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Ruth Berggren, MD

Director, Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics

Ruth Berggren, MDDr. Berggren joined the faculty at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in September, 2006. Prior to being appointed Director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, she directed the second-year medical school course on infectious diseases, and designed a new elective course that she continues to direct, "Poverty, Health, and Disease."

Dr. Berggren's internal medicine training was at Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Colorado, where she was a Division of AIDS Fellow funded by the NIH. She then took a faculty position at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX, where she pioneered a program for the treatment of Hepatitis C in persons co-infected with HIV. Dr. Berggren joined the faculty of Tulane University in October, 2001, where she worked for five years. While at Tulane, she founded and co-directed the Tulane-MARCH program to prevent maternal to child transmission of HIV in rural Haiti.

During Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Berggren was the teaching physician assigned to the Infectious Disease ward of New Orleans' Charity Hospital. She remained at Charity for six days and nights after Katrina struck, working with medical staff to care for critically ill, abandoned patients. After all patients were evacuated from Charity Hospital, Dr. Berggren and her team were rescued by a private jet from Texas. She has subsequently published two articles in the New England Journal of Medicine about this experience and about the impact of hurricane Katrina on health care infrastructure in New Orleans.

Berggren in Dominican RepublicDr. Berggren grew up in the Artibonite Valley of central Haiti, just one hour away from Mirebalais, at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital. She is fluent in both Haitian Creole and French. Dr. Berggren maintains her relationships in Haiti, mentoring students on bi-annual global health trips. Following the January 2010 earthquakes in Port au Prince she led relief efforts along the Dominican Republic/Haiti border.

Dr. Berggren is board-certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases with significant experience and particular interest in clinical AIDS and viral hepatitis research, as well as in implementing HIV care in resource poor settings.