Karin Huster

MPH 2013, Global Health

Protecting the most vulnerable during emergencies

Karin has been vital to international efforts to provide health care to vulnerable populations during war and other disasters. She was recently part of an undertaking by Doctors Without Borders to respond to the threats posed by COVID-19, managing the organization’s pandemic response in Hong Kong. She also took part in various research projects to understand the spread of COVID-19 among high-risk groups, including people living without homes. Prior to COVID-19, Karin had been managing field operations and treating patients in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as it battled a relentless Ebola outbreak. She also helped to fight Ebola in West Africa.

One of her more meaningful assignments was to provide emergency care to people in Mosul, Iraq, during the country’s war with the Islamic State. Additionally, Karin has helped to address health issues among Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, and has responded to a cholera outbreak in Haiti, a near-famine in Nigeria and Cyclone Idai in Mozambique. Karin returns to the UW often to share her expertise with students. She has also written about her experiences in The New York Times, The Seattle Times and NPR's Goats and Soda.

Affiliations: Field Coordinator/Emergency Coordinator, Doctors Without Borders; Public Health Advisor, USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance; Clinical Instructor, Department of Global Health, UW Schools of Public Health and Medicine; Clinical Instructor, Psychosocial and Community Health, UW School of Nursing

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