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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the 60th Mayor of Atlanta

Written by Vanessa Beltran

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States is approaching 200,000 per day. News outlets repeatedly report cities and towns that shatter the case record yet again. As the Color of Coronavirus project demonstrates, the communities impacted by the highest COVID-19 cases and death rates are Black, Indigenous, and Latinx. While the pandemic re-exposed long-existing health inequities, continued police violence against, and murders of, Black Americans also reinforced the reality of oppression embedded within U.S. culture and institutions. …


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Sandra L. Fenwick, Chief Executive Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital

By Radhika Tampi

Much of the recent conversation surrounding children and COVID-19 has focused on school reopenings and whether children are responsible for transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to adults. But why have the media considered them only as vectors of disease? What about the effects of COVID-19 on children themselves? Speaking to the myriad health, economic, and social consequences of coronavirus on children and their families, Sandra L. Fenwick, CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital, shared her insight with the Voices in Leadership program on Tuesday, September 29, 2020.

Boston Children’s Hospital is ranked the number one pediatric hospital in the United States and is the leading recipient of pediatric research funding from the National Institutes for Health. As one of only 30 freestanding children’s hospitals in the country, it plays an outsized role in setting standards for pediatric care throughout the U.S. Decisions made by the hospital’s leadership could provide useful examples for other hospitals around the preparedness measures and innovative thought processes required to stay afloat and support local communities through future crises. …


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Patrick L. Deval, 71st Governor of Massachusetts

By Ayah Mohammed Hamdan

“How should we try to understand the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and Brown populations?” In commencing the dissection of this complex, sobering topic, Governor Patrick Deval, the 71st Governor of Massachusetts uplifts the basic, foundational public health issues: generational housing insecurity, financial impoverishment, education inequities, social determinants of health, and the rejection of (the somehow still commonly-believed myth of) racial essentialism.

Interviewed by Dr. Sara Bleich, Professor of Public Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Governor Deval shed light on the relationship between public health and police brutality against Black people in the United States. He also offered an assessment of how to leverage the increased visibility of the harms of police violence, furthered by the protests uplifting calls for social change and justice, after the murders of several Black people during the COVID-19 pandemic. …


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Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the 54th Mayor of the City of Boston.

By Elizabeth Alpert

On June 24, 2020, the Voices in Leadership discussion between Mayor Marty Walsh and Dr. Michelle Williams spotlighted the role of leadership during a global pandemic and national reckoning with systemic racism. Mayor Walsh, the 54th Mayor of the City of Boston, declared racism to be an emergency and public health crisis in early June. Dr. Williams is Dean of the Faculty and Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and has authored multiple articles on racism as a public health issue. …


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Michelle A. Williams, SM ’88, ScD ’91, Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development (Left), and Jeffrey R. Sánchez, former Massachusetts state representative and lecturer at Harvard Chan (Right).

By Mahaa M. Ahmed

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of nearly 180,000 people in the United States. As the pandemic rages on, it has magnified the vast inequities that exist in our world. Early observations coupled with narratives from healthcare workers indicated that Black and Latinx individuals were being affected by COVID-19 at alarmingly higher rates. An overview of the racial inequities of the pandemic only further echoes this and finds that Black and Latinx people are at greater risk of contracting coronavirus than white people due to systemic conditions that have created environments where COVID-19 can spread. In the midst of the present pandemic, the public consciousness of those in the United States and around the world has been captured by the murders of Black people by the police. …


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Dr. Karl Lauterbach, Professor of Health Economics and Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Cologne in Germany, Member of the Deutsche Bundestag, and adjunct professor of Health Policy and Management.

by Miranda So

The current COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every country since it was first reported in China last December. Globally, the number of cases has surpassed 18 million, with a cumulative death toll of 700,000 as of August 4, 2020. Germany’s approach to handling this public health crisis has been hailed as one of the most successful. Thus far, it has largely managed to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2. By June 1, 2020 it had recorded 181,815 cases and 8,511 deaths. Germany’s mortality rate is among the lowest in Europe and the world, estimated at 11.1 deaths per 100,000 population (current as of Aug 12, 2020). …


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Dr. Patricia J. García, Research Professor at the School of Public Health at Cayetano Heredia University (UPCH) in Lima, Peru and former Minister of Health of Peru (2016–2017)

By Anshu Shroff

Perú has the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Latin America. This is despite the fact that the country was the first in the region to order a lockdown and roll out economic packages to its citizens. Its socio-economic context has played a significant role in its setbacks, despite good leadership and a great start.

Dr. Patricia J. García, Perú’s former minister of health and a global leader on public health issues, currently chairs a commission that advises the health ministry on technological innovations to COVID-19 responses. She works with 16 scientists, molecular biologists, and engineers to advise the Peruvian government on the current pandemic. On May 21st, 2020, she spoke to the audience of Voices in Leadership at the Harvard T.H. …


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Dr. Subramaniam Sathasivam, Malaysian Minister of Health (2013–2018) and Minister of Human Resources of Malaysia (2008–2013)

By Kristina Lyons

Not too long ago, protests in the wake of the murder of more Black Americans by the U.S. police dominated news headlines, while the COVID-19 pandemic carried on, reaching record highs of global daily tallies of cases. Many communities around the world, already challenged with finding a balance between public health and economic interests as stay-at-home restrictions eased, have faced attempts to curtail the spread of COVID-19 while holding governments and their actors accountable via the right to protest. …


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Dr. Stephanie Ferguson, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP, Founder, CEO, and President of Stephanie L. Ferguson & Associates, LLC.

By Harika Dasari

Content Note: This article includes mention of suicide.

Dr. Stephanie Ferguson is a global health care consultant with over 35 years of experience in designing, executing, and evaluating public health strategic plans and programs. A visiting fellow at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, she previously joined us in the Leadership Studio in December 2019. Throughout her career, Dr. Ferguson has served as a technical advisor and consultant for the World Health Organization and the International Council of Nurses, as well as past president of the White House Fellows Foundation. She is currently the founder and CEO of Stephanie L. …


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Dr. Fadlo Khuri, 16th Presiden­­t of the American University of Beirut (AUB) and professor of medicine (hematology and medical oncology) at the Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center, visited the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as part of the Voices in Leadership series. (Photo by Lisa Abitbol / Harvard Chan School)

By Meg Salvia

In the midst of political and economic turbulence, Lebanon is navigating the challenges of serving as a refuge for Syrians fleeing the violence that began in 2011 and has continued through the decade. As the president of the American University of Beirut (AUB), Dr. Fadlo Khuri has stepped into a leadership role on national and global levels, balancing the goals of fostering a rigorous program of study for the college’s civically-minded student body and advocating for action and policies at the government level. On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, Dr. Howard Koh sat down with Dr. …

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Voices in Leadership

Voices in Leadership webcast series enhances leadership, connecting high-profile leaders with the Harvard School of Public Health community. hsph.me/voices

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