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public health

August 20, 2022

The House of Yes: Remembering Paul Farmer

He founded Partners in Health and dedicated decades to focus on healing the poorest and the sickest in a dozen countries. By Catherine Gardner Sharing a commitment to helping the poor and a hug: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Paul Farmer. Photo courtesy Skoll Foundation Paul Farmer’s life was one dedicated to health, human rights, and ameliorating the consequences of social inequality. He was someone known personally by many in the Peace Corps community, and he has inspired countless more. Tracy Kidder, in his biography of Farmer, Mountains Beyond Mountains, described him as “a man who would cure the world.” As a college student, Farmer...

September 2, 2021

Towela Nyika: “We are trying to achieve health for all.”

Towela Nyika Peace Corps Staff in Malawi (2013–present)   As told to Emi Krishnamurthy   I began with the Peace Corps in 2013 with the Global Health Service Partnership, a public-private partnership to place healthcare professionals as adjunct faculty in medical and nursing schools. When that program ended in 2018, I helped start Advancing Health Professionals, which combines volunteer work with strengthening health systems. In Malawi, we bring in highly skilled health professionals from the U.S. who work with institutions of higher learning, training the next generation of health workers. We focus on bridging health theory into practice, and promoting...

September 1, 2021

Public Health Is Global Health

In 2019, Peace Corps Response launched the Advancing Health Professionals program. Then the pandemic hit. By Sarah Steindl   Advancing Health Professionals (AHP) is designed to strengthen health systems in five countries. Photo courtesy Peace Corps   Bolstering public health in communities where Volunteers serve has been part of Peace Corps since the beginning. In 2019, under the aegis of Peace Corps Response, the agency launched Advancing Health Professionals (AHP), a refocused effort to train healthcare professionals and improve healthcare systems in the African nations of Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Liberia, and Eswatini. The program came online just months before COVID-19...

January 29, 2021

A Matter of Life and Death

Pandemic Lessons: Epidemiologist Anne Rimoin on the importance of listening to community. And how a public health problem anywhere can be a public health problem everywhere. From a conversation with WorldView editor Steven Boyd Saum Photo by Peter Israel   In epidemiology, you have to look at things holistically. And in the midst of this pandemic, as an epidemiologist whose whole career trajectory was shaped by my experience with the Peace Corps, I find myself asking: What does Peace Corps have to do with how we respond to COVID — and how we need to do more? Peace Corps is all about working in a community;...

January 29, 2021

A Contribution to Community

Pandemic Lessons: A vaccine trial participant By Tia Huggins Illustration by Maria Carluccio    For the past six years I’ve served as director of care coordination at Imperial Beach Community Clinic, south of San Diego. Last year one provider at the clinic put out an email about the trial for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. I thought, I want to do that. It’s a contribution to your community, and participants were paid. A lot of people think it must be scary to do this. I wasn’t worried. To put it in stark terms, I’ve worked in hospice, and I think suffering is a...

January 29, 2021

On the COVID Floor

Pandemic Lessons: A nurse in the nation’s capital By Rose Conklin Illustration by Maria Carluccio   The end of March, April, we were getting hit hard with COVID in Washington, D.C. It was really still an unknown illness, but it was everywhere. I had started a float position as a registered nurse at George Washington University Hospital, working on the medical surgical units and in the ER, sometimes helping out ICU nurses, wherever they needed me most. I was on the COVID medical surgical floor a lot of shifts in those months. A lot of nurses were scared in the beginning...

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