Speaker Profiles

Opening Keynote Presentation
Rachel C. Snow, Sc.D.
Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan

Dr. Snow conducts social research on sex, gender and vulnerability, and on factors affecting the use of reproductive health and HIV-related services, predominantly in Africa. Ongoing studies address how HIV/AIDS has affected fertility aspirations and abortion in East Africa, and the sexual geography of young people in Detroit. Snow has served on numerous expert committees at WHO, including the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, and was a founding editor of the African Journal of Reproductive Health. She received her doctorate in Population Sciences from Harvard in 1988, where she was Assistant Professor of Reproductive Health. From 1997-2003 she taught at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), where she was Unit Head for Sexual & Reproductive Health. In 2003 she joined the faculty at the University of Michigan (U-M) School of Public Health, and U-M Population Studies Center. She is currently U-M Coordinator for ASRI.

MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality
Andrew D. Campbell, M.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan

Dr. Andrew D. Campbell grew up outside Washington D.C. and attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Shortly after entering Medical School, Dr. Campbell knew he wanted to be a pediatrician. He explains that children have a fantastically positive outlook on life, something he can feed off of and apply to his own life.

In his last year as a fellow at Northwestern University, Dr. Campbell became focused on the health disparities that sickle cells patients experience in emergency rooms. He realized that not only was there a lack of research on sickle cell anemia, but that because of the heavy burden of the disease in West Africa, he needed to expand his horizons and look globally.

This played an important role in his decision to come to U of M in 2002. The combination of excellent international research opportunities along with the opportunity to grow U of M’s regional sickle-cell treatment program was an effective pull.

Since coming to U of M, Dr. Campbell has expanded his work on sickle-cell disease progression in Ghana. He now looks at socioeconomic factors that influence what influences patients to come to clinic in Ghana. This has given him a greater appreciation of health inequalities in an increasingly globalized world. He is particularly interested in how improved health systems can alleviate stress on patients as well as on providers.

Professor Campbell is looking forward to speaking at CMC’s Global Health Symposium: From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Achievements. He will speak on Millennium Development Goal 4: Improving Child Health by drawing from his experience to highlight the importance of student interest in global health work. He is particularly concerned about an increasing global population and therefore increased need for global health workers in low-resource settings.

MDG 5: Improve Maternal Health
Timothy R.B. Johnson, M.D.
Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan
Timothy Johnson

Dr. Timothy R.B. Johnson grew up in a military family. He quipped that after moving all over the world as a child, the first time he lived somewhere for more than three years was his time at U of M as an undergraduate student in the early 70s.

As an undergraduate student at U of M, Dr. Johnson already knew that he was interested in reproductive health. He did research on the mechanisms of copper IUDs and reproductive health issues. Going into medical school at the University of Virginia, he thought he wanted to go into reproductive endocrinology. He then encountered high-risk obstetrics. He was instantly hooked.

After completing his residency at U of M, Dr. Johnson completed a maternal fetal medicine fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, followed by a stint in the military. After that he worked as a professor at Johns Hopkins and slowly worked his way up to Chief of Obstetrics.

During his time at Hopkins, Dr. Johnson first encountered global maternal health. In a serendipitous coincidence, one of his colleagues couldn’t give a planned talk in Ghana so Dr. Johnson filled in. In some sense, the rest is history…

After being recruited as the Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at U of M in 1993, Dr. Johnson had already developed a relationship with Ghanaian physicians. He explained how in the late 80s, as the Soviet Union disintegrated, Ghana—previously politically aligned with the USSR—was keen on securing human resource capacity for health and a more open relationship with the west. While at U of M, Dr. Johnson has continued his work with Ghanaian Universities and the Ghanaian Ministry of Health to develop a sound post-graduate training program in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Through his extensive work abroad, Dr. Johnson has learned how to operate and change basic medical systems to benefit patients. He is keen to note that he has gained a lot more than he has given through his work abroad.

He is very excited to speak at CMC’s Global Health Symposium, From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Achievements. He will speak on Millennium Development Goal 5: Improving Maternal Health, and draw from his experience to highlight opportunities for students to get involved responsibly in international health work. He posits that this involves working through a University in order to maintain consistency over a long period of time to benefit the global community in the most ethically responsible way.

MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases
Gary Harper, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan

Professor Gary Harper grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the first person in his family to go to University and intentionally avoided international issues while working to implement community-based interventions to stem the HIV epidemic in the United States.

Professor Harper first worked on HIV in 1985, the early days of the HIV epidemic in the United States. With qualifications including epidemiology and clinical psychology, Professor Harper worked on various aspects on HIV prevention and treatment including community activism and education, research and psychological support for HIV positive people in the United States.

Professor Harper was not initially keen on global work. He points out that there are communities in the United States where infection and transmission rates are higher than those in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2004, however, Professor Harper, then faculty at DePaul University in Chicago, was brought along on a trip aimed to connect the seminary at DePaul with a sister seminary in Kenya.

The 2004 trip opened his eyes to what it really means to work in low-resource settings and the importance of being a global citizen when combating HIV, a global epidemic. He explains how the global nature of the epidemic further convinced him to pursue work in Kenya, along with his work in the States.

He received a PEPFAR grant to help create “Making Life’s Responsible Choices”, a holistic HIV prevention educational program for 11 year olds in Kenya. It emphasized gender violence, child and substance abuse and brought sex into the consciousness of the 11 year olds. This capacity building program was formed in a partnership with the Catholic Church and is now in the process of becoming a national program in Kenya.

Through his work abroad, Professor Harper has gained a broader perspective on the global HIV epidemic. He has also gained a greater appreciation of creativity in implementation due to the constraints of working in low-resource areas across the globe. This has allowed him to better address HIV prevention program implementation challenges in low-resource areas in the United States.

Professor Harper currently holds an appointment as a Professor of Health Behavior and Education at the University of Michigan. He is very excited to speak at CMC’s Global Health Symposium, From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Achievements. He will speak on Millennium Development Goal 6: Combatting HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases. He is keen to give students two pieces of advise that he hopes will inform their work. The first is the concept of “the why” in Global Health work. The second is the concept of cultural humility.

Closing Keynote Presentation
Margaret E. Kruk, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor of Global Health, Harvard School of Public Health

Dr. Margaret Kruk’s family emigrated from Poland to Canada when she was a child. This helped her understand that the world existed outside the boundaries of her neighborhood from a very early age. Her first experience with global health was in Mombasa, Kenya during her second year as an undergraduate student. It was in Mombasa that she first experienced HIV/AIDS and its deleterious effects.

Even though she loved working with and learning from patients as a physician, Dr. Kruk decided to pursue a master’s degree in Public Health to better understand the underlying determinants of why people get sick and why they get better. After her master’s, she started looking at how to make health systems more responsive to provide better care to patients, especially those in low-income countries.

From 2003-2005, Dr. Kruk worked with a team led by Dr. Jeffery Sachs for Health at the Millennium Project. While there, Dr. Kruk looked to define systems through-which eight countries could achieve the targets set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This work showed her the lack of evidence in the policy space on how to develop and implement effective public health policy.

Through her research, Dr. Kruk has looked to expand on what she learned at the Millennium Project. Her work as an academic looks to fill the evidence gap so that countries around the world do not have to rely on trial and error to test public health systems, but can rather rely on variations of evidence-based policy tailored to their countries conditions.

She is looking forward to coming back to Ann Arbor in February—Dr. Kruk taught here from 2005 to 2009—to deliver the closing keynote presentation at CMC’s Global Health Symposium, From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Achievements. She will draw from her depth of experience to thoroughly examine the accomplishments and shortfalls of the MDGs, looking forwards to the Sustainable Development Goals. She is particularly excited to interact with students and explain to them the importance of interdependence and humility in global health work.


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