Q&A with Emmanual Bua, a surgeon working in Uganda and 2021–2023 HEAL Fellow

Emmanual Bua is a 2021–2023 HEAL Fellow from Lira, a district in northern Uganda. After his medical training in surgery, he moved 3 hours south, to Mbale, Uganda where he is currently a registrar in surgery at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital.

Mbale Regional is a major teaching hospital at Busemita University, and is a recent and valued addition to HEAL’s international partners sites. HEAL partner sites are hospitals and community programs that prioritize delivering holistic and equity based health programs to the most marginalized across 9 countries.

In July of 2021, Emmanual will begin a 2-year journey as a…

Q&A with Bronwyn Smith, clinical pharmacist and 2021–2023 HEAL Fellow

Bronwyn Smith is a 2021–2023 HEAL Fellow from LeChee, Arizona, a mountain city in the northwest corner of the Navajo Reservation. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy at Roseman University of Health Sciences in 2017 and went on to complete a PGY-1 pharmacy residency with Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC) in Tuba City, Arizona. Prior to receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering at Arizona State University.

Today, she is clinical pharmacist working at TCRHCC where she serves her Navajo community as a diabetes management provider and works alongside…

Q&A with Dr. Zena Salim, 2021–2023 HEAL Fellow on what ignited her passion in medicine and advocacy.

Dr. Zena Salim is a 2021–2023 HEAL Rotating Fellow originally from Kenya and currently located in Oakland, California where she works at Kaiser Permanente.

Why is health equity so important to you?

I’m from Kenya, and so that played a huge role into my passion for health equity. My extended family is still in Kenya and growing up we had a pretty close relationship. Once I got to high school, I started to experience a lot of death and loss in my family of people that I really loved. …

Welcoming the 7th cohort of international leaders in health equity to the HEAL Initiative

Each July, the HEAL Initiative welcomes a cohort of fellows into our growing community of now over 170 healthcare workers worldwide. This year’s cohort has 22 fellows from North America, Central America and Africa. Together, they will spend the next 2-years building their leadership and advocacy skills through HEAL’s intensive curriculum and immersive trainings, building their capacity to address some of the most urgent issues in global health.

The cohort includes seven domestic site fellows that are from farm worker communities in Central California or are Indigenous People working in health centers across Navajo Nation. Seven international site fellows that…

Written by James Jackson

I donated my kidney 8 years ago. Until recently, I resolved not to talk about my donation for fear of benefiting socially or professionally as a result. I am now writing openly in hopes of bringing attention to an ongoing crisis and to advocate for change.

March 11th is World Kidney Day. Kidney failure, kidney transplant and kidney donation bring together some of the most important issues of our time. The same dynamics of racial injustice, financial inequality, and exploitation are deeply seeded in end-stage renal disease.

While Black people make up about 13% of the population, they account for…

Reflections from working on Navajo Nation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Written by Robin Tittle

As I return from 2 weeks working in a hospital at the edge of Navajo Nation, a few reflections keep pushing their way to the surface. Up until now, I’ve tried to keep my trip relatively quiet. Not because it hasn’t been an incredibly meaningful and moving experience but because I know, inevitably, the narrative gets turned into a savior frame. The story becomes about me and how good and kind and selfless I must be to come to a poor and needy community to treat patients. …

Originally posted on March 11, 2020 in BMJ Global Health.

Authored by HEAL Alumni Anup Agarwal, Nadra Crawford, Viet Nguyen, and Andrea Walker


Global health, once an obscure field of practice and research, is rapidly gaining prominence. Many training institutions have responded to the high demand for a global health “experience” by providing short-term forays into exotic locales. This phenomenon can be dangerous, feeding into what writer Teju Cole described as the White Savior Industrial Complex (WSIC). Teju Cole notes that WSIC is “not about justice.” Rather, “it is about a big emotional experience that validates privilege.” The term “white…

Authored By Dr. Tula Krishna Gupta, HEAL Fellow 2019–2021

Originally published on April 9, 2020 in The Himalayan Times.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for communities across the globe. It has perpetrated a level of anxiety in all populations, which has led to stigma towards certain people — especially Asian Americans in the US. The current outbreak has provoked stigma in Nepal as well. Health care workers, COVID-19 patients or suspects, and people who have returned home from abroad are having to face these stigmas.

A few days back, an adult male presented himself in our fever clinic at…

In a Chhattisgarh hospital, patients bear the brunt of the poorly planned COVID lockdown

Authored by Yogesh Jain and Naman Shah.

Originally published on March 28, 2020 in The Caravan.

This is the first piece in a series titled “The Rural Front Line,” by Yogesh Jain and Naman Shah, about the COVID-19 pandemic. Jain and Shah are both doctors working with Jan Swasthya Sahyog, a public-health initiative based in rural Chhattisgarh. Over the course of the series, they will address the issues they witness on the ground while dealing with the virus, and discuss how policy decisions affect the lives of India’s rural residents.

Jan Swasthya Sahyog, Bilaspur. Photo by Rohit Pansare, 2016.

On the first day of a three-week nationwide lockdown, Jan…

Long before coronavirus came along a rural Nepal hospital has been battling a pre-existing public health crisis

Authored by Bikash Gauchan, HEAL Alum.

Originally published here on March 31, 2020 in The Nepali Times.

At time of writing at noon on 21 March there were 785,855 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world, and 37,826 fatalities in just three months.

The speed of spread and the size of population and geography affected is unprecedented in human history, after it spread from Wuhan in December.

Nepal was actually only the fifth country to report its first case of COVID-19 in a student who came from Wuhan. …

HEAL Initiative

Health, Equity, Action & Leadership: Training healthcare providers and global change-makers in Navajo Nation, Haiti, Liberia, India, Nepal, Malawi & Mexico.

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