img_30091Leigh-Anne Gillespie, PhD candidate

Health Policy Program, Political Studies Stream

gilleslb@mcmaster.ca

The lasting impression of participating in a medical mission to Olongapo City, Philippines in 2008 inspired me to pursue a PhD in Health Policy. Policy is far-reaching: the ability of good health policy to improve the well-being of large groups of people – and of poor health policy to degrade it – is humbling.

Since joining the Health Policy PhD Program at McMaster University, I have been immersed in policy analysis and theory. My research, conducted under the guidance of Dr. Lisa Schwartz, focuses specifically on the nature of ethical challenges arising from humanitarian aid agency policies during disaster and conflict response. In-depth, qualitative interviews with organizational members from international aid agencies have shed light on how policy both helps and hinders in various contexts. With keen anticipation of their contributions to the humanitarian sector, I am looking forward to disseminating these findings shortly.

 The interdisciplinary nature of the Health Policy PhD Program has allowed me to flourish. It has pushed me to create my own path and transcend disciplinary boundaries, while at the same time develop a shared language by which to communicate with colleagues. I am grateful for the collaborative approach the program has instilled in me, and look forward to continued opportunities to help advance humanitarian healthcare ethics.

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