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Ongoing Work in Malawi Pediatrics: A perspective from the field
December 16, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Elizabeth Fitzgerald, MD
DIRECTOR OF PEDIATRIC GLOBAL HEALTH ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE
Dr. Elizabeth Fitzgerald began her career in global health in 2005 as the medical director of a clinic serving the Mayan mountain region of Southern Belize. She spent two years in Malawi (2011-13) as a member of the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, returned to UNC to complete her fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine, and began as PEM/GH faculty in 2016.
Her current global health work focuses on developing comprehensive specialized pediatric services at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, as a means to reduce pediatric inpatient mortality. Her current research project is a locally-led initiative to obtain baseline demographic and clinical information about a cohort of acutely ill pediatric patients admitted to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH). Since 2016, Dr. Fitzgerald has served as the UNC lead for a novel consortium of Malawian and US-based institutions (PACHIMAKE) dedicated to the care and management of acutely ill children at KCH through implementation of coordinated clinical, educational, quality improvement and research initiatives. The PACHIMAKE database has already lead to several multi-institutional quality improvement efforts.
She is the US-based director of UNC Pediatric Resident activities in Malawi and has developed and implemented a biannual Pediatric Global Health SIM for UNC trainees planning to do electives in low-resource settings. She has helped create a curriculum for Malawian interns in pediatrics, has been an on-the-ground mentor for Malawian medical students and clinical officers for six years, and is a mentor to several UNC Global Health Scholars.
Dr. Fitzgerald is spending a year in Malawi from July 2019 to 2020, working on a number of GH educational, research, and Quality Improvement initiatives, about which she will share updates.