Global Pediatrics Program

Judith Palfrey, MD   Director
Kim Wilson, MD, MPH   Associate Director
Christiana Russ, MD, DTMH   Associate Director

Global Pediatric Fellowship

Kim Wilson, MD, MPH    Co-Director
Sara Stulac, MD, MPH   Co-Director
Hema Magge, MD, MS   Rwanda Site Supervisor
Michelle Niescierenko, MD   Liberia Site Supervisor


Judith Palfrey, MD

Director, Global Pediatrics Program, & Senior Associate in Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital;
T. Berry Brazelton Professor of Pediatrics, & Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School;
Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health

Judith Palfrey, MD, Senior Associate in Medicine Director of Children’s Global Pediatric Center at Children’s Hospital Boston, has devoted her career to shaping the health system to meet the needs of under children with special needs, especially those from challenging backgrounds. A nationally renowned child advocate and leader in community care, Dr. Palfrey developed universally accepted medical home based approaches and school guidelines to enable families and children achieve greater functional capacity. As a national leader in child health, she was one of the initial authors of Bright Futures, the preventive guidelines, which are now incorporated into the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Palfrey founded Project School Care, an innovative outreach program to study the needs of children assisted by medical technology and to enable them to attend school. She also developed the Pediatric Alliance for Coordinated Care, a clinical service model that delivered community-based, family-centered primary care to Medicaid-enrolled children with disabilities. She has served as the Principal Investigator on Opening Doors, an NIDRR funded national center that seeks to improve services to children from traditionally underserved communities. Dr. Palfrey was the 2010-2011 President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She was a strong advocate for the passage of the Affordable Care Act. During her tenure as President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, she worked to ensure that full access to a medical home was in reach for all children. She also championed the outreach of the AAP to form more powerful partnerships with community organizations and parents.


Kim Wilson, MD, MPH

Associate Director, Global Pediatrics Program, & Co-Director, Global Pediatric Fellowship, Boston Children's Hospital;
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, & Affiliate of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Wilson’s work has focused on improving health care for under-served populations domestically and internationally. In Boston, Dr. Wilson has combined clinical care to underserved families with implementation of programs to improve health for children with chronic illness. Her international work grew from her clinical pediatric practice in Boston working with transnational families from the Dominican Republic. Internationally, Dr. Wilson has lead a maternal and neonatal training and quality improvement program at hospital facilities in the Dominican Republic. Her current work applies the technology of mhealth to quality improvement, using cell phone based protocols as decision aids to improve newborn health care in Tanzania. Dr. Wilson teaches at Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health with a focus on global maternal child health and social determinants of disease. In addition, she developed and directs the Global Pediatric Fellows Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, with pediatric fellows working in Haiti and Rwanda.


Christiana Russ, MD, DTMH

Associate Director, Global Pediatrics Program, & Director of Resident Global Health Rotations, & 
Associate Chief of Intermediate Care Program, Boston Children's Hospital;
Director of the Academy of Community and Global Health Policy & Research, Boston Combined Residency Program;
Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Russ is a pediatric hospitalist who graduated from Washington University in St. Louis as a systems science engineer and subsequently trained in medicine at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. She completed her residency training in pediatrics in 2007 at the Boston Combined Residency Program at Children’s Hospital, Boston. In her first year out of training Dr. Russ spent 6 months in western Kenya and Uganda, working with staff in two rural hospitals to improve pediatric care. This experience solidified her dedication to advancing pediatric care in resource limited settings, and her conviction that education and partnership with medical staff and primary caregivers of children is the key to reducing child mortality. Upon her return she was hired by the newly formed Children’s Hospital Boston Pediatric Global Health Program and dedicates her non-clinical time to global health education. Dr. Russ is the rotation director for the Boston Combined Residency Program (BCRP) Pediatric Global Health Rotations, and co-chair of the new BCRP Academy for Community and Global Health. In 2009-10 she completed the Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education. She is interested in curriculum development, preparation, mentorship and evaluation for medical students, residents and fellows who plan to work in global health settings. She has networked with other pediatric resident global health educators across the country, and together with them has formed a Global Health Pediatric Education Group in the American Pediatric Program Directors with a goal of improving curriculum and scholarship about global health education. She has also partnered with colleagues in the Global Health Education Consortium and American Academy of Pediatrics to develop an online, interactive global health curriculum. Her global work remains based in Eastern Africa, with a focus on improving health in under-resourced areas through medical education in hospitals and clinics, and community education for the families that they serve. In Maseno Kenya, she has partnered with Vanderbilt University and Great Lakes University Kisumu to develop and evaluate videos targeted at caregivers waiting at the hospital and teaching about child health topics. She is a master trainer for the AAP Helping Babies Breathe program, and has partnered with Millennium Villages Project and Millennium Cities to facilitate the spread of quality neonatal resuscitation techniques at their sites. Dr. Russ is the associate medical director and hospitalist in the Intermediate Care Program. This is an inpatient unit at Children’s Hospital Boston provides care for patients with acute on chronic illness requiring intensive nursing. In addition to her clinical role she oversees quality improvement initiatives in the unit.


Sara Stulac, MD, MPH

Co-Director, Global Pediatric Fellowship, Boston Children's Hospital;
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Partners In Health;
Associate Physician, Division of Global Health Equity, Brigham and Women’s Hospital;
Teaching Affiliate, Division of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Sara Stulac, MD, MPH, is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Partners In Health, supporting programs in Rwanda, Haiti, Lesotho, and Malawi. She lived and worked in Rwanda from 2005 to 2011 as PIH-Rwanda’s Clinical Director, collaborating with Rwanda’s Ministry of Health to develop primary health care infrastructure and community-based HIV care in three rural health districts. Her areas of clinical focus have included pediatric HIV prevention and treatment, malnutrition care, inpatient pediatrics, and pediatric oncology and other non-communicable disease treatment. Dr. Stulac holds faculty positions in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, at Boston Children’s Hospital, and at Harvard Medical School. She received her MD and MPH from Tufts University School of Medicine, and completed her residency in pediatrics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Hema Magge

Hema Magge, MD, MS

Rwanda Site Supervisor, Global Pediatric Fellowship, & Courtesy Staff Physician, Boston Children's Hospital;
Director of Pediatrics, Partners In Health/IMB;
Associate Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital;
Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Hema Magge is the Director of Pediatrics for Partners in Health-Inshuti Mu Buzima, where she directs neonatal, child health, and malnutrition programs in three PIH-supported districts in rural Rwanda. The program’s primary goal is to support the provision of high quality, comprehensive, and innovative care for children in partnership with the Rwandan Ministry of Health. After graduating with a B.A. in Government in 2001 from Harvard University, she received the Radcliffe Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Fellowship to support her work with the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Southern Africa, an organization focused on poverty-related violence and injury prevention in Cape Town, South Africa. She went on to pursue her M.D. from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, graduating in 2006. During medical school, she co-founded the University of Pennsylvania's medical student global health program through a community partnership with an HIV/AIDS hospice in Gaborone, Botswana. In 2009, she completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, as a Global Health Sciences Clinical Scholar. She then completed a fellowship in General Academic Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and a Masters of Science in Health Services Research at Boston University School of Public Health with a focus on global health delivery and health disparities among the urban poor in Boston. Dr. Magge’s current programmatic work and research in Rwanda focuses on child survival, including innovative strategies to overcome implementation challenges in Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), implementation and evaluation of a neonatal mortality reduction initiative, and development and implementation of a model pediatric development clinic to support early childhood development for high-risk neonates.


Michelle Niescierenko, MD

Liberia Site Supervisor, Global Pediatric Fellowship, & Director of Global Health Program, & 
Pediatric Emergency Medicine Attending, Boston Children's Hospital; 
Fellow in International Pediatric Emergency Medicine, BCH/Brigham and Women’s Hospital;
Faculty, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative;
Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Michelle Niescierenko, MD is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician and director of the Global Health Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. The Boston Children's Global Health Program works to improve child health globally through partnerships for clinical quality improvement, education, research and advocacy. She has experience in pediatric care and program development in China, Bolivia, Lesotho, Guatemala, Liberia and Indonesia. In Liberia she provided pediatric humanitarian aid in the immediate post-conflict setting partnering local remaining infrastructure to US academic institutions. Through these partnerships, sustainable programs for health system rebuilding including physician education and care for vulnerable children were developed. Her particular areas of research interest are in the provision of emergency care for children in humanitarian settings, the development of emergency care systems for children as well as the role of children in humanitarian crises.