Harvard Medical School (HMS) Assistant Professor of Medicine Louise Ivers was awarded the Bailey K. Ashford Medal by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Ivers, an infectious disease specialist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and senior health and policy adviser at the nonprofit group Partners In Health (PIH), was presented the award by PIH co-founder Paul Farmer on Monday in Philadelphia. Farmer is the Kolokotrones University Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at HMS.

For more than eight years, Ivers has worked in Haiti, leading efforts to implement health and social justice programs, expand clinical services, conduct pioneering research, and respond to the 2010 earthquake and ongoing cholera outbreak.

In 2006, she began directing the HIV Equity Initiative, providing integrated HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention services in Haiti’s rural reaches. Today, this program serves more than 8,000 patients and has become a model for many HIV/AIDS initiatives worldwide.

“Caring for patients in Haiti — unstable, resource-poor, and disaster-torn — is a challenge for any health provider, and more so for one who also seeks to provide comprehensive social services for the poor,” said Farmer.  “It takes a visionary and forceful leader … to do this work. For nearly a decade, Dr. Ivers has proven herself to be exactly that: She has worked tirelessly to bring the standard of care she knows — from the Harvard hospitals at which she trained — to patients who were poor before they became sick.

“Dr. Ivers has devoted her life to raising the standard of care for some of the poorest and sickest people in this hemisphere,” Farmer continued.  “Her vision is of equity; her strategy, of durable partnerships that foster clinical excellence. Dr. Ivers’ combined achievements in rural health care delivery, tropical medicine research, and mentoring, as well as her courage and compassion, are matchless.”

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene was founded in 1903. It is a worldwide organization of scientists, clinicians, and program professionals whose mission is to promote global health through the prevention and control of infectious and other diseases that disproportionately afflict the global poor. The Bailey K. Ashford Medal is awarded for distinguished work in tropical medicine to worker in his or her early or mid-career.

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