Christina Bethke (’05, SPH’06)

Christina Bethke takes on the complex challenges surrounding global health

Christina BethkeAn innovative problem solver tackling complex challenges in global health, Christina Bethke (’05, SPH’06) earned her MSW and MPH from BU in 2006. Upon graduation, she served as a program director with Last Mile Health in Zwedru (Grand Gedeh County), Liberia. There, Bethke helped implement a community health worker model to serve patients living with diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV, epilepsy, and depression. By the end of 2013, Last Mile Health had succeeded in providing basic primary healthcare to every village in Grand Gedeh County.

When Ebola hit, Bethke decided to stay on. A severe lack in primary healthcare facilities, Bethke said, is one of the primary reasons diseases like Ebola spread so rapidly, something she is determined to change.

“Illness is universal, but access is not,” she says. “The biggest thing to understand is that this isn’t a Liberia or Guinea or Sierra Leone problem. This isn’t even just an Ebola problem—this is inequality at its very core.”

Currently, Bethke is living and working in Jordan as the emergency reproductive health advisor for the United Nations Population Fund.