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Global Health Advocate to Speak at Elms College Commencement

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced that global health leader Dr. Louise Ivers will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary degree at the 87th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 19.

Ivers is a longtime leader in global health, engaging in global policy and advocacy work to improve health equity. She currently serves as the executive director of the Center for Global Health at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and sits on the board of directors of the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, which is dedicated to providing essential health services to the people of Southern Haiti, especially the most vulnerable. Her work has focused on improving healthcare delivery in resource-poor settings and providing care to the poor in both rural and urban areas.

Previously, she was an associate physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and an associate professor of Global Health and Social Medicine and associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She also has served as a senior health and policy advisor to Partners in Health (PIH) as a member of the PIH executive leadership team, working to support the implementation of strategy across 10 countries. In addition to expanding access to healthcare for the poor, Ivers has contributed to published research articles on HIV/AIDS, food insecurity, and cholera treatment and prevention.

She has worked on healthcare delivery in India, Southeast Asia, and Africa. During her time as faculty at BWH, she was based in Haiti to serve as clinical director and then chief of mission for PIH Haiti. She led responses to the major earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and the subsequent cholera epidemic.

Ivers conducts independently funded research focused on barriers to healthcare delivery and the impact of food assistance on livelihoods of people living with HIV infection in rural Haiti. She is actively engaged in evaluating comprehensive responses to cholera.

She has served as an advisor to the World Health Organization, where she is currently a delegate to the WHO Global Task Force for Cholera Control, and the Haitian Ministry of Health. She has collaborated with the U.S. government, with EU multilateral non-governmental organizations, and with private industry partners.

In addition, Ivers mentors Haitian, American, and Irish physicians and students in global health implementation and research. She is the editor of a textbook on food insecurity and public health, and more than 50 peer-reviewed published papers and chapters on global health issues.

The Elms College commencement ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m., and the academic procession will begin at 9:30 a.m.

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