Women in Global Health (WGH) is an international network aiming to achieve gender equality in Global Health leadership through advocating for gender transformative leadership. The Midwest Chapter of WGH was launched on December 6, 2018 with support from former Provost Holden Thorp and William G. Powderly, MD, the Larry J. Shapiro Director of the Institute for Public Health.

The team is excited to introduce the latest WGH-Midwest Chapter team members. “There is no better time to support gender equity in the health care sector, for our patients, colleagues and communities, ” said Caline Mattar, MD, chapter co-founder. “In the wake of restrictions on women’s rights to access comprehensive reproductive health care, and the rise in stigma associated with gender in various states in our region, we hope our chapter will bring us all together to advocate for gender equity.” The team organizes activities during the academic year to showcase Midwest global health leaders and engage interested individuals in the global activities and advocacy of women in global health.

Meet the Midwest Chapter team

Caline Mattar, MD | Co-founder

Dr. Caline Mattar is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Washington University in Saint Louis. In 2023, she was named the first Global Health Education and Partnerships Director at WashU’s School of Medicine. Her responsibilities include overseeing global health education and building bilateral global partnerships. She teaches global health at the undergraduate level, as well as to medical students, residents, and fellows. Her academic research focuses on the dissemination and implementation of infection prevention and antimicrobial resistance interventions in resource-limited settings. She is currently collaborating with partners in Ghana and Brazil. She has served on multiple expert groups on antimicrobial resistance and infection prevention at the World Health Organization and chairs the Expert Advisory Group of the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development Hub in Berlin. She currently serves on the board of directors for ReAct-Action on Antimicrobial Resistance Africa. Additionally, she chairs the Working4Health Global Health Workforce Network Youth Hub at the World Health Organization.

Dr. Mattar has previously served in leadership roles at international organizations such as the World Medical Association, where she still serves as a policy advisor on public health and infectious diseases.

Jacaranda van Rheenen, PhD | Co-founder

Dr. Jacaranda van Rheenen’s diverse international experiences have deeply influenced her commitment to global health issues. Currently serving as a Research Planning and Development Strategist within the Department of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU), she supports a variety of initiatives focused on implementation science. Her broad experience with global health projects spans from radiation oncology to combating antimicrobial resistance. Furthermore, she is an active member of the Internal Advisory Council for the Center for the Environment at WashU, underscoring her dedication to addressing environmental factors that impact health worldwide.

Kate Gershwin, CPH | Project Coordinator

Kate Gershwin is a second-year MPH candidate at Washington University in St. Louis. She is passionate about pursuing global health equity through research, outreach, and transdisciplinary problem-solving. She has over three years of experience collaborating with international research teams as well as local community partners to design sustainable solutions to public health problems at the micro and macro levels. Professionally, she is interested in antimicrobial stewardship and optimizing infection prevention and control practices in healthcare settings. She is excited to support gender equity in global health through her work with Women in Global Health-Midwest.

Aditi Malay | Membership & Social Media Coordinator

Aditi Malay is a junior at Washington University in St. Louis on the pre-med track majoring in global health and environment. She wants to focus on racial health disparities and opportunities to address gender barriers. Aditi is a captain of the WashU Garba dance team and Vice President of Ashoka, the South Asian organization at WashU. She is also a PR co-lead for In-Between, that Pan-Asian mental health group on campus that seeks to promote dialogue surrounding mental health within the Asian and Asian American community. Aditi is excited to be part of the Women in Global Health Midwest Chapter team and explore the global health field.

Catherine Mulligan | Project Coordinator

Catherine Mulligan is a clinical research coordinator in the OB/GYN Clinical Research department at Washington University in St. Louis. She works with minimally invasive gynecologists, studying how to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from endometriosis.

Catherine has an MPH in global health and maternal and child health from Saint Louis University. She is passionate about the effects of climate change and how it disproportionally affects the health of women and children, particularly in communities of color.

Catherine is excited to continue her work in promoting women’s health and to serve as WGH-Midwest Chapter’s Project Coordinator!

Maya Kovacevic | Advocacy Coordinator

Maya Kovacevic is a fourth-year student at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in health & society. In addition to her work with WGH, she is an undergraduate researcher in the Jeffrey I. Gordon Lab at the School of Medicine, where she studies health and the gut microbiome in women and children.

In her third term as advocacy coordinator for WGH-Midwest, she looks forward to working with key agents in the Midwest to expand awareness of women’s role in global health. Maya also wants to help create a network of support and a source of reaffirmation for other young women as they navigate the many gendered barriers in the health field.

Become a Member

With the support of the Global Health Center and founder Caline Mattar, MD, an Institute for Public Health Faculty Scholar, the Midwest Chapter of Women in Global Health is moving forward and growing in membership. All interested in global health, regardless of gender, are encouraged to become a member of WGH by completing the membership form.