Our Team

Meet the team that created the Global Health Narrative Series. These wonderful people allow for the project to keep thriving throughout the years!


Emily Mendenhall, PhD, MPH

Emily is a medical anthropologist and Assistant Professor of Global Health at the Edmund A. Wash School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.  She is the founder of the Global Health Narratives Project and lead editor of Global Health Narratives, Environmental Health Narratives, and Community Health Narratives.  She also conducts research, teaches, and promotes understanding about why poverty makes you sick.  

Contact: em1061@georgetown.edu


Adam Koon, PhD, MPH

Adam is a health policy specialist who works on USAID's Health Finance and Governance Project with Abt Associates.  He is the co-editor of Environmental Health Narratives and contributed multiple stories to the series.  He also conducts research on the politics of health finance in Kenya. 

Kathy Wollner, MD

Kathy is a primary care physician and deeply committed to improving health inequalities through her practice.  During medical school she initiated the first full scale piloting of Global Health Narratives with a program called United Health Force in Chicago, Illinois.  She also serves as co-editor of Community Health Narratives and contributed multiple chapters.  She has been a project leader in curriculum design.


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Lauren S Keenan-Devlin, PhD, MPH

Lauren contributed the chapter "Crossing the food desert" to Environmental Health Narratives and the chapter "Seeking SUCCESS" to Community Health Narratives.

Lauren currently conducts research on stress and pregnancy outcomes. Along with this she promotes breastfeeding among low income women through community-based programming.



Hannah has been drawing small pictures all of her life.  She studied studio art at Bard College and runs a music-licensing company (Ghost Town, Inc) with her husband.  She illustrated all three books.






Ajay Pillarisetti, MPH, PhD

Ajay contributed two narratives – one to Global Health Narratives and another to Environmental Health Narratives – both focused on the impacts of air pollution on health.

Ajay Pillarisetti is a postdoctoral fellow in Kirk R. Smith's research group at University of California, Berkeley. He works on measuring and modeling the impacts of household energy use on human health and the environment.


Suzanne Farrell Smith

Suzanne’s story “In the Clear” appears in Environmental Health Narratives, and her stories “The Grove” and “Route 100” are included in Community Health Narratives.

Suzanne is a Connecticut-based writer, editor, and teacher. Her work examines memory, trauma, health, education, and parenthood and has been published in numerous literary and scholarly journals.

Website: suzannefarrellsmith.com

Ashley K Hagaman, MPH PhD

Inspired by her fieldwork exploring mental health and suicide in rural Haiti, Ashley wrote a chapter about a young boy that must navigate helping his cousin that confides to him her struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts.

Ashley completed her PhD from Arizona State University and her MPH from Emory University. She has researched mental health, health systems and suicide within various populations and contexts including Nepal, Haiti, and resettled refugees in the US. She has held fellowships from Fulbright, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.