The lessons from this pandemic are helping Joanne Liu prepare us for the next one

Published: 14 April 2023

“Epidemics and pandemics are without pity,” says Joanne Liu (MDCM'91, IMHL'14, DSc'16) “If there are weak links, they will break.” Liu is the former president of Médecins Sans Frontières, and a graduate of Desautels’ International Masters for Health Leadership program. In 2021, she joined McGill’s School of Population and Global Health to create the new Pandemic Emergency Readiness Lab (PERL). It is focused on training the next generation of health emergency leaders and ensuring vaccine equity. “The first casualty in pandemics is solidarity,” Liu said in a profile in Chatelaine magazine. A leader will protect their citizens first, but there is plenty of room to improve the effectiveness of vaccine distribution. And that includes building alliances with communities, so that recommendations are culturally sensitive and locally informed.


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