Dr. Gretchen Globe Berggren


Physician Consultant in International Health & Nutrition

Dr. Gretchen Globe Berggren

Gretchen Berggren is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health where she served on the faculty from 1968-83, teaching international health and population sciences. Her husband, Warren Berggren, served at the same time in the Department of Tropical Public Health, where he taught parasitology. Both Berggrens have lived and worked in long-term assignments in the Congo, Haiti, and Tunisia; later serving with Save the Children and World Relief in more than 26 countries.

A strong proponent of census-based, community-oriented primary health care, Gretchen developed curricula for training multidisciplinary community health workers (CHWs) that brought equity in services and reached significant reductions in age-specific mortality rates following interventions with CHWs and “care groups.”

Her work has focused on the “positive deviance” method of indentifying and transferring nutrition skills to poor mothers, taught by trained local women who act as resident home visitors and organize temporary itinerant workshops know as “hearths” in the kitchens of volunteer mothers.

During long-term assignments in Haiti (67-72 and 93-98) at the Hopital Albert Schweitzer, the Berggrens shepherded more than 200 medical and public health students in projects that were approved by the faculties of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Berggren has been associated with the Children’s Nutrition of Haiti for more than twelve years. She is a former Board Member and presently serves on the CNP Advisory Council.