Global Disaster Response

  • Hilarie Cranmer, MD, MPH
    Director of Disaster Response

    Dr. Cranmer is the first Director of Disaster Response at the Center of Global Health at Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to being clinical faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine at MGH, she is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Global Health and Population. As the Director of Education for the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, she founded and directed the Humanitarian Studies Initiative and the Global Women’s Health Fellowship. In its first 10 years, over 500 graduate students, medical residents, nurses, and physicians have completed these training programs. Her alumni have gone on to hold leadership positions in some of the premier humanitarian agencies in the world.

    Dr. Cranmer is the first Director of Disaster Response at the Center of Global Health at Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to being clinical faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine at MGH, she is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Global Health and Population. As the Director of Education for the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, she founded and directed the Humanitarian Studies Initiative and the Global Women’s Health Fellowship. In its first 10 years, over 500 graduate students, medical residents, nurses, and physicians have completed these training programs. Her alumni have gone on to hold leadership positions in some of the premier humanitarian agencies in the world.

    Dr. Cranmer’s research focus has been on the professionalization of humanitarian providers including developing educational initiatives, minimum standards in safety and security and providing effective disaster response to those affected by disasters and emergencies worldwide. Her path towards program building began in post war Kosovo doing human rights investigations for Physicians for Human Rights. Her work in a mission hospital in Malawi concentrated on providing emergency obstetrical care for women, and especially those affected by AIDS. Responding to the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 with International Rescue Committee, and subsequently to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, her growing expertise in disaster relief was recognized in that she led the public health effort for the American Red Cross in Louisiana. After the Port-Au-Prince earthquake in January 2010, she built the largest field hospital in Haiti. In caring for over 5000 patients and their families with more than 700 international volunteers, this hospital was recognized by the UN and the US Government as being the best field hospital post disaster in the last 25 years. Her latest work includes the professionalization of humanitarian response, with a particular focus in e-learning and simulation-based training, as evidenced by her recent directorship of comprehensive simulations for the World Health Organization in Tunisia and for the Canadian Consortium of Humanitarian Training for the last 3 years in Canada. She led MGH in deploying 4 teams after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in November 2013 through February 2014 with International Medical Corps and Project Hope. She is currently serving as the Technical Advisor on Ebola for International Medical Corps who are providing case management in Liberia and in Sierra Leone.

  • Miriam Aschkenasy, MD, MPH
    Deputy Director, Global Disaster Response

    Miriam Aschkenasy, MD, MPH, is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School, Associate Faculty at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician.  Dr. Aschkenasy completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Connecticut and completed a highly competitive fellowship in International Emergency Medicine and Public Health at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health with a certificate in Field Studies and Humanitarian Response and a Masters in Public Health. She has worked extensively both within academic institutions, and with national and international organizations including Oxfam America, The World Health Organization, American Refugee Committee, Handicapped International, CARE and Save the Children. 

    Miriam Aschkenasy, MD, MPH, is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School, Associate Faculty at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician.  Dr. Aschkenasy completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Connecticut and completed a highly competitive fellowship in International Emergency Medicine and Public Health at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health with a certificate in Field Studies and Humanitarian Response and a Masters in Public Health. She has worked extensively both within academic institutions, and with national and international organizations including Oxfam America, The World Health Organization, American Refugee Committee, Handicapped International, CARE and Save the Children. 

    During her career she has been a humanitarian and disaster responder to cholera outbreaks in Zimbabwe, displacements in Sudan, chronic drought in Ethiopia, flooding in El Salvador, earthquakes in Peru and Haiti, as well as many other countries in Africa, South East Asia, Central and North and South America including the Rita and Katrina responses. Dr. Aschkenasy’s operational work and applied research focus is on disaster management and humanitarian assistance. Additional areas of interest are the professionalization of humanitarian response with expertise in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and program management.

  • Shauna Murray
    Project Coordinator

    Prior to joining MGH-Global Health as a Project Coordinator, Shauna Murray, was a Program Coordinator at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she assisted in the development of graduate programs within the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance. Ms. Murray also served as the Executive Assistant for the Haitian Studies Association coordinating study abroad programs in Haiti and Jamaica in addition to executing annual academic conferences throughout the United States and Caribbean.

    Prior to joining MGH-Global Health as a Project Coordinator, Shauna Murray, was a Program Coordinator at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she assisted in the development of graduate programs within the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance. Ms. Murray also served as the Executive Assistant for the Haitian Studies Association coordinating study abroad programs in Haiti and Jamaica in addition to executing annual academic conferences throughout the United States and Caribbean. 

    Ms. Murray persuaded her academic career at the University of Massachusetts Boston receiving her Masters in Applied Sociology and a dual degree Bachelors in Africana Studies and Sociology with a concentration in International Relations. Additionally, she holds a Masters Certificate in Project Management.

  • Ryan Wildes
    Manager, International Risk Management, Partners Risk and Insurance Services / Treasury

    Ryan Wildes is currently manager of international risk management at Partners and works with travelers, departments, and international programs on travel risk management, insurance and related operational issues including health, safety, and security matters. Since February 2012, Ryan has worked on building a system-wide approach to travel risk management, traveler education, and organizational response. Ryan worked for nearly a decade with Harvard Medical International, which became Partners HMI in April 2008, gaining program experience in Libya, Italy, Greece, Dominican Republic, India, and Zimbabwe.

    Ryan Wildes is currently manager of international risk management at Partners and works with travelers, departments, and international programs on travel risk management, insurance and related operational issues including health, safety, and security matters. Since February 2012, Ryan has worked on building a system-wide approach to travel risk management, traveler education, and organizational response. Ryan worked for nearly a decade with Harvard Medical International, which became Partners HMI in April 2008, gaining program experience in Libya, Italy, Greece, Dominican Republic, India, and Zimbabwe.

    Before joining then HMI, Ryan worked on preparations for elections in Kosovo for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and he has been part of OSCE election monitoring missions to Macedonia, Ukraine, and Belarus. He also served as country manager overseeing community development projects for a U.S. based non-profit in Quito, Ecuador.

    Ryan holds a degree in political science from the University of Vermont and a certificate in Managing Disasters & Complex Humanitarian Emergencies from Boston University’s School of Public Health. He was an EMT in Vermont for many years primarily with the University of Vermont ambulance service, UVM Rescue, which included serving as director of operations. Ryan’s professional interests include risk, safety and security management, global health and related history of medicine, crisis and disaster management, and lastly travel, which has taken him to more than 25 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, Central and South America.