Global WACh Members Projects

Dr. Judd Walson – Kenya


Dr. Walson is currently conducting a large research study in Kenya to determine the causes of diarrhea and bloodstream infection among African children and to evaluate how malnutrion, HIV, and malaria impact the risk of these diseases in Africa. In addition, Dr. Walson is conducting a study evaluating several methods of diagnosis for tuberculosis among young children in Kenya. Finally, Dr. Walson, in collaboration with Dr. Maneesh Batra and Dr. Suzinne Pak-Gorstein, is working with the University of Nairobi, Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington Department of Pediatrics on a joint child health elective for pediatric residents from the US and Kenya in rural Western Kenya.

Dr. MaryAnne Mercer – Timor Leste

MaryAnne Mercer1

Dr. Mercer is a technical advisor to a pilot effort in Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) to use cell phone technology to link pregnant women living in rural areas with their midwives. The operations research component aims to assess the effects of the project on maternal health behaviors, including the use of skilled birth attendants. Women will receive twice weekly cell phone messages and can use the system to contact health care in the event of obstetric emergency or the need for transportation to a facility.

Dr. Patty Garcia – Lima Peru


“Getting connected for a better maternal and child health in Peru” The project involves the innovative use of mobile systems to give medical advice to pregnant women through the delivery of text messages (reminders, appointments, preventive and motivational messages). As part of this implementation, the project includes the use of electronic health records for prenatal care in different health centers in Region of Callao.


As a request from the women involved in WAWARED and with the experience from the project we added an electronic module to follow children´s first year of life. This module includes the delivery of reminders, appointments, vaccination calendar and suggestions for children´s nutrition, care.

The CISNE project

Study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of implementing rapid syphilis tests in reproductive health services (antenatal and postpartum) in the public sector in Peru. We introduced the “TWO FOR ONE”: two tests (rapid syphilis and rapid HIV test) for one fingerstick. The study proved the strategy was very popular, cost-effective and now is a National policy in the country.

Dr. Jonathan Gorstein – Nepal & Indonesia


Jonathan Gorstein has been working to support the design and implementation of large-scale nutrition programs in developing countries for over twenty five years with a focus on strengthening capacity and monitoring and evaluation.  He serves on global task forces for the World Health Organization and International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders/Global Network, as well as several editorial boards of international public health nutrition journals. He has worked with international agencies (WHO, UNICEF, World Bank), International NGO’s (Helen Keller International, PATH, Micronutrient Initiative, GAIN) and as a Consultant to several Ministries of Health. He has served extended assignments in Nepal and Indonesia where he provided support to their respective national nutrition programs, helped develop curricula in nutrition and carried out operational research.  He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington where is lectures on nutrition in developing countries and also serves as the global coordinator for a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant to support national efforts to achieve optimal iodine nutrition in sixteen countries, which is being jointly implemented by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and UNICEF.

Dr. Rob Nathan – Uganda


The University of Washington Department of Radiology and our Uganda partner, the Ernest Cook Ultrasound Research and Education Institute, have trained over 40 midwives in remote locations in Uganda to perform screening obstetrical ultrasound examinations. With equipment donated by the GE Foundation, these midwives can identify conditions that put pregnant women and their babies at high risk during delivery, and encourage these women to deliver at health facilities rather than at home without skilled personnel.