Stories about: Global Health

Caring for children around the world

A doctor holds a stethoscope to a globe

At Boston Children’s Hospital, we believe that all children deserve the same opportunity to live a healthy life, no matter where they are born. Boston Children’s Global Health Program helps solve pediatric global health care challenges by transferring our expertise through long-term partnerships with scalable impact.

Here are just a few examples of the ongoing work our cardiac clinicians are involved in to care for children around the world. …Read More

In Myanmar, oncology expertise travels from nurse to nurse

Image of global health team with nurses in Myanmar Through the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Global Health Initiative and World Child Cancer, oncology nurse Amy Federico, RN, CPNP, had the opportunity to travel to Yangon, Myanmar, to share her oncology expertise with the staff at Yangon Children’s Hospital. Amy’s interest in global health began eight years ago, but the trip to Myanmar in October 2017 strengthened her commitment to share her knowledge across borders. Amy, who is a nurse practitioner specializing in care of patients with solid tumors at the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, reflects on her experience abroad:

My interest in global health care has developed over the past eight years since I started attending the Society of International Oncology Pediatric annual conferences. So when Lisa Morrissey, MPH, MSN, RN, CPHON, asked me to join her and Kathryn Barrandon, MPH, BSN, CPN, on an educational trip to Myanmar, I enthusiastically accepted.

One of the pediatric oncologists at Yangon Children’s Hospital requested solid tumor nursing education so I knew this would be a wonderful opportunity to share my years of oncology experience, especially my expertise in caring for patients with solid tumors. The experience would also give me a better global perspective of health care delivery in another part of the world.

On October 27, we set off on our 22-hour, three-leg, 8,300-mile journey from Boston to Yangon. I realize now, more than ever, that access to health care depends upon where you are born and where you live.

The day after our arrival, Lisa, Katie and I toured the oncology ward. I was astounded by the overly crowded — yet oddly quiet — patient bays, ill-looking children and desperate-yet-hopeful parents. Occasionally, a parent or patient would poke his or her head out a door or up to a window, curious about the three of us visitors. Admittedly, I was saddened by the environment.

The next day, I was relieved when we returned and were greeted by 32 energetic and excited nurses from nine hospitals across four Myanmar states. In addition to providing oncology education, our goals were to advocate for specialty nursing practice and to provide collegial support to conference attendees. …Read More

Improving child health delivery worldwide

Drs. Lovejoy and Niescierenko are committed to global health efforts

Boston Children’s Hospital is a dynamic and compassionate community of caregivers, many of whom have worked independently to provide quality care to children and families all over the world. With the formalization of the Global Health Program at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2014, we have expanded our global reach exponentially. Then and now, our mission has always been the same: to improve child health delivery worldwide by sharing the expertise and training of our world class pediatric team.

As the world is increasingly globalized — with commerce, economies, and international travel progressively linking us — it is now more important than ever to focus on global health. We support faculty and staff who work everywhere from the U.S. to Laos, from Tanzania to Nepal; ensuring the innovative and quality care of Boston Children’s is felt globally. …Read More

Noteworthy: B. Heidi Ellis, PhD, honored for pioneering work with refugee children

Caring for refugee children

Refugee children and teens are an especially vulnerable population. Many of them experience trauma, either in war-torn home countries or during flight. And when they arrive in the U.S., refugee families continue to face stressors that make healthy adjustment difficult, including poverty and discrimination. These and other stressors can contribute to mental health issues, and cultural barriers, stigma and a lack of knowledge about mental health services make these issues harder to treat.

In partnership with refugee communities and agencies, Boston Children’s Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center (RTRC), under the guidance of Director, B. Heidi Ellis, PhD, develops prevention and intervention programs, conducts research, and develops resources to assist refugee families and providers serving refugee populations. RTRC staff regularly provide training and consultation on refugee youth mental health across the country, reaching more than 850 providers in the past six months.

In recognition of her pioneering work with refugee children and teens, Ellis was awarded Boston Children’s 2017 David S. Weiner Award for Leadership and Innovation in Child Health — an award honoring the exceptional work of an employee, health care provider or faculty. …Read More