Global Pediatric Fellowship | Overview
The Global Health Pediatric Fellowship Program at Boston Children’s Hospital aims to train the next generation of providers committed to building a more just and equitable heath system around the world. Fellows develop the tangible skills necessary to have successful careers in global health through advocacy, evidence-based health system development, and service delivery, all through a lens of global equity.
Our goal is to train a cadre of pediatricians who have the skills and long-term commitment necessary to make an impact in improving global child health. Depending on the skill set and prior experience of the applicant, the Global Health Pediatric Fellowship will require a one- to three-year commitment. During this period, fellows learn about advocacy, decoloniality, evidence-based health system development, and service delivery, all through a lens of equity and sustainability.
The focus of the fellowship is on skills in global health service delivery, including:
- clinical care
- medical education
- program development, management, and evaluation
- quality improvement
- implementation-focused research
- implementation of collaboration rooted in decolonial praxis
During their field placement, fellows will have the opportunity to work in collaboration with partners around the globe to support pediatric medical education, strengthen existing child health programs, and expand access to pediatric health care.
During their clinical placement in Boston, fellows will combine clinical work in general pediatrics with a global health curriculum aimed at strengthening their core clinical, public health, quality improvement, and teaching skills relevant to global health. Deadline to apply for the General Pediatrics Fellowship is 9 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, Nov. 1.
A day in the life of a fellow
While there is no “typical day,” fellows often integrate their clinical care and scholarly work.
A fellow will arrive for morning rounds, which is a mixture of bedside teaching (med students, interns, residents, PAs, general practitioners, etc.) and active patient care and consultations.
After rounds, on Monday a fellow may participate in clinics and support the hospital teams to follow up on inpatients. However, on the next day, the fellow may use the afternoon to do formal didactic teaching both as a presenter and a participant. The following day, they may meet with local colleagues to conduct jointly led research or quality improvement projects.
Each fellow can individualize their schedule based on the needs of their local colleagues, context, and the fellow’s interest and skill.
Global Health Fellowship education
Formal global health degree programs and courses
Formal course work is an important part of fellowship. Opportunities for accepted and qualifying fellows to pursue may include:
- Master’s degree in public health from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Summer Program in Clinical Effectiveness (HSPH)
- Global Health Delivery Intensive (HSPH)
- Gorgas Diploma in Tropical Medicine Course
Opportunities and funding support vary by year. Additional details will be provided during interviews.
Global Health curriculum at Boston Children’s Hospital
- Clinical Skills Week: The Global Pediatric Clinical Skills Week is an annual course that provides an overview of key topics for pediatric clinicians to help prepare them for clinical work in global contexts.
- Seminar Series: This is a monthly seminar series that covers key concepts in global health development and humanitarian work. The focus of this series is on health delivery and understanding the landscape of global health and the role of health care providers. The seminar complements fellows' formal coursework with a focus on health service delivery and program implementation.
- Decoloniality for Global Health Equity (DGHE): This curriculum provides fellows with an opportunity to reflect on their work and grapple with how to decolonize our work in resource-limited settings. Theories are discussed through didactics focused on key issues of health equity and working collaboratively with partners. Then concrete actions are incorporated such as skill building in advocacy methods and on-going project mentorship.
Competency areas for education
- clinical care and medical knowledge
- capacity strengthening
- human rights and humanitarian medicine
- structural determinants of health
- global health education
- research in global health
Fellows are expected to complete a scholarly project with oversight from faculty mentors over the course of their fellowship. Projects can be quality improvement, program management, curriculum evaluation, or formal research. All projects are done in partnership with global colleagues and through a lens of decoloniality and social justice.
Throughout Boston Children’s as well as the broader Harvard Global Health Community, fellows have an opportunity to meet with faculty mentors and identify mentorship teams and projects. Small internal grants for project funding are available, as well as assistance in identifying and applying for additional funding sources.
Fellows must attend the seminar series, clinical skills week and the Decoloniality for Global Health Equity series as well as present their work yearly. Fellows are expected to meet clinical obligations set forth by their clinical departments.
Anahi Venzor Strader
- Project title: A Biosocial Analysis of Neonatal Mortality in Rural Guatemala
- Partner name: Maya Health Alliance
- Country: Guatemala, Tecpán, Chimaltenango
Anahí worked with Maya Health Alliance and implemented a maternal health program and collaborated with local traditional midwives to improve obstetrical outcomes. The curiosity to understand why this is the case led us to design a mixed methods research study to understand the complexities of neonatal mortality in these communities. Furthermore, we aim to amplify the voices of those most proximate to this suffering, which are the mothers in these communities, the midwives, and the local healthcare providers.
Immediate post-fellowship plans: Anahí will be staying in Boston and working with Winchester Hospital as a Hospitalist. She will continue to pursue her research with indigenous populations in Guatemala and Mexico.
- Project title: Development and Evaluation of Postgraduate Pediatric Public Health Curriculum in Rwanda
- Partner name: CHUK – The University Teaching Hospital of Kigali
- Country: Kigali, Rwanda
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting in-person postgraduate teaching, a team of U.S., U.K., and Rwandan pediatricians worked together to adapt a General Pediatrics Module to a virtual and hybrid platform. The use of this modality led to the adoption and evaluation of a flipped-classroom format. A Public Health Module including topics such as Community Needs Assessment, Social Determinants of Health, and Child Health Policy was then developed for PGY-1 pediatric residents in training to become advocates for child health.
Immediate post-fellowship plans: Tiffany will return to Loma Linda University, practicing academic medicine with some inpatient hospitalist duties along with outpatient work at the SAC Health Center, the largest specialty-based and teaching health center (THC) FQHC in the nation. At SAC, she will support resident education in public health topics. She will have opportunity to continue global health projects through Loma Linda’s Adventist Health International (AHI) organization, which partners with clinicians and health systems in 42 countries around the world. With her work in Rwanda, she plans to continue remotely supporting the CHUK public health module, along with working on academic partnership building with affiliated hospitals and clinics through the AHI network.
Himali Bhat, MD, MA: Dr. Bhatt worked at the Kirehe District Hospital in Rwanda in 2019 in the NICU and the pediatric wards as district clinical advisor, both caring for patients and training local providers on neonatal and pediatric care. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her work in Rwanda transitioned. She helped develop and teach a remote general pediatrics curriculum to Rwandan pediatric residents partnered with her global health co-fellows, and local Rwandan-, U.S.-, and Europe-based faculty during 2020-21. She also began working in local community outreach through a partnership between the Boston Children’s Global Health Team and local Boston school nurses focusing on COVID-19 response and safely transitioning schools for student return through small and large group sessions over the 2020-21 academic year.
Georgia Christakis, MD: Dr. Christakis spent her clinical time at John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, where she cared for patients in the pediatric emergency department, outpatient department, and wards. During the pandemic she continued to work remotely with JFK’s pediatric team on data entry, research initiatives, and resident education in Monrovia. She also facilitated Boston Public School nurses as they returned to work during the later months of the pandemic. In 2021 she volunteered with the Indian Health Service’s pediatric team in Rosebud, S.D., providing clinical care and contributing to a number of local initiatives.
Elian Levkowitz, DO: While in fellowship, Elian worked with partners at Lao Friends Hospital for Children (Luang Prabang, Laos) to provide clinical and didactic teaching, and help initiate a pediatric early warning scores project. Recalled early due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Elian went on to apply for pediatric emergency medicine fellowship in Georgia.
Edwin (Ned) Palmer, MD, MPH: While in fellowship, Ned completed several projects at different partner sites. He first worked at Lao Friends Hospital for Children (Luang Prabang, Laos) supporting the development of Laos staff through bedside teaching and didactic training. He conducted a geospatial analysis of mortality and outcomes in Dominica after Hurricane Maria. With an interest in ethics, Ned also joined the Harvard Medical School faculty, teaching as part of the medical student ethics courses. During COVID-19, Ned adapted to support the Indian Health Service response in Montana to ready the hospital there. Post-fellowship he continues as an attending in the ICP and is pursuing his interest in humanitarian response partnering with a response organization, and he continues to support the IHS in Montana.
Leah Ratner, MD, MS: While in fellowship, Dr. Ratner continued her decade-long relationship with Komfo Anoyke Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana, while serving the majority of time supporting the creation and growth of a pediatric-to-adult transition program within the large academic teaching hospital. Over the course of her fellowship, this program continued to grow to offer patient-facing peri-transitional psychosocial support, and it enhanced inter-departmental communication and data collection through disease-specific registries. During her second year in fellowship, she also participated in the Gorgas Tropical Medicine Program in Lima, Peru. While in Boston, she worked as an attending on the BRIDGES Adult Transition Program team, both at Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She continues to work both for the BRIDGES Adult Transition Program as well as the combined Boston Children’s/Brigham and Women’s Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program. She has remained actively involved in the Boston Children's Global Health Program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she co-founded a national network to help increase capacity in pediatric facilities, specifically focusing in health equity and provider resiliency. She continues to lead this network with co-fellow Shela Sridhar.
Shela Sridhar, MD: During her fellowship, Dr. Sridhar worked at the Kirehe District Hospital in Rwanda, rounding on the pediatric wards and the NICU. During her time, she worked on triage systems within the pediatric ward through the implementation of the Pediatric Early Warning Score (PEWS). She also focused on teaching multidisciplinary teams through malnutrition rounds, lectures, and bedside teaching. She is now a med-peds hospitalist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital. She continues to work on health system strengthening and teaching in sub-Saharan Africa.
Meghan Craven, MD: Dr. Craven worked in Haiti at the Mirebalais Hospital, where she saw patients on the units along with the residents and introduced QI methodology. While there, she served in the newly formed non-communicable disease program, which works to develop treatment plans for children with sickle cell disease, diabetes, and cardiac problems, including introducing hydroxyurea for sickle cell patients. She is now a fellow in endocrinology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and plans to continue her work in global health in that field.
Nirmala Narla, MD, MPH: Dr. Narla was based at Lao Friends Hospital for Children, supporting teams of local Lao doctors in providing inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room services, working to establish evidence-based practices in a limited resource setting. She assisted in organization and capacity building for the recently established Thalassemia Clinic, with a specific focus on improving adolescent care transition through logistical and educational interventions. She concurrently completed her master's of public health degree at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she was involved in development of innovative communication and home-monitoring tools for pediatric care. She is now working as a hospitalist in the Intermediate Care Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and South Shore Hospital, with plans for ongoing international collaboration at LFHC and HSPH.
Sindu Govindapilla, MD, MPH: Dr. Govindapilla focused on health and developmental issues affecting children in conflict and displacement. She studied humanitarian crisis situations and gathered data on the impact of disasters on children and their families. She is now working with several humanitarian organizations in Canada and is continuing to collaborate with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.
Oludare Odumade, MD, PhD: Dr. Odumade worked on clinical and research initiatives in maternal and child health with Dr. Grace Chan at St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She focused on characterizing neonatal sepsis and maternal reproductive tract colonization, identifying bacterial etiologies and antibiotic resistance patterns. She has joined the Boston Children's Precision Vaccines Program, directed by Dr. Ofer Levy, where she is participating in research employing systems biology to define biomarkers of neonatal vaccine immunogenicity as part of a National Institutes of Health Human Immunology Project Consortium project. After fellowship, she will continue her research and serve as an attending physician in the Intermediate Care Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and also work as a neonatal hospitalist.
Bianca Quinones, MD: Dr. Quinones spent her fellowship working at the Lao Friends Hospital for Children in Luang Prabang, Laos, where she primarily focused on a multidisciplinary simulation-based resuscitation curriculum for the hospital. Dr. Quinones-Perez then became a pediatric hospitalist at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Virginie Clavel, MD: During her fellowship, Dr. Clavel spent her time at the Mirabalais University Hospital site, working in conjunction with Zanmi Lasante/Partners in Health (Mirebalais, Haiti). She focused her work primarily on neonatal intensive care and resident teaching. She conducted a study using the Pediatric Early Warning Score in the pediatric ward. She is currently a staff physician at Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Chiquita Palha de Sousa, MD, MPH: Dr. de Sousa spent her global clinical time at Kirehe District Hospital, Inshuti Mu Buzima/Partners in Health in Rwanda. She provided neonatal pediatric care and provided trainings to the local clinic staff on malnutrition, resuscitation, and neonatology. Her scholarly project was on "Promoting Breast Feeding in the Neonatal Care Unit and Strengthening Linkage to Care after Discharge."
Sajithya Perera, MD: During her fellowship, Dr. Perera provided care, supervision, and teaching to patients and staff at Hospital St. Nicolas in Haiti. Her work was centered around development of an early childhood development program for malnourished children. She is currently joining the faculty of Nationwide Children’s Hospital where she will practice pediatric academic hospitalist medicine and assist with global health programming.
Jessica Bradford, MD: Dr. Bradford spent her fellowship expanding to the Pediatric Development Clinic from Southern Kayonza to the Kirehe District Hospital in Rwanda. She met with hospital leadership, ensured equipment and supply availability, identified a space for the clinic, and served as a mentor for oncoming staff. After fellowship, Dr. Bradford stayed on with Inshuti Mu Buzima/Partners In Health as a pediatric district clinical advisor.
Unami Mulale, MD: After completing her college education in Botswana, Dr. Mulale attended medical school in Grenada and subsequently did pediatric residency and pediatric critical care fellowships in New York, with a longstanding vision to contribute to building Botswana’s first children’s hospital. She spent her fellowship providing care in Liberia and Rwanda to learn systems she can incorporate as the head of pediatric critical care and lecturer at the University of Botswana School of Medicine.
Xinshu She, MD: Dr. She spent six months of each year of fellowship in Saint Marc, Haiti, working with Partners in Health to pilot a participatory art project aimed at reducing stress, enhancing patient self-expression, and prompting community bonding. She also helped start an early childhood development program using a home-based intervention for malnourished children. She is currently a pediatric hospitalist in California.
Ophelia Adipa, MD: Dr. Adipa traveled to Mbale, Uganda, as a consultant pediatrician at the CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda and was in Liberia as pediatric faculty, teaching and mentoring residents and interns at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia and the Phebe Hospital in Suakoko. Dr. Adipa is currently a hospitalist in the Children’s National Hospital community network. She is also a faculty member at the University of Ghana, where she supports pediatric residency training.
Jen Werdenberg, MD: Dr. Werdenberg’s fellow placement was in Rwinkwayu, Rwanda. She provided clinical care and participated in the rollout of the All Babies Count Program. From 2016-17, she was a staff member of the Partners in Health Rwanda team. She returned to Boston in fall 2017 to complete her MPH and later moved to Texas. She is currently on staff at the Texas Children’s Hospital. She recently published a paper on nutritional care for children in low-resource global settings.
Brittany Potts, MD: Dr. Potts spent her fellowship serving as a pediatrician at St. Nicholas Hospital in St. Marc, Haiti. She focused on acute care delivery and on improving the delivery of nutritional support to severely malnourished children. She also assisted colleagues at St. Damien Hospital in Port-au-Prince with their programming around children with severe chronic health conditions. Dr. Potts is currently the associate director of pediatric global health at Akron Children’s Hospital.
Theresa Strong, MD: Dr. Strong spent part of her fellowship working at the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Liberia on the partnership medical residency training program. During the Ebola outbreak, she was redeployed to Indonesia and to Laos to support program development. After fellowship, Dr. Strong joined the staff of the South Shore Hospital.
Jill Veselik, MD: Dr. Veselik worked in rural Rwanda during her fellowship, where she provided pediatric care and participated on the teams that wrote the protocols for the newly established Pediatric Development Clinic. The PDC is an innovated program of non-communicable disease care for children with chronic illnesses and complex medical problems. Dr. Veselik has worked as a hospitalist and chronic care physician since her graduation.
Sara Gonzalez, DO: During her fellowship, Dr. Gonzalez worked at St. Marc’s Hospital in rural Haiti providing inpatient clinical services. She carried out several projects on neonatal nursing education. She had a special interest in programs that promoted breast feeding to prevent malnutrition in infants. She is a trained HBB instructor. Dr. Gonzalez is currently an attending physician at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, Mass.
Chris Carpenter, MD, MPH: During his fellowship, Dr. Carpenter worked in Haiti, where he improved pediatric care by training local doctors and nurses at St. Marc’s district hospital. At the end of his fellowship, he co-founded the Kay Mackenson Clinic, serving children with chronic diseases, in Pierre Paven. He is the pediatric department chair and vice chief of staff at a UCSF-affiliated hospital. He continues as a close colleague and consultant to the Boston Children’s Hospital Global Pediatrics Program.
Vanessa Wolfman, MD: Dr. Wolfman worked as a district clinical advisor in pediatrics in rural Rwanda during her fellowship. Her activities included clinical mentorship and health systems strengthening. Dr. Wolfman works for the International Medical Corps of Los Angeles and has continued her active role in global health response. She served as the emergency medical director of the International Medical Corps in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak.
Molly Moore, MD: During her fellowship, Dr. Moore served as a district clinical advisor in pediatrics in rural Rwanda. She worked on national pediatric oncology protocols, supported a pilot program to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and ran an HIV education program for nurses. She is currently the director of global health for the Department of Pediatrics at the Larner College of Medicine at The University of Vermont, where she is heavily involved with global health medical education.