FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OSCAR A. CABRERA
It has been a busy month for the O'Neill Institute! As highlighted below, National HIV/AIDS Program Director, Jeffrey Crowley, and Associate, Sean Bland, hosted two convening meetings for the Ryan White Policy Project. The institute also continued to foster collaboration with universities and institutions in Mexico City during a trip led by our Global Health Law LL.M. Program Director, Ana Ayala. Our Faculty Director, Lawrence Gostin, represented the institute at several meetings including two organized by the World Health Organization and the World Bank. We also wished our LL.M. class of 2016 congratulations and goodbye for now at our annual farewell luncheon. Take a closer look at these highlights and more below!
Moving forward, we look forward to a productive summer with several important events including the Vote Food 2016 conference, Health Privacy Summit, and the Global School Health Rights Litigation Course. Stay tuned!
O'NEILL INSTITUTE PROFILES: MEET ANNA ROBERTS
We continue our profile series about our associates, fellows and faculty as described “in their own words.” In this edition, meet Law Fellow Anna Roberts. Anna holds a Master in International Public Health and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Sydney, Australia and a Bachelor of Arts, Psychology from Furman University, South Carolina.
OI: When did you first realize that a career at the intersection of public health and law was a good fit for you?
I am originally from Tennessee, but have had the opportunities to live and work in several different countries and with a wide variety of populations including refugees, sex workers, people who inject drugs, ethnic minorities and people with highly stigmatized medical conditions. Working with these groups is a constant reminder of the significance of the role of law and the impact of law and policy not just on public health, but on the direct health of individuals. The first time I ever saw the impact this can have on individuals and families was when my cousin contracted HIV in the late 1980s. He lived in small town Tennessee and the community had never known an HIV positive person. The legal/policy frameworks that exist today to support positive people, simply didn’t exist at that time and the lack of knowledge within the medical and general community meant that he faced a significant amount of stigma. He passed away from AIDS related conditions after a long struggle to live life in the face of fear, misunderstanding and non-existent protections. His experience was a jumping off point for me to try and find ways to encourage community, knowledge and understanding within both health and law.
OI: What was your path to the O’Neill Institute?
When I finished my undergraduate degree in psychology, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on career-wise and decided to get out and try some new things. I was in the Peace Corps for 2 and a half years and then worked in Uganda with a development organization. Through the course of these two contracts, I saw the ways that public health was directly affected by marginalization and systemic failures to support certain populations in a community. I became passionate about learning ways to create an environments where people could have more control over their own health, particularly around disease prevention. I did my Masters in International Public Health and then went straight into my Law Degree, both at the University of Sydney in Australia. While doing my Law Degree, I worked as a researcher at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center based at the University of New South Wales on the Global Burden of Disease Project and the UN Reference Group on HIV and Injecting Drug Use.
When I completed my law degree, I went to work for Legal Aid New South Wales in the Civil Law Division and spent the majority of my time as a solicitor in their Human Rights practice. I left Legal Aid to take up the Deputy CEO role at the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM), the peak NGO for medical professionals working in HIV, viral hepatitis and sexual health, where I was engaged in federal and state level policy and education. ASHM was the scientific partner for the 2014 World AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia and it was there, during a talk by Mark Dybul, that I first heard of the O'Neill Institute and went on to apply for a Fellowship position. I moved back to the US after 13 years (and dual citizenship to Australia) in September 2015 to take up my current role.
Read Anna's full Q&A here.
SELECTED O'NEILL INSTITUTE UPDATES
On May 22, our 2016 Global Health Law LL.M. students will be graduating. We celebrate them and their hard work over the past year. We wish them all the very best!
On May 12 and May 18, Jeffrey Crowley and Sean Bland convened expert stakeholder meetings as a part of the Ryan White Policy Project. These meetings, sponsored by Gilead Sciences, focused on enhancing funding equity within the program.
On May 2-3, Oscar Cabrera, representing the O’Neill Institute (a core group member of the Georgetown Initiative for US-China Dialogue on Global Issues), participated in two days of expert discussions on critical issues at the intersection of migration and global health
On April 28-29, Jeffrey Crowley participated in and presented at a Gilead Consumer Advisory Board Meeting in San Francisco, CA on recent progress over the past three years to implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
On April 21, the institute hosted Mark Heywood, Executive Director of the renowned South African human rights organization SECTION27. He recounted the important work that organizations like SECTION27 and Treatment Action Campaign have been doing to promote health in South Africa through the use of human rights.
On April 18, Jeffrey Crowley participated in a Ryan White Care Continuum Learning Collaborative Advisory Call, a project of Abt Associates on behalf of the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau.
On April 14-15, Lawrence O. Gostin presented at the Universal Health Coverage Annual Financing Forum, organized by the World Bank.
On April 14, Ana Ayala and Fernanda Alonso visited Mexico City and Puebla to meet with O'Neill Institute partners and explore collaborating with universities such as Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Universidad de las Américas Puebla and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México.
On April 13-14, Lawrence O. Gostin spoke at Out of the Shadows: Making Mental Health a Global Priority, a collaboration between the World Bank and the World Health Organization.
Gostin LO, Tomori O, Wibulpolprasert S, Jha AK, Frenk J, Moon S, et al. (2016) Toward a Common Secure Future: Four Global Commissions in the Wake of Ebola. PLoS Med 13(5): e1002042.
Lawrence O. Gostin, Daniel Hougendobler, and Anna E. Roberts, "American Public Health Law," The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Healthcare Law, May 2016.
Lawrence O. Gostin and Rebecca Katz, The International Health Regulations: The Governing Framework for Global Health Security, 94 (2) Milbank Quart. 264-313 (2016).
Daniel Lucey and Lawrence O. Gostin, A Yellow Fever Epidemic: A New Global Health Emergency? JAMA, published on line May 9, 2016.
Gostin, Lawrence O., “The FDA’s E-Cigarette Rule Isn’t Enough: Tougher measures are needed to truly limit tobacco use and save millions of lives,” U.S. News & World Report, May 6, 2016
Eric A. Friedman and Lawrence O. Gostin, "The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Achieving the Vision of Global Health with Justice," Georgetown Public Policy Review, Spring 2016.