Megan Huchko, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and a core faculty member of the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI), has been appointed as the first Hollier Professor of Global Health, an endowed position created to advance Duke’s work on maternal and reproductive health around the world.
Huchko, who directs the Duke Center for Global Reproductive Health, has worked for decades to address the prevalence of cervical cancer in rural parts of Kenya and Uganda, where the disease accounts for thousands of preventable deaths. Working closely with health ministries and other collaborators, she has developed and implemented several strategies to improve access to cervical cancer screening, which have led to important findings about the barriers to care facing women in rural settings.
In Kenya, Huchko and colleagues have organized screenings through door-to-door visits and larger community health campaigns, which has helped increase screening coverage from 5% to 70% in certain rural areas. Working with a group of Duke undergraduate students, her team created a mobile app called mSaada to aid community health volunteers in counseling and tracking patients with the aim of getting more women to return for follow-up care.
The Hollier Family Professorship in Global Health was established in 2018 by Larry Hollier, Jr., M.D., his wife Lisa Hollier, M.D., and his parents, Larry Hollier, Sr., M.D., and Diana Hollier. The family, which has long roots in global medical service and philanthropy, made the gift to further their personal and professional commitment to advancing maternal and child health globally.
"We are so happy to support Duke's Global Health Institute and the transformative efforts of Dr. Huchko in rural Africa." Says Larry Hollier, Jr.
Hollier, who received his B.S. from Duke in 1987, is the chief of plastic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and the surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. He is chairman of the Global Medical Advisory Board of the cleft charity Smile Train and currently serves on DGHI’s board of advisors.
Lisa Hollier is a past president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The Holliers’ son, Pierce, is a senior at Duke.
“I am thrilled and humbled that the Holliers have chosen to support Duke and my work with this award,” Huchko says. “Their commitment to Duke and global maternal child health will allow us to continue the research and teaching in this area, in partnership with our African colleagues. I am very excited about the wealth of new opportunities this will provide for Duke students and researchers over the years.”