HEAL fellows gathered on zoom two weeks ago across countries and professions, across two cohorts. They shared about ongoing projects and challenges in their health systems and participated in workshops on leadership, advocacy, well being and mentorship.

As we approach the 2-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, health professionals struggle to remain well as the frontline fight against the pandemic continues. The W.H.O. has warned that a crisis level shortage of healthcare workers is on the horizon.

Global vaccine inequities exacerbate unnecessary suffering and death of health workers, their patients and communities, leaving a disproportionate imprint upon resource denied countries that have been denied vaccine doses.

Improving the lives of healthcare workers is improving the lives of families, children, elders and generations to come.

That’s why HEAL is deeply committed to creating the conditions for health professionals to have robust and supportive communities, mentorship and training so they can lead and transform inequitable systems.

We have been moved by activists and colleagues who are pressing the US government to act. I haven’t seen the TV show Squid game, but we are living through it

We need a much larger movement to end this pandemic. This is a surreal moment where boosters are offered to some and denied to almost 3 billion as this pandemic drags on, and variants loom large. 

As the US gets ready to vaccinate 5-11 year olds, we must do so with the understanding that access for far more vulnerable people around the world is still limited.  Many of us who are healthy and care deeply about vaccine equity are holding out on boosters as a symbolic commitment to not get a second life vest when so many others are drowning

We are grateful to those who share our passion for changing our world. We believe that empowered health workers are key in this change.

In Solidarity, 
HEAL Community News & Stories

In Navajo Nation, many HEAL fellows are stewarding the health of their patients, communities, as well as supporting one another to remain resilient in the face of deep uncertainty and global health crises. 

HEAL Alumni and mentor Cristina Rivera Carpenter, PhD is a nurse and longtime community health advocate serving Navajo communities. In a recent conversation on KPFA Women’s Magazine, she reflects on the future of community wellness with colleagues and HEAL alumni from Navajo Nation Adriann Begay, MD and Registered Dietitian Denee Bex.
“I think wellness is relational. And, if in our area, if we have family that aren’t well, if we have our living world that is not well, if we have part of our community that is not well, then how can we really be well? To me, this is collective wellness for all of us.”

-Cristina Rivera Carpenter, PhD, RN
Monday, November 8th at 1:00pm PDT listen to KPFA RADIO 94.1 or go to for an inspired conversation between Indigenous health advocates in Navajo Nation who are preserving culture and building local community to forward a movement for health equity across the world.

Missed the show? The full recording will be available on 11/9 at Women's Magazine Blog
Though COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented HEAL fellows from gathering in California for the annual mid-fellowship retreat, those working near each other in HEAL Regional Hubs gathered locally to strengthen bonds and sow seeds for transformative change.
Left to right: Lawrence Nazimera (’15), Arnold Jumbe (’19), Charles Malindi (’21), George Talama (’20), Enoch Ndarama (’21) and Brown Khongo (’23) at Lake Malawi, October 2021 Mid-Fellowship Retreat.

In gathering, HEAL fellows and alumni working at Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo (Partners in Health), in Neno District of Malawi, strengthen their capacity as leaders and advocates who are on the frontlines of bridging high quality and equitable health care services to people in the most remote district of the country.

Malawian fellows virtually dialed in, connecting Regional Hubs of health equity advocates in Mexico, West Africa and Navajo Nation. 

Transformation occurs when a critical mass of local leaders, committed to health as a human right, expose others to their diverse ideas, visions and solutions. This transformation is the spirit of HEAL.  

In the U.S. a small but mighty group of healthcare professionals are following the radical legacy of HIV activists. They are forgoing their 3rd COVID-19 booster shots as an act of solidarity with low and middle income countries that have been systematically denied doses.

HEAL Co-founder Dr. Sriram Shamasunder shares why he feels this is a “defining moment of our lives and careers as healthcare workers and doctors.” and invites supporters to consider joining the movement. 

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