2018 Councilor candidate
David Hamer, MD, FASTMH
Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine, MA
After watching the continued growth of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) over the last two decades, there are a number of issues that I would like to help the Society to address during the next few years, if I am elected to the Council. First, I would like to see continued growth of the membership with a focus on new members from low and middle-income countries (LMIC) scientists and students, ideally while striving to attain better gender balance. Second, there is a need to enhance membership and active participation in the five Subgroups especially for students (who can join for free), post-doctoral candidates, and LMIC scientists. Third, ASTMH needs to continue its excellent advocacy efforts for global health research funding and policies. We need to develop innovative approaches to increase participation of members in these efforts, even if it is only the simple, relatively rapid process of contacting their federal Representatives and Senators. Fourth, partly as a result of a career in global health, I would like ASTMH to take advantage of the momentum that has developed in the Society to focus on important global health research, education, and policy issues related to maternal, newborn, child and reproductive health, nutrition, and immigrant health.
Fifth, building on the initial success of the ASTMH international conferences in Peru and, more recently, Kenya, organizing additional international conferences, potentially in collaboration with other societies that have mutual interests such as the International Society of Travel Medicine, will help to strengthen the international presence of ASTMH. Sixth, there is a need to review the Society’s journal, AJTMH, to make sure it is meeting the needs of members of ASTMH. It would be good to work towards more open access articles at a reasonable cost as this should help to strengthen the journal’s impact factor and broaden its readership. Seventh, there needs to be a greater focus on mentoring junior members of the Society and convincing them to maintain their membership and begin to play active roles in the subgroups and committees. While various approaches to mentorship have been attempted, thus far these have not met with great success so innovative approaches need to be developed and tested. Finally, at the leadership level, there is a need for the Council to provide stewardship of the Society as a business and to help identify additional sources of revenue for its operating budget.
Summary of Volunteer/Member Roles in ASTMH
I have been a highly active member of ASTMH and the Clinical Group (ACCTMTH) since 1995 and a member of the Global Health Subgroup (ACGH) since 2011. In 1996, I was awarded the Certificate of Knowledge in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Traveler’s Health (CTropMed®). During the last two decades, I have served on many different committees within ASTMH including the Scientific Program Committee since the 54th Annual Meeting (at various times serving on the Clinical Tropical Medicine; HIV; Pneumonia, Respiratory Infections, and Tuberculosis; and Global Health subcommittees); Chair of the Meet the Professor sessions at the Annual Meeting from 2009 to 2014; the ASTMH CTropMed® Examination Committee from 2009 to 2016; and, since 2012, the ASTMH Membership Committee. I had the honor of serving as the President of the Clinical Group in 2011-2012. I have organized and presented in numerous symposia and presented dozens of abstracts at the Annual Meeting over the last two decades. In 2014, I was awarded an ASTMH fellowship.
Davidson Hamer, MD is a Professor of Global Health and Medicine at the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine, and an Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Dr. Hamer is board-certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases with a broad range of research experience in tropical infectious diseases, travel medicine, maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH), malnutrition, emerging diseases, and antimicrobial resistance. During the last two decades, in collaboration with faculty members at the Center for Global Health and Development and international collaborators, Dr. Hamer has supervised and provided technical support to studies in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia that evaluated interventions for the treatment and prevention of malaria, antiretroviral adherence, micronutrient deficiencies, diarrheal disease, childhood pneumonia, and reduction of neonatal mortality. He recently spent nearly four years from 2011-2014 living in Zambia where he served as the Director of Research and Evaluation for the Zambia Center for Applied Health Research and Development, an NGO affiliated with Boston University. His MNCH research has yielded evidence used by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and Ministries of Health in Africa to change health policies, guidelines, and program implementation. Dr. Hamer’s current research on MNCH includes a focus on maternal health (improving access to emergency obstetrical and neonatal care), neonatal sepsis, stunting and early childhood development. Dr. Hamer has served as the principal investigator since 2014 for GeoSentinel, a global surveillance network of 67 sites in 30 countries that uses returning travelers, immigrants, and refugees as sentinels of disease emergence and transmission patterns throughout the world. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles, commentaries, editorials, reviews, and chapters as well as four books.