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Mental Health

2012-2013 Johns Hopkins Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows

Sossinou AwoussiSossinou Awoussi, MD, Togo

Dr. Awoussi is an ophthalmologist from Togo in West Africa who received his medical degree from the Mixed Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Lome University in 2001. He worked for five years as a general practitioner in the Army Health Service before obtaining a grant from Lions Clubs International to attend an ophthalmology specialization at the Tropical Ophthalmology Institute of Africa in the Medical Faculty of the University of Bamako (Mali) from 2006-2010. During his training in ophthalmology, he was involved in volunteer work such as outreach eye care and the ‘Opening Eyes’ Program. As an ophthalmologist, Dr. Awoussi was appointed Chief Medical Officer for the Eye Unit at the Regional Hospital Center of Lome Commune, and in October 2011 was promoted to lead the National Coordination of Eye Health Program for Togo. Blindness is a major issue in his country, with prevalence over 1%. Cataract, refractive errors and glaucoma are the main causes. During his Fellowship, he expects to improve his skills in policy and management in public health, and especially in eye health issues. He is also looking to develop and strengthen partnerships with American sight organizations. The new skills and relationships will help him to more efficiently manage the eye health program in his country.


Basat IlterBasat Ilter, BS, MBA, Turkey

Mr. Ilter has been working as a labor inspector at the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in Istanbul, Turkey, for ten years. His work consists of inspecting workplaces for compliance with the legislation of occupational safety and health. He is also a part-time lecturer on occupational safety and health at university.  During his Humphrey year, he intends to focus on occupational safety and health policy, measures and training activities for employers and employees in order to promote workers’ safety and health in his country. Mr. Ilter is also interested in exploring services and inspection system on occupational safety and health.


George LeveridgeGeorge Leveridge, MBBS, DM, MPH, Jamaica

Dr. Leveridge is a psychiatrist with over 21 years of experience. He has worked with male and female inmates in both the adult and the juvenile prisons in Jamaica, where he has pioneered the development of a number of rehabilitation programs. He is presently the head of the Medical Services of the Police Force in that country where he takes oversight for the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all programmes related to police health. He is interested in gaining knowledge and experience related to Public Health Policy Development and its application to violence prevention.  More specifically, he is interested in exploring and examing interventions that may be helpful in reducing interpersonal violence as well as programs that could mitigate against the impact of suicide on its survivors.


Nang Mo KhamNang Mo Kham, MB, BS, MPH, Burma (Myanmar)

Dr. Kham is a public health professional with 8 years experience in development and management of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria prevention, control and treatment programs in Myanmar. She has recently worked with Three Diseases Fund in Myanmar where she was responsible for managing and strengthening civil society initiatives of the Fund. She serves on advisory boards of National Networks of People Living with HIV/AIDS and Men who have Sex with Men. She voluntarily provides technical assistance to many grass roots organizations in Myanmar in the area of health and policy advocacy. In addition, she has been actively engaging in advocating for gender equality in public policies. As a Humphrey fellow, she aims to enhance her knowledge and skills in public health policy and management. Her ultimate goal is to contribute to development of sound and effective public health policies and management practices in Myanmar which are rights-based, inclusive, transparent and reflective of the local and global health priorities.


A. Poongothai BalajiDr. A. Poongothai Balaji, MBBS, MRCOG, India

Dr. Poongothai is a politician and a healthcare professional. She had worked as an obstetrician and gynaecologist in India prior to moving to politics. She has been elected to the legislative assembly, and served as a cabinet minister in the State of Tamilnadu from 2006-2011.  Currently she is the coordinator of three educational institutions and a NGO that works on public health in India. She is also the member of the High level working committee and secretary to the culture and literary wing of the political party she represents, The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Her special areas of interest are, to create policies, programs to implement equitable and accessible healthcare facilities in her country. As a Humphrey fellow she hopes to acquire special skills and knowledge that would enable her to create innovative strategies with special focus on prevention of both communicable and non-communicable diseases in India.


Mariana SalamounMariana Salamoun, BA, MA, Lebanon

Ms. Salamoun is a psychologist who has worked for several years on projects promoting mental health through evidence based research and community services. She recently worked with an NGO, in association with concerned officials, to develop a mental health act in Lebanon.  She has actively participated in the analyses and publishing of data from the national Lebanese World Mental Health Survey.  Ms. Salamoun is also interested in clinical practice, and establishing a formal framework, in collaboration with experts in the field, for youth protection against different types of abuse in Lebanon. She is also interested in learning more about the strategies to design mental health public education and awareness programs.


Pavla DolezalovaDr. Pavla Dolezalova, Czech Republic

Dr. Pavla Dolezalova teaches at the Clinic for Addictology at the First Medical Faculty  at the Charles University  in  Prague, Czech Republic. As a therapist she works with people with additiction and behavior problems. Dr. Dolezalova combines theory, practice and research expeprience acquired  over a decade of dedicated work in this area. She has gained comprehensive  skills from several  managerial roles and  positions including Coordination of Regional Drug Policy or Primary Prevention and Special Education at the Ministry of Education and  she has cooperated with several national intitutions working in the Czech Republic. Dr. Dolezalova will use  her Humphrey Fellowship time to gain efficient  tools and methods to improve the quality of  life of drug addicted people. She wil seek methods from evidenced-based research and cost-effectiveness and therapy based on the attachment theory. Overall, she plans to gain high quality  eduaction that will allow her to increase cooperation with experts on an  international level.


Susan RuturiSusan Ruturi, RN, BA, MSC, Kenya

Heather Susan is currently working to complete her MSC in Clinical Psychology.  She works in the Mental Health Department of Kenyatta National Hospital (a National Referral and Teaching Hospital). She participates in education of professionals in various institutions. Her Humphrey year will be dedicated to gaining knowledge and skills on the different concepts of client enrolment to care, and the chemical and psycho-social management of patients.  She is also interested in designing and evaluating substance abuse prevention and treatment programs.  After the fellowship, she hopes to participate in creation of an ultra-modern detoxification program at Kenyatta National Hospital, participate in policy development, and be competent in empowerment of health care workers. 


Arnold SimpreuxDr. Arnold Simpreux, MD, Haiti

Dr. Simpreux has worked for the Ministry of Public Health and Populations (MSPP) of Haiti for seven years. His interests include the impact of HIV/Aids and other Sexually transmitted diseases on the welfare of youth living in underprivileged communities affected by migration, family dislocation and insufficient sexual education programs.  He is responsible for providing healthcare to communities lacking material resources and infrastructure and also to HIV/Aids patients.   His fellowship at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will emphasize HIV/Aids Policy and Prevention.   He seeks to interact with colleagues who have expertise in providing healthcare to remote communities in low income countries and also in developing countries.  Upon returning home he hopes to contribute to healthcare programs change and health information systems focusing on prevention and education on HIV/AIDS.