Penn scholar Mehret Mandefro has been named a 2009-2010 White House Fellow.
Mandefro is a primary care physician and anthropologist who uses oral histories to teach patients about healthcare. As a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar and a Senior Fellow at Penn’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, she has researched violence prevention and HIV prevention and the use of digital media in translating research. She founded a nonprofit organization, TruthAIDS, to educate patients about HIV prevention, and has produced a documentary film aired on Showtime Networks for World AIDS Day about HIV positive women in the South Bronx and Ethiopia. Mandefro has worked as a public health practitioner in Kenya, Botswana, and South Africa on issues of access to care, HIV treatment adherence, and health worker training.
She is among 15 Fellows who will take part in an education program and Washington, DC-based service projects over the next year. Created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Fellows program is designed to give promising American leaders first-hand experience with the federal government and encourage service to the nation. Fellows represent a wide range of professions including medicine, business, media, education, non-profit and state government and the U.S. military.
Originally published on July 1, 2009