On September 24, the cancerPOINTE podcast aired an episode about the importance of nutrition in global oncology. Erin Gordon, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, a dietician at Boston Children’s Hospital and member of the Global Health Initiative, spoke about collaborating with Dr. Nyi Nyi Kyaw, a dietician at Yangon Children’s Hospital, to expand the nutritional services offered to pediatric oncology patients in Myanmar.
In June, the cancerPOINTE podcast aired two episodes featuring members of our Global Health Initiative (GHI) team. On June 6, Erin McCann of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and former GHI graduate student, and Soad Fuentes Alabi, MD, GHI collaborator, discussed educating parents of childhood cancer patients in resource-limited settings based on findings from a GHI project. Later, on June 25, Lisa Morrissey, MSN, RN, CPON, MPH, talked about the importance of having baseline nursing standards in global pediatric oncology. Lisa is a member of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) Pediatric Oncology in Developing Countries (PODC) Nursing Working group.
Please join us in welcoming Kofi Boateng, the 2019 summer Global Health Initiative student intern. Kofi is a second year MPH student from Boston University School of Public Health, concentrating in healthcare management and global health, and will be working with GHI Director, Irini Albanti, DrPH, MPH, MA, and Persistent Productions on a health communications project. Kofi will be designing an impact assessment strategy for the How I Live documentary, a film about closing the global survival gap for childhood cancer. Kofi received his bachelor’s degree in global health from Lafayette College, where after graduating, he spent a year in Delhi, working on maternal and child health projects as a Fulbright Scholar. He is an aspiring physician with a passion toward improving awareness and outcomes of global health issues, such as pediatric oncology.
Meghan Shea, Mike Rogers, David Flood, and Fiona Chong, of Persistent Productions, and Irini Albanti, DrPH, MPH, MA, were interviewed on cancerPOINTE about How I Live, a global pediatric oncology documentary. Since 2014, the Global Health Initiative has worked closely on the development and creation of this film. Learn more about the documentary, and check out the podcast on the Global Health and Childhood Cancer website.
Irini Albanti of the GHI (holding sign), Meghan (curly hair to her right), and Mike (beard and pony tail behind them) pose with some of the production team in Egypt.
During a decade of treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston
Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Matt Shea enjoyed bringing love
and laughter to younger patients as a volunteer in the Jimmy Fund Clinic. Now,
five years after his death at age 27, Matt’s sister and brother-in-law – in
partnership with the Global
Health Initiative (GHI) at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s – have
created a project they hope will honor his memory and give pediatric cancer patients
worldwide better chances at survival.
Meghan Shea and her husband, Mike Rogers, are codirectors of
How I Live, a 90-minute documentary
film that chronicles the experiences of children living with cancer in
countries with limited resources.
Set to be released in early 2019 by Shea’ and Rogers’
company, Persistent Productions, How I
Live was filmed at GHI partner sites in Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana,
Guatemala, and Myanmar. All are low- or middle-income countries (LMICs), a
distinct disadvantage for young patients when considering these
The film’s goal, Shea says, is to change that.
“I like to say the film is biased toward hope,” adds Shea,
whose team spent a year with the GHI team researching the subject before
filming. “The people and places we profiled were very active in changing
survival statistics. We hope by screening it globally, we’ll have people
saying, ‘Look at these different models that have worked; maybe one can work
more about the How I Live documentary.
Director of the Global Health Initiative Irini Albanti (left) with MPH students, Faith Makka and Becky Lee, and Hesham Dinana, at Children's Cancer Hospital 57357 in Cairo, Egypt, where they studied the planning process for a site expansion.
Practicums, required of all MPH students at the Harvard T. H. Chan
School of Public Health and Boston University School of Public Health, are
opportunities to apply lessons from the classroom to real-world needs. Since
2013, more than 20 students at the two schools have been able to perform their
practicums in the field of pediatric oncology through a partnership with the Global Health Initiative (GHI) of the
Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
"The practicum program is an important way for the GHI to
connect with the academic community and help educate future leaders in global
health," says Irini Albanti, DrPH, MPH, MA, director of
the GHI, who serves as preceptor for practicums in pediatric oncology. "It
gives MPH students an opportunity to interact with leadership teams at
hospitals and clinical centers overseas, and learn what it’s like to build a
program here and abroad."
Practicums are structured as year-long research projects.
Working with Albanti, students use business, quality improvement, and public
health approaches to design and implement projects. They present their findings
at a research seminar at the end of the spring semester and at major
While many of the students are physicians or medical students,
others come from fields such as law, business, or regulatory policymaking. The
sites where practicums take place are hospitals and other institutions with
which the GHI has long-standing relationships. Research opportunities have included:
Such projects form a key part of students' education in public
health. "Our students are seeking opportunities for innovation and impact
in diverse global settings, and GHI offers them an opportunity to build their
professional skillset,” says Stacey King, assistant director of MPH field
practice at the Harvard T.H. Chan School. “This is the kind of work that many
of our students aspire to in their careers, particularly those interested in
global health and health policy and management."
Irini Albanti, DrPH, MPH, MA, Director of the GHI, has been mentoring Erin McCann, MD, MPH on the design and implementation of a qualitative study to explore educational needs and communication preferences of families following a diagnosis of cancer in their child. The main goal of this research project was to study the specific questions that parents and caregivers have during the first days of diagnosis and their preferred method of communication such as print, electronic, or other media platforms. Erin started working with the GHI in fall 2016 as part of her Master of Public Health practicum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and has traveled to Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico and Panama to conduct on-site interviews and focus groups with families, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders. “It is eye-opening to see how eager families are to learn more about their child’s diagnosis and understand how the disease process will affect their entire family. It's inspiring to see the robust educational initiatives that exist at each hospital despite limited resources and personnel”, noted Erin. Results showed that although each country demonstrated slightly different educational needs, families prefer an audiovisual tool that explains topics such as what is cancer, how to provide emotional support for the siblings and family members, and nutrition. The next phase of this project will involve working with Persistent Productions to develop an audiovisual tool that is relevant for each site.
The GHI was excited to host the second group of observers from Beijing Children's Hospital. Two pediatric oncologists/hematologists and one pediatric oncology surgeon spent eight weeks at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in March and April 2018 as part of the GHI Observership Program. The observers completed rotations on clinical services, participated in lectures individually tailored to their learning objectives, and received training on clinical research.
The 2017 fall session of the GLOBE Program (Pediatrics Global Oncology and Blood Disorders Education) started on October 16th and will run through November 17th, 2017. Five physicians and one nurse were selected to participate and will rotate in the services of Solid Tumors, Stem Cell Transplant, Hematology and Hematological Malignancies.
Please join us in welcoming:
Arifa Khalid, MD from PakistanPediatric Hematologist/OncologistObservership dates: October 16 - November 17, 2017
Naeem Jabbar, MD from PakistanPediatric Hematologist/OncologistObservership dates: October 16 - November 17, 2017
Payal Malhotra, MD from IndiaPediatric Hematologist/OncologistObservership dates: October 16 - November 17, 2017
Nirmalya Pradhan, MD from IndiaPediatric Hematologist/OncologistObservership dates: October 16 - November 17, 2017
Hasanein Ghali, MD from IraqPediatric Hematologist/OncologistObservership dates: October 16 - November 17, 2017
Rehana Punjwani, RN from PakistanHead NurseObservership dates: October 16 - November 17, 2017
The GHI is happy to be chosen once again as the charity of choice for the Pentax-Discuss Mail List (PDML) Photo Annual 2017! The PDML is a photography email list that has been in operation since the mid-1990's. Participants from all over the world use the PDML to discuss photography, cameras and lenses, and related topics. Since 2009 the PDML has published an annual book to showcase members' work and donated the profits to charity. Mark Roberts, PDML Editor stated that “The Global Health Initiative was chosen as the charity for the PDML Photo Annual to support because, having members from all over the world, we wanted to give to an organization with international reach. The reputation of Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber, and their location here in Boston where the book is edited and assembled made GHI a natural choice.”Learn more about the PDML Photo Annual
The Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s partnership with the 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt continues this summer with our third group of visiting fellows. Five fellows started on July 3 and will be rotating through August 11. The five fellows will observe on services (Neuro-oncology, Stem Cell Transplant, Benign Hematology and Infectious Diseases), attend lectures, and participate in skills building workshops.
The 2017 spring session of the GLOBE Program (Pediatrics Global Oncology and Blood Disorders Education) started on May 1st and will run through June 23rd, 2017. Four physicians and two nurses were selected to participate and will rotate in the services of Solid Tumors, Stem Cell Transplant, Hematology and Hematological Malignancies.
GLOBE Physican Scholars
Albena Muchinova, MD from BulgariaPediatric Hematologist/OncologistTsaritsa Yoanna Children’s Hospital Observership dates: May 1 - June 23, 2017
Akm (Reza) Karim, MD from BangladeshPediatric Hematologist/OncologistChittagong Medical College and HospitalObservership dates: May 1 – May 26, 2017
Ebun Toluwani Babalola, NPNCM from NigeriaPediatric Hematologist/OncologistObafemi Awolowo University Teaching HospitalObservership dates: May 29 – June 23, 2017
Alexis Manirakiza, MD from RwandaPediatric Hematologist/OncologistButaro HospitalObservership dates: May 29 – June 23, 2017
GLOBE Nurse Scholars
Enyo Bosumprah, RN from GhanaPrincipal Nursing OfficerKorle-Bu Teaching HospitalObservership dates: May 29 – June 23, 2017
Nvard Hovhannisyan, RN from ArmeniaHead NurseClinic of Chemotherapy of “Muratsan” Hospital ComplexObservership dates: May 29 – June 23, 2017
The GHI was excited to host the first two observers from Beijing Children’s Hospital. Dr. Jing Yang and Dr. Yanlong Duan, two senior pediatric oncologists/hematologists, spent eight weeks at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in February and March 2017 as part of the GHI Observership Program.
Dr. Yang and Dr. Duan completed clinical rotations on hematologic malignancies and stem cell transplant services, and participated in lectures individually tailored to their learning objectives on immunotherapy, Phase 1 Trials, and clinical research. In addition, as part of their scholarly experiences, the two observers were trained in journal article reading and analysis skills, and then gave a journal club talk to our faculty. They also attended the following educational activities: BMT Conferences, Solid Tumor Conferences, Responsible Conduct of Research course, Six Sigma Training, Symposium on approaches towards Precision Cancer Medicine, and lectures on Survivorship and Quality.
At the end of their observership, both observers were able to identify key differences in practice between their home institution and DF/BC regarding teamwork, patients’ intake process, technologies used, and family education. Dr. Yang and Dr. Duan left with ideas on concrete activities and processes they would like to work on, transfer, and implement back home at Beijing Children’s Hospital to improve care for children with cancer and blood disorders.
During 2016, we:
GHI student interns from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Nkemjika Ugonabo and Omar Elmadhoun received the 2016 Gareth Green Award at Harvard Chan School for their practicum project entitled “New Patient Process Documentation at Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt and Recommendations for Improvement”. The Green Award recognizes achievement in public health practice and awarded students embody qualities of dedication, dignity, and vision. The projects are recognized for their contribution to the improvement of the health of a defined population and make a significant contribution to the work of the organization, agency, or community in which it is being conducted. Nkem and Omar spent seven months under the mentorship of our Global Health Initiative Director, Irini Albanti, and three weeks at the hospital in Cairo as part of their practicum. Learn more.
The fall session of the GLOBE (Pediatrics Global Oncology and Blood Disorders Education) program started on October 17th, 2016 and will run through December 16th, 2016. Five physicians and two nurses were selected to participate and will rotate in the services of Solid Tumors, Stem Cell Transplant, Hematology and Hematological Malignancies.
Achille Manurakiza, MBBS, from RwandaClinical Oncology ResidentMuhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, TanzaniaObservership dates: October 17-November 11, 2016
Liana Safaryan, MD, from ArmeniaGeneral OncologistMuratsan University Hospital, Yerevan, ArmeniaObservership dates: October 17-November 11, 2016
Jelena Lazic, MD, from SerbiaPediatric OncologistUniversity Children’s Hospital, Belgrade, SerbiaObservership dates: October 17- December 9, 2016
Serena Tripodi, MD, from ItalyPediatric Hematology ResidentUniversity of Brescia, Department of Pediatrics, Brescia, ItalyObservership dates: October 17-December 9, 2016
Aruna Rajendran, MD, from IndiaPediatric OncologistSri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, IndiaObservership dates: November 21-December 16, 2016
Jean Bosco Bigirimana, BSN, from RwandaOncology Program CoordinatorPartners in Health, Rwinkwavu and Butaro, RwandaObservership dates: October 17-December 9, 2016
Yester Nazaretyan, BSN, from ArmeniaOncology NurseMuratsan University Hospital, Yerevan, ArmeniaObservership dates: October 17-December 9, 2016
Please join us in welcoming the 2016-2017 GHI student interns! This academic year, we are hosting four MPH students from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health who will work closely with Irini Albanti, MPH, MA, GHI Director, on the following three global health projects as part of their practicum requirement:
Nitin ShrivastavaNitin is a medical student at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is currently pursuing his MPH in Health Management at Harvard Chan. He plans on specializing in pediatrics and is interested in twinning programs between pediatric cancer institutions in the U.S. and abroad. He has experience working with the GHI to improve early detection of retinoblastoma in Guatemala. He is working on the GHI practicum project on financial planning for pediatric oncology hospitals in low-resource countries examining the case of Georgia and Guatemala.
Faith MakkaFaith is a nurse practitioner currently pursuing her MPH in Health Management at Harvard Chan. She is interested in health systems strengthening, primarily in rural areas and developing countries. She has worked in rural India studying community-based models for sustainable health care. She has spent the past few years working in rural New Mexico and Texas as a hospitalist nurse practitioner. She is working on the GHI practicum project on the expansion strategic planning process examining the case of 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt.
Becky LeeBecky is a medical student at UCLA and is currently pursuing her MPH in Global Health and Population at Harvard Chan. She is planning to specialize in oncology and is interested in global access to cancer care. She has worked with HIV clinics in Vietnam and has spent time in rural primary care clinics in Costa Rica and Panama. She is working on the GHI practicum project on the expansion strategic planning process examining the case of 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt.
Erin AtwoodErin is a medical student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and is currently pursuing her MPH in Global Health at Harvard Chan. She is planning to specialize in pediatrics and is interested in working to reduce health inequities for the pediatric Hispanic population, both domestically and abroad. Before medical school, she spent a year in Peru studying early communication in children with disabilities, and she has spent time in hospitals and clinics in Central and South America. She is working on the GHI practicum project on family and community health education outreach in Central America and Mexico.
About the Harvard Chan practicum: Please visit the Harvard Chan School's website to learn more about the Harvard Chan practicum.
Left to right: Ahmed Abdelfattah, Grace Mbatia, Mariam El Sherif, GHI Director Irini Albanti, Noura Maarouf and Waleed Said
The Dana Farber/Boston Children’s partnership with the 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt continues this Fall with our second group of fellows. Five fellows will start on September 7 and will be rotating through October 14, 2016. The five fellows will rotate in the services of Solid Tumors, Neuro-oncology, Stem Cell Transplant, Benign Hematology and Hematological Malignancies.
July 18, 2016
GHI Staff (Irini Albanti and Allison Ripley) with the 57357 fellows: Drs. Hisham Moneib, Ahmed Mahdy, Ahmed Emad and Mohamed Mustefa
The Dana Farber/Boston Children’s partnership with 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt (CCHE) continues this summer with our first group of Fellows. The four 57357 fellows started their observership on July 18 and will be rotating through August 26, 2016. They will rotate in the services of Solid Tumors, Neuro-oncology, Stem Cell Transplant and Hematological Malignancies.
The Global Oncology Fellowship Program is a formal partnership between Dana Farber/Boston Children’s and CCHE that has existed since 2012. This collaborative project creates a post-doctoral pediatric oncology training program for physicians from all over the Middle East and North Africa, including Ethiopia. The 30-month fellowship program, based primarily at CCHE in Cairo, includes onsite and online training sessions from Dana Farber/Boston Children’s faculty, clinical assignments, mentoring, research projects co-supervised by Dana-Farber/CCHE faculty, and live telemedicine lectures in Cairo. The fellowship also requires a 6-week session of training at Dana Farber/Boston Children’s in Boston where fellows shadow Dana Farber/Boston Children’s faculty as they treat and diagnose patients, attend training and lectures with our Dana Farber/Boston Children’s fellows and receive one-on-one mentoring from our world-renowned physicians.
July 8, 2016
The Three Spring GLOBE Scholars
It was a pleasure hosting our Spring Pediatrics Global Oncologyand Blood Disorders Education Program (GLOBE) Scholars! Three physicians from Nigeria, Kenya and India spent 8 weeks week us from May 16th until July 8th and rotated in the services of Solid Tumors, Neuro-oncology, Hematology and Hematological Malignancies.
Drs. Jaspreet Gharial from Kenya, Saroj Panda from India, and Olufemi Adefehinti from Nigeria , had the opportunity to observe on rounds, attend conferences and give presentations on their GLOBE experience and efforts to advance pediatric oncology and hematology in their countries. Upon departure, Dr. Jaspreet Gharial wanted to share these thoughts with our Faculty and Staff: “William Ward once said, ‘The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates and the great teachers inspires.’ Thank you for inspiring us.”
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