Rose Clarke Nanyonga, PhD, started her leadership journey by putting one foot in front of the other, literally. As a 17-year-old, she walked for 52 kilometers across central Uganda, fleeing her family where children were harmed (a practice commonly referred to as child sacrifice) in an effort to earn blessings from ancestors or to attract wealth.
Once safely in Kampala, Nanyonga found a job as a nursing assistant. Years later, she would travel to the United States, where she earned degrees from Arkansas Tech, Baylor and ultimately Yale University. With a doctorate in nursing, she chose to return to Uganda and is now vice chancellor at Clarke International University.
At first, the position was challenging, Nanyonga told me in an article about global women leaders for Stanford Medicine magazine.
"I was in leadership, but I was so isolated," Nanyonga told me. "I didn't have the connections that I wanted to have. Or the encouragement that I desperately needed." Please read more.
In many parts of the world, rheumatic heart disease is part of history. “It’s the scarlet fever you read about in a Jane Austen novel,” said Stanford cardiology fellow Andrew Chang, MD. Globally, however, the disease still affects more than 30 million people, causing a quarter of all cases of heart failure.
Often, it begins as an undiagnosed case of strep throat. Without a course of antibiotics, the infection can become rheumatic fever and damage heart valves until the heart can no longer pump effectively.
Chang traveled to Rwanda as a resident in Stanford’s global health track within the Department of Medicine. While there, he witnessed the punishing impact of the preventable disease. “It really shook me,” he said.
Please read more.
Every investor in Silicon Valley wants to see a hockey stick-shaped line on the graph showing exponential growth when evaluating a start-up. Few people anywhere want to see the same line plotting the path to human extinction.
Steve Luby, MD, an epidemiologist and the director of research for Stanford’s Center for Innovation in Global Health, sees hockey sticks on chart after chart of the various ways that humans can cause our own demise. It sounds bad, but read on: Luby remains an optimist who is committed to a thriving human society.
As part of the center’s Planetary Health lecture series, Luby gave a talk titled, “Can our collective efforts avert imminent human extinction?”
Please read more.
In London for the Women Leaders in Global Health conference, I chatted in line for coffee with a British oncology nurse who had worked in Bangladesh. In a plenary session, I sat beside an Irish physician who worked in New Zealand. And on the stairs between sessions, I had a lengthy discussion with a woman who leads gender equality programs for USAID in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
For two days in November, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine seemed like the absolute center of the global health universe.
More than 900 people came from more than 80 countries. In formal sessions and impromptu hallway conversations, they shared information, agreed to join forces to solve regional problems, and planned future collaborations and events.
Please read more.
Several hundred children who have been separated from their parents remain detained along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Child health specialist Paul Wise, MD; Ewen Wang, MD, who specializes in pediatric emergency medicine; and child psychologist Ryan Matlow, PhD, along with others, traveled to Texas this summer to interview children and tour the detention centers.
I spoke with Wise recently about his experience. Please read more.
On the VPK blog
Admittedly, I picked the first doctor in a fairly juvenile way. I was a self-employed writer with the cheapest insurance I could find and, reliably healthy, I had never used it. The tingling in my fingertips, however, seemed like it meant something — like my fingers were trying to tell me something — so I looked at the HMO’s website and picked the doctor with crazy, curly hair.
Her brown mop was unruly just like mine, and I took that as a good sign. In the end, though, the primary care doc and I didn’t know each other long, and I never grew to trust her. She kept me waiting for 25 minutes, then spent five minutes with me and referred me to a neurologist. “Goodbye,” she said as she slid out the door. There had been no time for questions or discussion. She was gone.
To read more, please follow this link.
From the VPK Blog
There was no siren nor light nor gentle nudge that woke me up. Nothing external interrupted me and yet, suddenly, in the middle of the night, I was awake and my brain was racing.
I wanted sleep; I needed sleep; and none was coming. All I could do was lie there, frantically making mental lists and composing what seemed to be brilliant and urgent plans that I would no doubt forget in the morning.
I didn’t even need to look at the clock. I knew what it would say. It had said the same thing every night for a week: 2:30 a.m. To read more...
From the Deseret News
For centuries, germs have gotten a bad rap. Generally vilified as carriers and causes of disease, these microscopic organisms are on the verge of a complete image makeover.
Thanks to better technology, scientists can now take a closer look at the bacteria, fungi and viruses that humans inhale, eat and touch everyday. And instead of telling us to avoid or kill all these germy creatures, scientists are now advising us to take better care of them. To read more...
Investing in Functional Medicine to Cure Disease, not just Sooth Symptoms for Patients
From the Deseret News
When the head of the world-renownedCleveland Clinic approached Dr. Mark Hyman about creating a department that would employ the doctor’s specialty of “functional medicine,” Hyman was typically blunt.
“If I create a program there, it would cut the number of angioplasties and bypasses in half, and reduce hospital admissions,” he told clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove.
To read more...