, as well as numerous other global health and humanitarian work in Dominican Republic, Zambia, India, Canada and the US. Prior to his role as the fellowship director, he was the associate fellowship director from 2017-2018 as well as the emergency medicine fellow from 2015-2017 at MGH/Harvard University. He completed his MPH focusing on clinical effectiveness at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. He completed his medical school in Manipal University in India, and his emergency medicine residency at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.
Post- Doc Research Fellow: Sandra Danso-Bamfo MBChB, MPH
Sandra, is a post-doctoral research fellow at the division of global health and human rights. She is from Accra, Ghana and received her medical degree from the University of Ghana Medical School in 2012, her masters in public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2015 and most recently completed a Global Health Corps Fellowship at the GE Foundation. She plans to specialize in Family Medicine and her career interests are in health policy, health systems strengthening, healthcare management and global health.
Post-Doc Research Fellow: Kamyar Mollazadeh-Moghaddam, Pharm D
Kamyar was born in Rasht, Iran. He received his Pharmacy Doctorate degree from Tehran University of Medical Sciences (Iran) in 2011. His PharmD thesis was centered on development of nanotech method for microbial decontamination together with side works on antimicrobials, drug delivery and nanotechnology. After graduation, his research focuses on biomaterials and drug delivery. Kamyar completed a stellar year at BWH as a post doc and joins us at MGH, where his wife is in the Division of Gastroenterology.
Sebastian Suarez, MD, MPH
Sebastian is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Division of Global Health and Human Rights. Sebastian was born in Bogota, Colombia, where he received his medical degree in 2014. His prior work includes the creation and implementation of a quality improvement program for elderly fractured patients in Colombia, and a research fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He completed his Master of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2017 and his main academic interests are global health program design and evaluation, humanitarian aid and disaster response, and health disparities research.
Project Specialist: Alicia Lightbourne MPH
Alicia is from Nassau, Bahamas and graduated with a Master of Public Health from Tulane University last year with an emphasis in maternal and child health. She previously worked with the Pan American Health Organization in DC. Alicia hopes to return to the Bahamas (and by large, the LAC region) in order to advance public health to have a more broad approach, specifically around the impact of gender norms on sexual and reproductive health and violence as a public health problem.
Program Coordinator: Daniela Suarez-Rebling
Daniela is from Mexico City, but grew up in New York. She graduated from Harvard College in 2016 where she majored in History of Science with a minor in Global Health and Health Policy. While she was in school, she interned with Partners in Health, the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Secours Catholique, Crimson Care Collaborative, and attended the Division’s summer program in Kisumu, Kenya. She plans on attending medical school and continuing to work in global health as a physician.
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