Beryne Odeny, MD, MPH, PhD: Eliminating Inequities  

Beryne Odeny, MD, MPH, PhD, is a physician-implementation scientist and a passionate health equity advocate in global health. She recently joined the Division of Public Health Sciences as an assistant professor of surgery this July.

Odeny earned her medical degree from the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and both her MPH and PhD in Implementation Science from the University of Washington, Seattle. She previously held a position at PLOS Medicine as an associate editor before her recruitment to Washington University. She specializes in research concerning implementation science, global health policy, health disparities, health equity, HIV/TB, maternal child health and adolescent health in HIV.

As a physician-implementation scientist, Odeny focuses on discovering new ways of improving health equity by breaking down barriers that stand in the way between the public and their access to quality health care all over the world. She has a broad interest in understanding and addressing population-level gaps in access to healthcare using the tools of implementation science. Her research specialization lies in the use of quasi-experimental research designs and qualitative research. These research efforts seek to change the landscape of global healthcare by not only making new discoveries, but implementing them to make identifiable change in the everyday lives of the public.

“My research focuses on the use of observational data from national health information systems to investigate inequities in healthcare access and health outcome disparities, particularly among marginalized populations in low resource settings,” Odeny says. “Over the past 15 years, I have fostered international and local collaborations with government institutions, non-profit organizations, and funding bodies to design and implement programs to improve healthcare access among marginalized populations such as people living with HIV and women, children, and adolescents in low resource settings.”

In her most recent work, Odeny developed a novel composite score to evaluate the data quality in the District Health Information System (DHIS2) – a national health data management platform that is used primarily in low- and middle-income countries. Moving forward, she seeks to transfer her skills and lessons learned to global cancer control efforts to promote equitable access to cancer care and research. Odeny will also be joining PLoS Global Public Health as an academic editor to continue her work as an editor and advocate.

Outside of her work and research, Odeny enjoys spending time travelling with her family and drawing portraits and caricatures. She is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the International AIDS Society, the Council of Science Editors, the International Society of Medical Publication Professionals, and the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board.

The Department of Surgery welcomes Odeny to her appointment and looks forward to the groundbreaking work she will embark on with the division.

“I am excited to work with the stellar group of researchers, faculty, and students in the Division of Public Health Sciences,” Odeny says. “I look forward to fully harnessing my community engagement and implementation sciences skills to respond to local and global challenges in the cancer care space.”

To contact Dr. Odeny, please contact the Division of Public Health Sciences at (314) 454-7940.

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