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KUDOS! Joanna Erdman appointed GHAC chair

Posted by Jane Doucet on January 5, 2016 in News, HLI

This month Joanna Erdman, Assistant Professor of Law and MacBain Chair in Health Law and Policy, begins her term as chair of the Global Health Advisory Committee (GHAC) of the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program. PHP is among the largest thematic programs of OSF, the global grant-making network created by philanthropist George Soros.

“It’s an absolute privilege to have been selected for this role,” says Prof. Erdman, who has been a GHAC member since 2010 and also serves on the Advisory Board of the Open Society Foundations’ Women’s Rights Program. “I’m inspired by the ambitious and extraordinary work of the Public Health Program, which sets the highest standards in the field in their grant-making, strategy, and community collaboration.”

“I’m inspired by the ambitious and extraordinary work of the Public Health Program, which sets the highest standards in the field in their grant-making, strategy, and community collaboration.”

PHP’s work sits at the intersection of health and human rights. The Program seeks to advance the social inclusion of groups discriminated against in health, and to increase transparency, accountability, and participation in health-related decision-making. In real terms, this means making legal and justice systems work for public health as a social good, promoting community-based alternatives to coercive, institutional care, and supporting communities to hold governments and other powerful leaders accountable for health and human rights.

GHAC advises the Program on the state of the health and human rights field and Program priorities and strategies; conducts portfolio reviews; and provides ad hoc technical support. The Program strives to draw together people who suffer deeply on the margins of society and to address the governance systems that cause such suffering. PHP targets the systemic causes that would, if removed, end – not simply stem – human rights violations in health.

“I share this commitment and have worked to the same ends in my own research and advocacy,” says Prof. Erdman, whose primary research is in the area of sexual and reproductive health law in a transnational context. She has published in leading international journals on topics such as harm reduction in safe abortion, the regulation of emergency contraception, and HPV vaccines policy.