Kate Mitchell Balla

Summer in the Field Fellow, 2021

DrPH Candidate, School of Public Health, Boston University
MPH, Global Health, Boston University
BA, International Relations and Geography, Florida International University

Kate Mitchell Balla, MPH is a doctoral candidate in the DrPH program at Boston University School of Public Health, specializing in respectful maternity care. Kate is working on a dissertation with a large public hospital in the Dominican Republic. She is working to adapt a new methodology for measuring how people are treated as they give birth to better understand childbirth experiences in the DR during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kate’s project explores the relationship between how people experience childbirth and postpartum well-being outcomes. She hopes to identify stakeholder-generated solutions to inform policies to improve birth experiences locally in the DR and globally during the pandemic and beyond.

Previously, Kate worked for several years with the Maternal Health Task Force at Harvard School of Public Health where she managed the project’s portfolio on malaria in pregnancy and coordinated a global maternal health policy dialogue series. Kate has also worked as a consultant on numerous global projects relating to maternal-newborn health policy and practice. Kate was a recipient of the American India Foundation’s William J. Clinton Fellowship which funded her work with the corporate social responsibility division of Tata Steel to scale up maternal and newborn health services in rural Jharkhand, India.

Kate enjoys writing opinion pieces on public health topics and teaching public health folks the craft of op-ed writing. Her recent work has appeared on Boston’s NPR station, WBUR, and in the Boston Globe. Kate holds a BA in International Relations and Geography from Florida International University and an MPH in Global Health from Boston University.

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