Episode 94 – Patty Mechael

Patty Mechael is a leader in digital transformation of global health in low-and middle-income countries. She is the Co-founder and Policy Lead of HealthEnabled. She has held numerous executive and leadership positions, traveled to over 40 countries, and spent more than 20 years improving public health throughout the world. She has served as Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance at the UN Foundation and Executive Vice President of the Personal Connected Health Alliance at HIMSS as well as Visiting Professor at Princeton University and Adjunct Professor at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Patty takes this deep knowledge of public health and combines it with a passion for writing fiction. She recently released a middle-school novel “The Antidotes: The Pollution Solution” a book she wrote with input from her middle-school aged son during the pandemic.

Patty has a PhD in Public Health and Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has a Master of Health Science, International Public Health/International Health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and a BA in Near Easter Studies from The Johns Hopkins University.

Episode Notes

Patty’s newly released book “The Antidotes: The Pollution Solution” brings together two of her greatest passions – writing fiction and global health. Patty shares how she became interested in writing fiction, how she actually began the writing process, her inspirations, and provides some guidance that may be helpful for other scientists who are interested in writing.

She shares her extensive experience in global health in over 40 countries and more than 25 years in the field. We talk a bit about the pandemic and she provides her viewpoints of what went well, what could be improved upon and our joint hope for our future in the youth of the world.

To learn more about Patty and to join the The Antidotes Community visit: www.patriciamechael.com/antidotes  

Music used in the podcast: Higher Up, Silverman Sound Studio

Acronyms, Definitions, and Fact Check

Bellagio Fellowship – The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency Program is a project-based residency that offers academics, artists, policymakers, and practitioners a serene setting for focused, goal-oriented work, and the unparalleled opportunity to establish new connections with residents from a wide array of backgrounds, disciplines, and geographies. The program, rather than being a retreat for private reflection, creates a stimulating environment to advance a specific project, and for cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural exchange that can strengthen a resident’s work, shift perspectives, and spur new ideas. Residents who meet in Bellagio forge lasting bonds and stay connected to each other and the Rockefeller Foundation well after the residency as members of the Bellagio Network. (https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/bellagio-center/residency-program/)

Rūta Šepetys; born November 19, 1967) is a Lithuanian-American writer of historical fiction. As an author, she is a #1 New York Times and international bestseller and winner of the Carnegie Medal. She is a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow and the first American writer of young adult literature to speak at the European Parliament and NATO. Her work has been published in over sixty countries and forty languages and is currently in development for film and television. (Wikipedia)

The history of plastic pollution in the ocean is extensive because of plastic’s long life. The material never truly goes away — it merely breaks apart into microplastics that marine animals ingest and absorb. Three species of fish in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean have been found to have polyethylene and polyester microplastics in their bodies. Because people often catch and eat these species, microplastics may also begin having harmful effects on humans. (https://www.4ocean.com/blogs/blog/a-brief-history-of-the-plastic-crisis)

Dr. LaQuandra S. Nesbitt is a board-certified family physician with over a decade of experience leading population health initiatives in governmental public health agencies. Dr. Nesbitt currently serves as the Director of the District of Columbia Department of Health in Washington, DC, a position she has held since January 2015 when appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser. (https://dchealth.dc.gov/biography/laquandra-s-nesbitt-md-mph)

Fresh Gallup World Poll data shows that 83 percent of adults in developing economies have a mobile phone as of 2018. That’s astonishingly good news for development because mobile phones help connect people to the jobs, business opportunities, and services they need to escape poverty. (https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2019/04/10/mobile-phones-are-key-to-economic-development-are-women-missing-out/)

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