Alumni On Belay
South Sudan, which joined the family of nations in 2011, has the highest infant and maternal mortality in the world. Portland’s 600 South Sudanese refugees have formed a non-profit, Aserela (Association for Self Reliance) to help those who remain behind. As a member of the board of directors of Aserela, Dr. Charles Radis (HLD IV Alum) traveled with Dan Crothers to a cluster of villages along the Kit River in May of 2012 to coordinate the region’s first traditional birth attendant training program. The program, developed by the MGH Division of Global Health, is directed towards birth attendants who are unable to read or write. During the 5 day class, participants practiced their lessons through dance and song. A re-usable backpack of critical birth supplies was given to each graduate. During his time in South Sudan, Dr. Radis was able to develop contacts in the South Sudan public health community, government officials, and other physicians in the region. Future training programs, including basic first aid, AIDS prevention, and increasing the availability of immunizations and malaria nets will bring him back to the region in 2013.
Congratulating Jamie Zeitlin on his election as President of the 1,300-member Maine Medical Center Medical Staff. Jamie will officially begin his two year term on November 1. In this capacity, he’ll also join the MMC Board of Directors.
Chris Pezzullo recently started at the Maine CDC as the medical director for the Division of Population Health (the new division created out of the amalgamation of Chronic Disease, Cancer and Maternal and Child Health). His role is cross-divisional, mostly as an internal consultant who translates clinical medicine to and from the work of the division. You may see him out and about in the state as he'll soon be embarking on some hospital grand rounds as they detail outcomes of their research around autism, hearing screening, drug affected newborns, obesity, emergency-preparedness, etc.