Dr. Heather Papowitz is currently working at the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe (EURO) as the Incident Manager for the Ukraine response covering the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the refugee-receiving countries, and the wider impact in the Region. She has over 20 years of experience preparing for and responding to humanitarian crises due to conflict and natural disasters as well as prevention, preparedness, and response to infectious hazards including cholera, Ebola, Zika, influenza, and COVID-19, among others. Throughout her career she has also worked on disaster risk management for health, climate change adaptation, and migration and refugee health and has developed international and regional guidelines to inform policy and field implementation. Through her field experience, she has promoted and strengthened a health systems approach based on a solid risk analysis focusing on primary health care and community-based initiatives. Over this time, she has worked with and held leadership roles at WHO, UNICEF, ICRC/RC, USAID/BHA (OFDA), NGOs, and the Department of Health in New York City. She has lived and worked in crisis-affected countries globally giving her a broad understanding of humanitarian operations in a variety of contexts. She holds a Medical Degree from the Chicago Medical School, trained in Internal Medicine at Mt Sinai in New York City, and has a Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
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