April Kimmel, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of healthcare policy and research, is interested in the health-related decisions that policy makers must face, especially in settings with limited resources. It’s a path of investigation that arose from an early career experience in South Africa.
Before her training, Kimmel worked for a HIV research group at Massachusetts General Hospital where she was introduced to issues involved in the value for money spent on different HIV diagnosis and treatment interventions. Then, she took the opportunity to attend an international AIDS conference in South Africa — the first time the conference was not held in a high-income country. “That was my aha moment,” she says.
Kimmel earned her Ph.D. in health policy from Harvard and did postdoctoral work at Weill Cornell Medical College. She’s keen not only to understand the value of different health interventions but to plumb the tension between what’s best for an individual patient and what’s best for a population, for public health. For instance, she has studied cost-effectiveness of different treatment policies for HIV-infected patients — first in the U.S. and then in West African settings, where she says, “The questions are very different.”