Empower 2016 Conference Speakers

Please click below for information about speakers in a specific track

Emergency Medicine / Essential Surgical Care

Innovations and Developing Technologies

Maternal and Child Health


Building Partnerships

Psychosocial Issues

Infectious Diseases

Local Opportunities

Plenary Speakers

Sharmila Anandasabapathy, MD

Sharmila Anandasabapathy, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine in Gastroenterology, Director of Baylor Global Initiatives and the Baylor Global Innovation Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. In her current role, she oversees Baylor’s global programs and affiliations, as well as The Baylor Global Innovation Center which seeks to develop novel, environmentally appropriate technologies and approaches to addressing global disease burden. This includes the development and validation of innovative mobile-applications for clinical care, point-of care diagnostic technologies, and portable, low-cost devices for the diagnosis and management of chronic, non-communicable diseases worldwide.

Innovating for Global Health

This talk will discuss how to utilize experiences in education, clinical care, and scientific research to improve the health of the global community by expanding the focus on chronic, non communicable diseases. We will discuss how to create and leverage an interdisciplinary network of clinicians, scientists, policy experts, management and business leaders to validate and deliver innovative medical technologies and approaches to the US and global community.

Doyin Oluwole, MD, FRCP, FWACP

Doyin Oluwole, MD, FRCP, FWACP, is the Chief Executive Officer of Global Health Innovations and Action Foundation. Until recently, she was the founding executive director of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon—the leading global public-private partnership on cervical and breast cancer at the George W. Bush Institute—where she guided strategy, targets and timeline and represented partners’ collective interests with governmental, public and private partners. She nurtured and grew the PRRR partnership from infancy to make it a flagship program at the Bush Institute and eventually to one capable of an independent existence as an NGO. Previously, she served as Director of the Center for Health Policy and Capacity Development at FHI 360, and as project director for Africa’s Health in 2010, where she managed a six-year multi-million-dollar project that empowered African institutions and governments to plan, manage, and evaluate effective programs in public health. Oluwole has spent 40 years as a clinical, academic and global public health practitioner across Africa and the United States, including 10 years with management responsibility at the regional level and as a country World Health Organization representative. As the former director of the Division of Family and Reproductive Health with the WHO Regional Office for Africa, she led a team of more than 100 as it developed and implemented regional strategies in women’s and child health for sub-Saharan Africa. She has been widely published and is a sought-after public speaker on global and public health issues. She began her career as a pediatrician and professor of pediatrics in Nigeria. She holds an MD (Honors) from the University of Lagos, and MRCP/Pediatrics from the University of Edinburgh/Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom, where she is also a fellow.

Transitioning from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals: The Role of Innovation and Technology

2015 marked a seminal moment in global health as the international community coalesced around new global goals that determined the international development agenda and health investments over the next 15 years. Innovative technologies and approaches that make health care more affordable, more effective, and more accessible are key to reaching the new health goals by 2030. Under the MDGs, global targets for HIV, TB and malaria were met. Child mortality fell by 53% since the baseline year 1990 and maternal mortality by 44%. Even though these figures fall short of the two-thirds and three-quarters declines targeted, they are still cause for celebration. The growing threat of non-communicable diseases including cancer, calls for a paradigm shift in policy, technology and service delivery. Finding and amplifying promising ideas and strengthening the capacity of low-resource countries to develop, introduce, and share innovation can accelerate progress so that every person has an equal chance for a healthy and productive life. Silo-based, vertical approaches to development will have to give way to broader, cross-cutting approaches and partnerships coordinated around and aligned with countries’ needs and priorities.

Mark Shrime, MD, MPH, PhD, FACS

Mark G. Shrime, MD, MPH, PhD, FACS is the Director of Research at the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and an otolaryngologist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He is a contributor to the recently released Disease Control Priorities surgical volume, an author on the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, and a member of the Global Burden of Disease 2013-2015 expert panel. Dr. Shrime received his MD from the University of Texas in 2001. Medical school was followed by a residency in otolaryngology through Columbia and Cornell, a fellowship in head and neck surgical oncology at the University of Toronto, and a second fellowship in microvascular reconstructive surgery, also at the University of Toronto. He went on to get an MPH in global health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a PhD in health policy from Harvard in Since 2008, Dr. Shrime has been working as a surgeon with Mercy Ships throughout west and central Africa and has worked in Haiti and Saudi Arabia. Academically, his primary focus is on global surgical delivery, where he has a specific interest in the intersection of health, impoverishment, and equity. His work aims to determine optimal policies and platforms for surgical delivery that maximize health benefits while simultaneously minimizing the risk of financial catastrophe faced by patients and families attempting to access surgical care. He has a secondary interest in decision-making at the end of life.

Universal access to safe, affordable, and timely surgery: Key findings of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery

Since the declaration in 1980, by Halfdan Mahler, then the director-general of the WHO, that surgery was necessary to “bring the people of the world nearer to the goal of health for all” (Mahler, 1980), surgery struggled against the impression that it is too expensive, too complex, and too inefficient, and that it addresses too little of a disease burden in low- and middle-income countries. However, 2015 changed that: the almost simultaneous publication of the third edition of the Disease Control Priorities by the World Bank—which devoted an entire volume to surgery—passage of World Health Assembly resolution declaring surgery essential in the provision of universal health coverage, and publication of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery have launched a critical moment for global surgery. This talk will summarize the evidence underpinning the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery and outline plans to bring surgery to the global public health stage.

Amy Jaffe

Amy Myers Jaffe is a leading expert on global energy policy, geopolitical risk, and energy and sustainability. Jaffe serves as executive director for Energy and Sustainability at University of California, Davis and Senior Advisor on energy and sustainability at the Office of the Chief Investment Officer, University of California Regents. She is also a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Prior to joining UC Davis, Jaffe served as founding director of the Energy Forum at Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. Jaffe is widely published, including as co-author of  “Oil, Dollars, Debt and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold” with Mahmoud El-Gamal and co-editor of “Natural Gas and Geopolitics From 1970 to 2040.” She currently serves as a member of the US National Petroleum Council and chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Oil and Gas with the World Economic Forum (Davos).  Jaffe was awarded the Senior Fellow award from the US Association for Energy Economics in 2015 for her career contributions to the organization and to the field of energy economics.

Energy and Global Health: Solving the Energy-Poverty Nexus

Energy is a basic necessity for human activity and for economic and social development, but global strategies for meeting this basic need for the world’s rapidly growing population are sorely lacking. Lack of energy services is directly correlated with key elements of poverty, such as low education levels, restriction of opportunity to subsistence levels, and conflict.
Roughly 1.6 billion people, one-quarter of the global population, have no access to electricity. Some 2.4 billion people rely on traditional biomass (wood, agricultural residues and dung) for cooking and heating.
The health consequences of using biomass for energy are staggering. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to indoor air pollution is responsible for nearly 2 million excess deaths, primarily of women and children, from cancer, respiratory infections and lung diseases and 4 percent of the global burden of disease. Solving the energy problem is instrumental to improving health and well-being for this large segment of the world’s population. Improving access to modern energy services can be particularly important to women and girls who are disproportionately impacted by energy poverty. This talk will address the energy-poverty nexus and offer some solutions to this difficult problem.

Michael Mizwa

Michael B. Mizwa is Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President for the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) and Director of Global Health at Texas Children’s Hospital. Mr. Mizwa has over 28 years of experience in non-profit HIV/AIDS prevention and social services and extensive experience globally in maternal and child health program development, administration and management, and government relations. Mr. Mizwa is the Board of Directors Chairman of BIPAI NGOs in Swaziland, Malawi, Botswana, Liberia, Lesotho, Tanzania, Uganda, Papua New Guinea and Colombia. As Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Mizwa oversees the BIPAI Network operations which has an aggregate annual budget of $50 million and operates in 12 countries globally. As Director of Global Health for Texas Children’s Hospital, Mr. Mizwa co-chairs the TCH Global Health Steering Committee and oversees global health planning, development and operations. Mr. Mizwa has received numerous local, state, and national awards in HIV prevention and leadership, including the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s Price Fellowship in HIV Prevention Leadership for developing the first HIV/AIDS offender education training-of-trainers program fthroughout the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Prior to joining BIPAI in 2004, Mr. Mizwa spent over 17 years with AIDS Foundation Houston, the first non-profit AIDS service organizations in Texas, where he served as Outreach Coordinator, Director of Education, Vice President-Community Affairs and Chief Executive Officer.

BIPAI: The Everchanging Face of Global Health

The Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children’s Hospital, a key global child health program of Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, was established in 1996 with a goal of improving the health and lives of HIV-infected children and families globally through expanded access to care and treatment.  The mission of the BIPAI and its affiliated non-government organizations (NGO) are one and the same: To provide high-quality, high-impact, highly ethical pediatric and family-centered health care, health professional training and clinical research, focused on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, malnutrition and other conditions impacting the health and well-being of children and families worldwide.  Over the past decade, BIPAI has become the world’s largest university-based pediatric HIV/AIDS care and treatment provider and has diversified into other high morbidity/mortality maternal and child healh conditions, utilizing the BIPAI infrastructure and frameworks.