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Kate Otto
Kate Otto works in the field of public health, at the intersection of new technologies and human behavior. She currently works with the World Bank in Ethiopia and Mozambique, assessing the impacts of mobile phone tools on improving maternal health and nutrition programs. She has also worked with USAID in Indonesia designing and deploying a mobile health tool for HIV/AIDS and drug rehabilitation counselors. In 2014 she will publish her book Everyday Ambassador: Creating Connections that Last in a Digitally Distracted World, and more information is available through her website, TEDx talk, Facebook page, and on Twitter.

Kate's past projects in the health sector include the development of a mobile health tool for midwives in Indonesia, training youth leaders in HIV/AIDS peer education in Ghana and Tanzania, and supporting HIV centers in South Africa, Rwanda, and Uganda with Keep a Child Alive.

A graduate of New York University with a BA in International Relations and a MPA in International Health Policy & Management (serving as Commencement Speaker in 2009), Kate is part of several service-driven communities, including the Catherine B. Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Academy of Achievement, and the Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Entries by Kate Otto

The Most Shocking Thing About the HIV-Free Baby

(6) Comments | Posted March 19, 2013 | 11:28 AM

When the news of the HIV-free baby hit the newswires last week, I felt delighted, but not entirely surprised.

As someone who has many friends living with HIV, the tale was not radically new. The child was born positive, and was administered antiretroviral medication that her mother should have...

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Summers of Service

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2012 | 3:13 PM

In major cities and campus towns around the country, graduation season is upon us: students sporting mortarboards and flowing gowns, 'Pomp and Circumstance' echoing on the breeze, and mouths and minds abuzz with the big question:

"What next?"

An increasingly popular answer for students, whether graduating this season or...

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World Health Organization Reports Conundrum for eHealth Evaluation

(2) Comments | Posted May 3, 2012 | 1:15 PM

A health worker in India scanning the fingerprint of a patient to confirm they have taken their tuberculosis medication? A nurse in Kenya using a patient registration system on a cell phone at mobile maternity clinic?


This is no longer a public...

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TOMS Shoes Controversy: A Call to Move From Discussion to Action

(4) Comments | Posted April 12, 2012 | 4:36 AM

This week, the social enterprise TOMS Shoes asked customers to participate in an awareness-raising exercise called "A Day Without Shoes" in which participants would sacrifice wearing shoes for one day, "so kids don't have to."

TOMS' model of social entrepreneurship is a "one-for-one" approach: for every pair of shoes you...

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How To Survive A Plague: On ACT-UP's 25th anniversary, a Look at Activism in the Internet Age

(1) Comments | Posted March 27, 2012 | 11:30 AM

Like many Millennials who self-identify as "AIDS activists", I learned about the organization ACT-UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) during high school, when I first became interested in HIV/AIDS activism. I read a few articles, saw some photos of protest, but struggled to navigate their website --  my...

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Kony as a Catalyst

(1) Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 2:51 PM

Surely you have heard by now about Kony2012, the viral media campaign launched by 'Invisible Children' (IC) to educate the masses about war criminal Joseph Kony, and galvanize a legislative push to bring the man down.

For all its merit and getting people to care about a serious issue...

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MAMA Knows Best

(3) Comments | Posted January 17, 2012 | 10:02 AM

This Mother's Day, paying your taxes never felt so great.

As Americans gather on Sunday to honor our mamas, we should also be celebrating "MAMA," a new global health initiative launched by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). MAMA, the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action, is an...

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One of the People-people

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2011 | 11:22 AM

"Oh, you're one of the international people," a young nurse from Washington, D.C. said to me at last week's mHealth Summit, an annual gathering that attracted 3,600 participants this year (up from 300 attendees in 2009), united in their desire to use of mobile phones to improve health...

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Mobile Media Toolkit Puts the Power in Your Hands

(1) Comments | Posted November 18, 2011 | 12:58 PM

Enacting large-scale social change is a dream that most days, feels completely out of grasp.
This seems to be the case even when changes sought are not revolutionary -- like a desire for accountability from your local politicians, or action from unresponsive and irresponsible companies, or more accessible,...

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Who Run the World? (Chix!)

(1) Comments | Posted August 5, 2011 | 10:54 AM

While many students around the world are still enjoying their summer vacations, one very talented group of young women in Kenya is just getting ready to graduate.

Meet the AkiraChix, a team of young ladies dedicated to information technology (IT) innovation, and to setting new gender stereotypes...

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Planning for Effective Parenthood

(2) Comments | Posted March 7, 2011 | 9:12 PM

From the moment I stepped foot in the waiting room, my first visit to the gynecologist in Indonesia was unforgettable: not because I was the only foreigner seeking services, but because I was quite evidently the only woman in the room who was not pregnant.

Thirty minutes and an awkward...

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Winning the Future, Losing the Point?

(0) Comments | Posted January 26, 2011 | 1:12 AM

If there is anything that Americans can rally around, it is the idea of "winning."

We are, after all, a capitalist culture, fueled by competition and fiercely protective of our status quo as the wealthiest nation on the planet. Consider the recent uproar over Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the...

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Cory Booker's Blizzard: A Prediction for Global Health Prosperity in 2011

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2011 | 11:31 AM

As blizzard conditions dominated the past week's headlines, unplowed streets posed terrible consequences in cities like Brooklyn, where a newborn child died before an ambulance could reach the mother's home, and a middle-aged man barely survived a heart attack having to be carried by neighbors to the nearest...

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"Rapid Response" to an Ancient Issue (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2010 | 4:30 PM

As an American and public health professional, I have not always felt proud of the traditions that follow our Thanksgiving feast: the consumption of pounds of leftovers and the slipping of healthy eating habits at holiday parties; the chaos of consumer stress teeming at pre-dawn Black Friday shopping extravaganzas; the...

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My Bracelet Makes a Businesswoman (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2010 | 2:09 AM

I wear African jewelry to spark storytelling.

Be it the bold and intricate beadwork from the Maasai Mara or the handcrafted sea glass beads from Ghana's Cape Coast, when such jewelry is unfailingly noticed, I quickly direct the conversation to the independent African businesswomen who have made and sold...

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Apps for Development, not Destruction (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2010 | 3:19 PM

Technology has, at times, brought out the worst in humans. For all of the potentially magnificent applications to alleviating human suffering and increasing the efficiency of contributions to strengthen society, we have still ended up with iPhone apps like "FlickaBooger" and "Barf Puke-a-Thon" that are, shockingly, not even free, but...

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Cell Phones Saving Lives in Ghana

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2010 | 8:24 PM

Despite our complex web of health access issues in America, we boast over 27 physicians per 10,000 individuals. On average, that means one doctor is responsible for 370 people.

That may sound like a heavy load at first, until you consider that in a progressive African nation like Ghana,...

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