Project HMC Welcome

Since January 2007, Fundación VIHDA has completed 129,000 HIV tests of pregnant women who receive prenatal care and/or give birth at the Guayaquil Maternity Hospital and have detected 640 positive cases, which they have helped treat in collaboration with the Maternity Hospital and the Ministry of Health’s HIV program. All detected patients have received anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment prior to birth, c-section for delivery, and ARV treatment for the babies after birth. So far all pregnant women who underwent treatment in their program, and have given birth, have had HIV-free babies.

Project HMC is initiating collaborative efforts with Yale University organizational partners REMEDY, the Public Health Coalition, and UAID. Furthermore, I hope to begin working closely with Yale’s recently-founded Jackson Institute for Global Affairs to institutionalize Yale’s relationship with Las Guayas, Ecuador.
If you would like to support Project HMC, join the Yale- Ecuador HIV Mobile Clinic Team, or simply would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to contact me at


Sam Vesuna
Executive Director


Public Health Lunch with Elaine O’Keefe

Public Health Lunch with Elaine O’Keefe, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS Office of Community Health
Silliman Dining Annex
Friday, October 1

Meet Elaine O’Keefe, Executive Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS and the Office of Community Health at the Yale School of Public Health. She created the City’s first dedicated AIDS unit in the New Haven Health Department during the early days of the epidemic and was responsible for developing and managing a spectrum of HIV services .Elaine has held various state and national leadership positions. She is a former president of the CT Association of Directors of Health. Elaine has received various awards over the years for her contributions in the AIDS/HIV and broader public health practice milieu.

Gender Based Violence in Haiti

Six months after the earthquake in Haiti, we see a continued crisis of safety and security in the displacement camps that has exacerbated the already grave problem of sexual violence.

In May and June, delegations coordinated by the Lawyers’ Earthquake Response Network (LERN) traveled to Haiti to investigate the problem of rape and other gender-based violence in the camps. They found that women are being raped at an alarming rate—every day—in camps throughout Port-au-Prince. The Haitian Government, the UN and others in the international community have failed to adequately address the situation. Women, especially poor women, have been excluded from full participation and leadership in the relief effort.

IJDH, MADRE, TransAfrica Forum, and the Universities of Minnesota and Virginia law schools released yesterday this Report Our Bodies Are Still Trembling: Haitian Women’s Fight Against Rape in an effort to bring to light the crisis and guide governments, international organizations, and other stakeholders in providing for even more effective protection and promotion of women’s human rights in Haiti.

Gender-based violence  (GBV) or violence against women is a global public health and human rights problem. Please join me in sending this report to colleagues, students, and organizations. And please contribute your comments and public health expertise online to The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.


Samantha Diamond

Yale University

BA/MPH 2011

Unite for Sight Conference: Call for Abstracts

GH/Innovate 2011
Global Health & Innovation Conference
Presented by Unite For Sight, 8th Annual Conference
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Saturday, April 16 – Sunday, April 17, 2011

“A Meeting of Minds”–CNN

Unite For Sight’s must-attend, thought-leading conference convenes leaders, changemakers, and participants from all fields of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.  The conference convenes 2,200 people from all 50 states and from 50 countries.

Conference registration is now open. Register during July to secure the lowest registration rate. The registration rate increases after July.

Interested in presenting at the conference? We have two types of presentation opportunities.

  • Call For Abstracts: Do you have an abstract for oral or poster presentation?  Submit your abstract for presentation.  The first abstract deadline is August 15, 2010.  Complete details are on the conference website.
  • Call For Social Enterprise Pitches: Do you have an innovative idea or a new program in development?  Submit your idea for presentation.  Social enterprise pitches are accepted on a rolling application deadline, and the first quality pitches will be accepted for oral presentation.  When the social enterprise pitch spots are filled to capacity, applications will no longer be accepted.  See social enterprise pitch instructions on the conference website.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Jeffrey Sachs, PhD, Director of Earth Institute at Columbia University; Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University; Special Advisor to Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon

Sonia Ehrlich Sachs, MD, MPH, Director of Health, Millennium Village Project, Earth Institute at Columbia University

Graduation Speech

Congratulations my fellow Class of 2010!

See below the graduation speech delivered during the ceremony that left me feeling a bit unsatisfied, like I have a child with unfulfilled promise…

Artem Kopelev – Graduation Speech for the Yale School of Public Health


Good afternoon everyone and let me first say ‘surprise’ to my mom and family. It seems I can do anything because of your infinite love.

I am greatly honored to be able to speak here today, I do not particularly enjoy ceremonies but I do enjoy unique opportunities to say thank you to many people.  With that, on behalf of all of my classmates let me say that you our dearest parents, siblings, family and friends, enable us to do what we want to do. I’m sure we don’t express this enough, but our achievements are truly the extensions of your love and support. Without you along the way a lot of this would lose meaning.

Class of 2010, hello and congratulations, it looks like we’ve completed our masters training. But as all education should be a lifelong journey, we have a lot of work ahead of us. This journey requires that we all ask ourselves: what does public health really mean to me? Apart from finding pictures of infectious diseases exciting and learning how to program in SAS, it is improving the health of the public. It means to act as voices for the interests of people, of everyone around us, to make their lives a little easier, happier, and healthier. It is to speak up for those who are silent and help those who are in their most vulnerable moments in life. It means to research and develop better medicines but also deliver them to every individual who needs them. Our success will be judged by people’s conditions in our local, national and international communities.

We come to public health for many reasons. I came here because I was once entertaining writing a book titled ‘The Health of Nations’, I also entertained developing an online video game called ‘the World of Healthcraft’. I had other similar ideas such as inventing the ‘Healthfire missile’ or perhaps a film titled ‘To Heal a Mockingbird’ where viewers would actually delay the onset of their diabetes or in general gain QualityAdjustedLifeYears by watching it. My other title was ‘She’s gone with the wind, but at least I feel much better’. All of these crazy ideas were reflections of my frustrations at living in a world where human kind has the capacity to decimate thousands of communities in a few minutes, but rarely take the time to nurture and develop one.

I wondered why we don’t bring the same zeal, fervor and courage when we pick up shovels and pens as we do when we pick up our swords and guns. Why do we idealize some things and not others? There is an interesting Russian folk saying that my parents often repeated to me growing up: ‘It is difficult in study, but simple in battle’. It was a quick way for them to keep me focused on school but perhaps that is also why I sometimes like to think of myself as a combatant in the world of academia. A combatant with a pen (a laptop to adjust for modern times); where instead of willingly or unwillingly fighting for any particular nation I now fight for truth, justice and health among all people.

This folk saying also explains why I’m perpetually thankful for being able to pursue the more difficult tasks in my life and not having the more straightforward one of shooting others while not getting shot. We are all enormously privileged with peace, our personal health and one another. I think this social wellbeing is the essence and the meaning of public health, where the health of each and every one of us is the basic building block to all of us living decent lives. While perhaps our paths are much less straightforward than in warfare or in other academic departments, our struggle,our pursuit and our militant devotion to better quality of life and better equity in life is worthwhile.

With that my fellow graduates, I want to remind us few, to be proud of our degrees. We are all now the Marines, of guarding and improving the health of others.  We must continually strive for excellence. As the Yale motto suggests, we should be the seekers, holders and lifelong advocates of light and truth. Exude the greatness that is already within you…where ever you are, and especially in life’s most challenging moments. Now that you are all armed with public health degrees, go forth and fight for health, the fundamental need in all of our lives.

So in summary, I encourage you all to listen to hip hop, watch cartoons, grow your own vegetables and always strive for better health among all people. After all, let’s not forget that ‘it’s tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time, it’s tricky’ ta ta ta tricky. And as a side note I promised my most esteemed classmates who encouraged me to write and deliver this speech that I wouldn’t be boring or trite so I hope that was the case.

Thank you all once again,

I’m Artem Kopelev and I’m out.

It’s HERE! National Public Health Week!

Woooo! Check out the cool events this week!

Public Health Day of Service this Wednesday!

WEDNESDAY: Public Health Day
March 31, 2010
Hosted by Dwight Hall Public Health Coalition

Documentary: “In Sickness and In Wealth”
7:00PM – 8:00PM
Dwight Hall Common Room
What are the connections between healthy bodies, healthy bank accounts and skin color? Join the Public Health Coalition to explore whether medical care cures us but to see why we get sick in the first place, and why patterns of health and illness reflect underlying patterns of class and racial inequities.

Followed by a Public Health Advocacy Moment in collaboration with Amnesty International
Dwight Hall Common Room
Write to Senators asking for an extension of unemployment benefits for jobless Americans. This action is based on materials from The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a national civil and human rights advocacy and research organizations. Snacks will be served!