Sally Guttmacher, PhD, MPhil College of Global Public Health Professor and Associated Faculty Member, and Professor of Public Health, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. An early and vocal advocate for interventionism, Sally was drawn to the field of public health because she longed for a field of study that embraced both anthropology and her strong contention that as a society, we have a duty to become deeply engaged in helping the most vulnerable among us. As an undergraduate student at the London School of Economics and the Oriental School of Medicine, Sally was drawn to Africa and quickly became involved in anti-Apartheid activities. Once she returned to the U.S. - and to New York University - she joined the faculty of Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development as a Professor of Public Health. Her research interests include policy and prevention of chronic and infectious diseases; poverty and public health; reproductive health; and women's health and evaluation. Much of her research in the past several years has been in the Cape Town Metro area of South Africa. Dr. Guttmacher is currently involved in two research projects in South Africa: the first, on the integration of TB and HIV clinics in the Cape Town Metro area on which she is collaborating with her Doctoral Student Jenny Uyei. The second is examining the health and educational risk faced by the youth from Zimbabwe who are currently refugees in South Africa.
Sally's expertise is on cross-border migrants, and her work focuses on those vulnerable to HIV AIDS, as it is more prevalent in South Africa than in any other country. She has witnessed firsthand how the rights afforded South Africans to education and healthcare are slowly slipping away for refugees. The borders are porous, and most of whom enter South Africa free of HIV, are quickly at-risk because they often don't have access to testing and healthcare as a non-citizen nor as a refugee. For several years, Sally has taught an intensive course in South Africa, Community Health: A Society in Transition. The course offers graduate students the unique opportunity to explore how political change has affected health care access and policy in South Africa. Immersed in the work of social advocacy groups and health NGOs, students visit rural areas and meet local families, learning about HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention programs from a rural perspective and developing practical skills. In the process, they gain an understanding of the country's priority regions in reproductive health and infectious diseases.
"This course opens the eyes of our students and helps them to see the cultural similarities and differences between South Africa and the US on topics such as racism and delivery of healthcare," said Sally. This ongoing comparative analysis extends the length of the course and she sees how the experience motivates students to explore what they can do to intervene and help these vulnerable populations. The excitement and enthusiasm her students exhibit are in turn catalysts for this interventionist to return each summer to teach a new cohort of young scholars the importance of stepping in to save lives.
Dr. Guttmacher has directed the MPH program here at NYU for many years. She is also involved in the evaluation of a training program for NPs in Title 10 clinics. Her book, Community Based Health Interventions, was published in 2010, with Pat Kelly and Yumary Ruiz, Jossey Bass. She is a member of the Board of Public Health Examiners, NAF, and Immediate Past President of the Council on Public Health Programs. She is also an Honorary Professor in the Schools of Public Health at both the University of Cape Town and The University of the Western Cape, and past faculty member of the Mailman School of Public Health and Rutgers School of Public Health.