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Stanford pediatrician blends medicine and politics to improve children's health

Paul Wise.jpg

A few weeks ago I discussed the work of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital pediatrician Paul Wise, MD, MPH, who frequently travels to Guatemala to provide healthcare to people in need. Today, Stanford Report writer Adam Gorlick takes another look at Wise's recent three-week trip there and highlights a program that links life-saving child health interventions with political reform. Gorlick writes:

Politics are as necessary as medicine in places like this. That's the premise behind Children in Crisis, a program created by Wise to blend Stanford's expertise in medical research and international studies to provide health care to the world's most vulnerable patients: children living in politically unstable regions.

"It's not enough to make sure everybody is vaccinated, or that everyone who needs them gets vitamin supplements," Wise says. "It's about understanding and beginning to address the political requirements for the provision of these kinds of resources."


"Our role is not to fix Guatemala's troubles, but to see if there are ways that an academic institution like Stanford could help facilitate the conversations or help provide the analytic groundwork for more constructive policies here," he says.

Wise's program, which is the first academic initiative to address the needs of children in politically troubled spots, isn't limited to Guatemala. Gorlick notes that Wise is also working with government officials and health care providers in Central Africa and has been talking with health advocates in the Middle East.

Previously: Stanford team provides healthcare in rural Guatemala
Photo by Adam Gorlick

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