A calling in Cambodia

2 min read

Bill Housworth, M.P.H. ’06, moved to Cambodia from Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, physician Lori Housworth, M.P.H. ’06, and three small kids (a fourth would be born in Cambodia). While Lori held no official title at AHC, her presence was felt everywhere—from mentoring the hospital’s young doctors and nurses to consulting on complex cases.

Bill led Angkor Hospital for Children from 2008 until earlier this year, when he handed the job over to Cambodian leadership and the family moved on to another hospital posting in a more impoverished area of northeastern Cambodia.

In both locales, the couple’s immediate priority has been to provide high-quality medical care to a nation in which nearly a third of the population lives on less than $2 a day, about 40 percent of children are malnourished, and the infant-mortality rate is more than five times higher than it is in the United States. And they say their time at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health prepared them for a larger mission: to empower Cambodians to achieve the same high level of pediatric medicine nationwide.

The Housworths didn’t know about AHC when they first visited Cambodia in 2001. They came for a short stint of volunteering with an NGO focused on clean water and sanitation. They had married a year earlier, following a courtship that began during their medical residencies at the University of Louisville Hospital.

“To do this kind of work, you have to be adventurous. That was the quality that initially drew us together,” says Lori.