Lives in public health
YSPH alumni work around the world to fight disease; innovate; reduce health disparities; and build the foundations for a better, and healthier, future for all.
More than 4,000 Yale School of Public Health alumni are actively involved in improving health around the globe. In some cases, this work is done on the individual level; in others it affects groups or whole regions; and in still others the scope is fundamentally global.
This work ranges from running a health clinic that provides essential medical and preventative services to people who may otherwise go without; advocacy for children; fighting environmental injustice; studying the effects of air pollution; digging deep borehole wells that provide potable, life-giving water; and contributing to new drugs to help people with type 2 diabetes, to name just a few.
In this photo essay we are able to present only a fraction of our alumni—a total of 38 total across five continents—and the distinctive types of work that they do around the world. This essay could easily fill many more pages and is not meant to be a complete or systematic overview of the work of Yale alumni. It is, however, intended to provide a glimpse into the exceptionally diverse, vital and growing field of public health and the difference that dedicated practitioners are making here in New Haven, throughout North America and in communities throughout the world.
C.-E.A. Winslow, who founded public health at Yale nearly 100 years ago and is recognized as a founder of the modern public health movement, described the discipline as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals.”
His spirit and vision live on and are practiced daily.
Lives in Public Health
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Director, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Ursula (pictured here) leads CDC’s portfolio of programs to prevent chronic disease and promote health. She recently traveled to Pine Ridge, S.D., to address health issues among Native Americans on the Pine Ridge Reservation, home to the Oglala Sioux, and stopped at this burial site that contains 146 people killed during the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.
Photo credit: Myra Tucker
As a participant in Dental Volunteers for Israel, Gregory and his associates have provided dental treatment to needy children and adults and clinic management in Jerusalem and on Kibbutz Hanaton, in northern Israel near Nazareth. When not in Israel, he uses his dental administrative and clinical skills to manage a multispecialty group dental practice with sites in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut and London.
Photo credit: Dental Volunteers for Israel
Doctoral student, University of Texas; NASA principal investigator team member
Zinzi’s current research focuses on vaccine development for a virus recognized by the World Health Organization as a priority pathogen with potential for malicious use as a weapon. Her work with NASA sought the use of a microgravity environment as a novel platform in the study on the prevention of diseases on earth and in space flight.
Photo credit: Rolf Konig
New Haven, Conn.
Research associate, Yale University
Patrick works with the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute and its partners to improve the delivery of primary health care in rural areas of Ethiopia. The country, with some 80 million people, has made notable strides despite a lack of resources and widespread poverty. Here, churchgoers take a much-needed rest while hiking up Mount Entoto in Addis Ababa.
Photo credit: Patrick Byam
President and CEO, HSC Foundation
Thomas (right) leads a system of care for infants through to young adults with severe, multiple chronic illnesses, most of whom are physically and/or behaviorally impacted by their illnesses. His organization also operates a new National Youth Transitions Center and National Veterans Center for young adults who need support to achieve independence and work readiness.
Photo credit: Cecil Doggette
- New Haven, Conn.Executive director, Fair Haven Community Health CenterAs the executive director of the Fair Haven Community Health Center, Katrina (right) says that the reward of being a health care administrator is realizing that the grants, analyses and health care programs and services that are brought to fruition all contribute to making health care accessible to the residents of an inner city community and to reducing health care disparities. Founded in 1971, the center provides comprehensive health care—from prenatal to pediatric, adolescent to adult and geriatric—to the greater Fair Haven community.Photo credit: Lisa Wilder
- New Haven, ConnecticutProfessor of biostatistics, director of medical research, Yale School of Public HealthAttending neurosurgeon, Brigham and Women’s HospitalAn intracranial meningioma pushes against the soft tissue of the brain. Elizabeth leads a research team that is studying the environmental and genetic risk factors for meningioma, glioma and breast tumors. She is also a practicing neurosurgeon, with a focus on neuro-oncology.
Technical Officer, World Health Organization
Jacob works on the TB REACH initiative that provides funding for projects that attempt to improve tuberculosis case detection and treatment across the globe. This urban slum in Karachi, Pakistan, is the site of such work. TB, Jacob notes, is largely a disease of the poor; is transmitted easily when people live in cramped, tight quarters; and develops in people who have poor immune systems and in those who are undernourished and have weakened immune systems.
Photo Credit: Aamir Khan
New Haven, Conn.
Program director, Yale Global Health Leadership Institute
Martha (left) designs and conducts leadership, health policy and business education programs for senior health care managers and public health administrators in China. She also works with visiting delegations of health care professionals from Africa who travel to Yale each year to devise solutions to specific health care issues in their home countries.
Photo credit: Carl Kaufman
President and COO, Yale-New Haven Hospital
As president and COO of Yale-New Haven Hospital, Richard’s main responsibility is to ensure that patients in greater New Haven and beyond have access to exceptional clinical programs, cutting-edge technology and an exemplary patient experience that is grounded in dignity and respect. Here, Richard (left) visits with a patient.
Photo credit: Carl Kaufman
Silver Spring, Md.
Senior legislative assistant (health), Office of U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV
Sarah confers with Sen. Rockefeller, D-W.Va., as they wait for the tram to take them to the U.S. Capitol. Legislative assistants serve as subject matter and strategy experts for members of Congress. Public health has been in the forefront on Capitol Hill during much of 2012, with the Affordable Care Act being an unprecedented national investment in health care.
Credit: Roll Call/Getty Images
Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
During a recent trip to New Delhi, India, Linda helped to dedicate a new school of public health for traffic safety and visited hospitals to develop trauma and injury surveillance systems. She works to prevent injury and violence, leading causes of death and disability in the United States and throughout the world.
Photo credit: Linda Degutis
Chevy Chase, Md.
CEO, Friends of the National Arboretum
Dana’s work as CEO of the Friends of the National Arboretum allows her to expand access to, and support for, a national environmental treasure—446 acres of gardens and green space in the heart of the nation’s capital. Here, a young girl learns the basics and experiences the pleasures of gardening in a plot at the Arboretum.
Photo credit: Friends of the National Arboretum
New Haven, Conn.
Director of Health, New Haven Health Department
Mario gives a presentation in 2012 to the New Haven Board of Aldermen about the dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke and also to promote the notion of a nonsmoking rule for all rental units within the city. Such a policy, he notes, would reduce exposure to secondhand smoke for a large segment of the city’s population. As the director of the city’s health department, Mario oversees—and advocates—for a variety of measures to protect and promote the health of some 130,000 people.
Photo Credit: Lisa Wilder
Distinguished Senior Fellow and co-founding president, CT Voices for Children in New Haven, and lecturer, Yale School of Public Health and Yale Law School
Throughout her 30-plus year career, Shelley has worked at the intersection of law and health—as a civil rights lawyer in health-related litigation; as founding president of CT Voices for Children, as a research and advocacy organization that promotes law and policy that foster healthy child development; and, now, as a teacher of Yale students interested in a similar path.
Photo credit: Lisa Wilder
Postdoctoral scholar, Wildlife Health Center, University of California, Davis
Working as a molecular epidemiologist, Yvette uses laboratory, statistical and phylogenetic tools to understand the ecology and evolution of emerging infectious diseases such as avian trichomonosis, Lyme borreliosis, toxoplasmosis and avian influenza in human and wildlife populations. Here, she prepares to take a sample from a bird.
Photo credit: Krysta Rogers
Associate veterinarian, VCA Davis Animal Hospital; Yale Human Animal Medicine Project
As a veterinarian who practices preventative medicine and manages acute and chronic disease, Zimra (left) assesses not only the pet, but also its owner, during treatment. When developing a treatment plan, she takes into consideration whether the owner has any physical, mental, environmental or social constraints and what personal, family, hospital and community resources she can use to optimize the well-being of the pet and its human family.
Photo credit: Marilyn Shapiro-Lowell
Statistician Manager, Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development
As a statistician supporting Pfizer’s Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Research Unit, Maya ensures that preclinical assays produce quality results through rigorous statistical validation and offers innovative approaches to study design. The assays target metabolic pathways for type 2 diabetes and are used to select novel compounds that have the potential for further evaluation.Credit: Jean-Luc Van Tran
Visual artist with concentrations in painting and fiber art
Through art, Ginger seeks to emphasize the concerns and plight of forgotten aspects of society and the environment. She mixes personal and cultural themes into certain paintings that address social inequality, psychological issues and spirituality. Art, she says, gives her the opportunity to continuously ask the question, “What is public health?” This painting is titled We Live Among You and We Won't Let You Forget.
Image credit: Ginger Hanrahan
International president, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)
Unni screens a child for malnutrition in a displaced persons camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, on August 20, 2011. MSF is an independent, international, medical humanitarian organization that delivers assistance to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from health care.
Photo credit: Médecins Sans Frontières
Fort Collins, Colo.
Postdoctoral fellow, American Society of Microbiology/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Joan’s research seeks to understand the evolutionary fitness of enzootic alphaviruses within their insect vectors in order to determine the potential of these viruses to cause human disease and to illustrate the need for vaccine development. She is currently working to identify novel vaccine strategies for various arboviruses. Here, a microscopy image shows a mosquito midgut coexposed to two types of virus particles that individually express green and red fluorescent protein.
Photo Credit: Joan L. Kenney and Leoncio Vergara
Founder and director, Amman Imman: Water Is Life
Ariane is the founder and director of the international NGO Amman Imman: Water Is Life. Amman Imman builds clean and sustainable water sources; provides food security; and supports educational, environmental and health initiatives among some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. It is currently operating in the Azawak region of Niger, where 50 percent of children die before their fifth birthday and where most people travel over 35 miles to obtain just a few gallons of mud water to drink, cook and bathe with. Here, a little girl is giving her baby brother the first potable drink of water he has ever had from Amman Imman’s “Well of Love” borehole, built in 2010 and financed by Montessori students across the world.
Photo credit: Ariane Kirtley
Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health) and Deputy Dean, Yale School of Public Health
Brian’s research interests focus on assessing exposures to air contaminants and the health impact resulting from those exposures in epidemiological studies conducted in at-risk populations in the United States and China. This picture was taken in Shanghai, China, during a visit to study sites.
Photo credit: Brian Leaderer
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Associate director, Strategic Information Unit, FHI 360
Kai-Lih heads the Strategic Information Unit for monitoring and evaluation, surveillance and research activities in HIV, tuberculosis and malaria at FHI 360. His work entails collaborations with UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and various government agencies. Here, one of the employees records field data on a laptop in a rural region of the country.
Photo credit: Kai-Lih Liu
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Executive director and CEO, Hospital Santa Catarina
In September, Larry became executive director and CEO of Hospital Santa Catarina, a 327-bed general acute care hospital located on one of South America’s most recognized streets, the Avenida Paulista. The hospital has 88 ICU beds, including 15 in the neonatal unit. Its emergency room averages between 500 and 600 patients each day, about a third of whom are pediatric.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Hospital Santa Catarina
Country director, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Zambia
Susan directs a variety of programs related to HIV prevention, care and treatment, with funding from the U.S. government/PEPFAR, UNICEF and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. She also does research on a variety of related areas, including HIV service integration and pediatric counseling. Here, she is with Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first president.
Recording artist, singer, songwriter, Dolce Diva Music
As a singer/songwriter as well as president of her own independent record label, Joanne (who goes by the stage name “Joanna”) says that the business skills that she acquired as a health care administration major are invaluable to her as she markets, promotes and distributes her product: music.
Photo credit: Mark Mann
Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Public Health
Jewel (left) oversees the state’s leading public health agency, whose mission is to protect and promote the health and safety of Connecticut residents. Here, she prepares for a health-related interview on a Connecticut television news station. She oversees an agency that employs more than 800 people, has an annual budget of more than $250 million and addresses health issues as diverse as asthma and seafood safety.
Photo Credit: William Gerrish
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Director, Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Health of Cambodia
Vandine (left, top; right, bottom) has served in the Ministry of Health of Cambodia in various capacities since its founding, after the demise of the Khmer Rouge. Her work has included providing immunizations to children in still-dangerous areas of the country, pediatric and adult medical care (including for injuries from land mines), surveillance of communicable diseases and health information system reform. In 1994, she became the first Cambodian woman to be awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Yale. Cambodia, she notes, is becoming increasingly modern, as a new generation of young professionals learn the skills of medicine, management and public health.
Photo credit: Tip Sophearith
Administrator, Environmental Justice Program, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Children play—and live—close to industry and pollution at site in Connecticut. As administrator of the state’s Environmental Justice Program, Edith monitors this site and others to address the environmental inequities that are often present in lower-socioeconomic and minority communities. The agency’s mission is to ensure that all residents receive equal protection under environmental and public health law and have equal access to the state’s natural resources.
Photo credit: Lisa Wilder
New York, N.Y.
Director, Non-surgical Foot and Ankle Service and the Joe DiMaggio Sports Medicine Foot and Ankle Center
Rock consults with a patient at the Non-surgical Foot and Ankle Service. The center is dedicated to evaluating the majority of foot, ankle and musculoskeletal problems that often can be treated suc¬cessfully without surgery. Located at Hospital for Special Surgery, the service is the first of its kind in the greater New York area and is widely known for its unique approach.
Photo Credit: Brad Hess
Doctor of philosophy candidate, Department of Public Health, University of Oxford
Atulya focuses on globalization and the aging population. He has worked on projects studying aging workforces, infectious and non-communicable diseases and health promotion. His current research examines informal care, identity and the relationships between media and health. Here, in a community outside Jaisalmer, India, Atulya examines the impact of globalization on identity and its consequences for health behavior.
Photo credit: Peter Hudston
Director, Vivo International
At a school just outside Kabul, Afghanistan, Elisabeth provides psychodiagnostic screening to all of the resident schoolchildren. Her work at Vivo, an international nongovernmental organization, focuses on research, prevention and therapy for individuals and communities who experience violence, conflict, abuse, neglect or torture.
Photo credit: Claudia Catani
Earth Institute at Columbia University/Global Health and Development
The Earth Institute seeks to improve health and reduce poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. From 2003 to 2011, Karen focused on strengthening health systems in rural Rwanda, and in 2012 she began work with the Earth Institute’s Millennium Development Goals Centre in Dakar. Here, a farmer in the Millennium Village in Mayange, Rwanda, was provided with improved, fast-maturing mango tree seedlings. Two years later, the trees are bearing large, healthy fruit. Even though the tree is still very small, the mangoes are so big that he has to prop up the branches.
Photo credit: Karen Schmidt
- Albany, N.Y.Commissioner, Department of Health New York State
Surrounded by family, Nirav is sworn in by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the 15th New York State Commissioner of Health on January 24, 2011. He heads one of the nation’s leading public health agencies, with a budget of more than $50 billion, and administers the state’s public health insurance programs, which cover 5 million New Yorkers. As commissioner, Nirav also oversees public health and prevention initiatives, regulation of hospitals and other health care facilities and the research program in a premier biomedical laboratory.
Photo credit: Judy Sanders
Co-founder, Nyaya Health in western Nepal
A woman receiving treatment at Nyaya Health beams with joy. Founded by Duncan and several other Yale students, the clinic seeks to improve the health of poor communities in Nepal by providing a range of medical and public health services in an area of the country that had previously offered little of either. Nyaya, which in Nepali means justice, partnered with the Ministry of Health and opened a primary care center in an isolated district in 2008.
Photo Credit: Nyaya Health
Health activist, adjunct public health professor, retired director of public health, West Haven, Conn.
Dressing as Snappy the Peas/Peace Pod or, alternatively, as Mr. Carrot, Eric seeks to “infect” people with good eating habits, such as carrots and peas! He is also known as TaDaah the TranscenDancer and inspires people to dance with joy.
Photo credit: Harold Shapiro
Director, Center for Women Veterans
Irene is the primary adviser to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on programs, policies and legislation related to women veterans. She promotes public health through policy and legislation that enhance healthy lifestyles of women veterans and their eligible family members through health care services and benefits such as GI Bill education, homeless and caregiver support, home loan guaranty, employment and vocational rehabilitation. Irene joined the service as a young woman in the 1960s (inset) and, in 1998, became the first African-American woman in the history of the National Guard to be promoted to the rank of general officer. She retired in 2001 as a major general.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Irene Trowell-Harris