Jo Paluzzi
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Jo Paluzzi

Jo Paluzzi
Medical Anthropologist
Assistant Director of Clinical Education
Western University of Health Science
College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Lebanon, Oregon campus

Lessons from a Spider shares some of the insights learned from nurse/anthropologist Jo Paluzzi following an extended (and ongoing) stay on the other side of the patient/provider equation following an MVA in 2015. The accident also became the impetus to explore the impact of major trauma on lives not conditioned by the advantages that most (but not all) of us in the United States take for granted. Geographic and socioeconomic barriers to healthcare account for preventable deaths, disabilities, and suffering across the spectrum of health issues in low-resource settings. These disparities are brought into dramatic focus in the context of trauma where the “golden hour” (the standard of medical intervention following major trauma) is meaningless for individuals where, if they survive the immediate aftermath of trauma, frequently have no access to life and limb-sparing surgical interventions or to the rehabilitative services that can restore function and reduce pain.

Jo Paluzzi is currently the Assistant Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor of Social Medicine and Healthcare Leadership at the College of Osteopathic Medicine –NW at Western University of Health Sciences in Lebanon, Oregon where she also serves as the Director of the Global and Community Health Track. Dr. Paluzzi worked with the non-governmental organization, Partners In Health (PIH) based in Boston where, in addition to her engagement with the work of PIH, she also served as a Senior Fellow and Administrative Coordinator of the largest task force within the United Nations Millennium Project: the Task Force on HIV, TB, Malaria and Access to Essential Medicines. She was a lead authors on two of the final reports (Tuberculosis and Access to Essential Medicines).

She is a Critical Medical Anthropologist whose research interests have included the social epidemiology of tuberculosis and other infectious diseases; the scale-up of the national health system under Chavez in Venezuela; access to healthcare by migrant workers in the southern US; immigration policies under the second Bush administration and its impact on TB treatment along the US and Mexico border; and the relational dynamics between the pharmaceutical industry and non-profit, disease-specific organizations. 

Prior to returning for her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, she was a critical care and emergency department nurse for more than twenty years.