Mercy Ships Appoints New International Chief Medical Officer

Mercy Ships

Published Sep 12, 2022 5:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

Mercy Ships is pleased to announce that Professor Mark G. Shrime, MD, MPH, PhD, FACS, has accepted the position of International Chief Medical Officer (ICMO) effective immediately.

Dr. Shrime has served on board the Africa Mercy® regularly each year as a volunteer head and neck surgeon since 2008 and Surgical Specialty consultant since 2016. Besides his work with Mercy Ships, Dr. Mark is a lecturer in Global Health and Social Medicine at the Harvard Medical School.

Mercy Ships CEO Gert van de Weerdhof said, “Mark’s personality, background and extensive experience within global surgery makes him the right candidate as the leader for this strategic role within Mercy Ships. Dr. Mark will be based out of our executive offices but work regularly from both of our ships and at locations on the ground in Africa as he provides leadership and guidance to our International Programs. We are excited to have Dr. Mark join us in a full-time capacity.”

Dr Mark Shrime stated, “Surgical care must be an indispensable part of any healthcare system if we are to overcome injustice and improve access to safe, affordable, and timely surgery and save lives. I look forward to working even more closely with dedicated professionals around the world to not only decrease the burden of unmet surgical need, but to improve outcomes for patients by supporting surgical systems in the African nations Mercy Ships works alongside as they endeavor to become more effective, efficient, and responsive.”

Most recently, Shrime served as the O’Brien Chair of Global Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, as the founder and Director of the Center for Global Surgery Evaluation at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and as Research Director for the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard.

Dr. Shrime graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1996 with a BA in molecular biology. He received his MD from the University of Texas in 2001, after taking a year to teach organic chemistry in Singapore. Medical school was followed by a residency in otolaryngology at the joint Columbia/Cornell program in Manhattan, followed by a fellowship in head and neck surgical oncology at the University of Toronto in 2007. He completed a second fellowship in microvascular reconstructive surgery, also at the University of Toronto, in 2008. He was the first to identify a novel independent prognostic indicator in head and neck cancer.In May 2011, he graduated with an MPH in global health from the Harvard School of Public Health, where he was a finalist for both the Albert Schweitzer award and the HSPH Student Recognition award, and in May 2015, he received his PhD in health policy from Harvard University, with a concentration in decision science.

He is the author of seminal papers on the global burden of surgical disease, the financial burden facing surgical patients, and is an advocate for access to safe surgery worldwide. He served as a co-author on the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery. His recently published book titled Solving for Why: A Surgeon's Journey to Discover the Transformative Power of Purpose describes his personal journey.

To date, Shrime has worked and taught in Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Benin, Togo, Congo, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Cameroon, and Madagascar.

Academic pursuits focus on patient decision-making and surgical delivery in low- and middle-income countries, where he has a specific interest in the intersection of health, impoverishment, inequity, and global development. His work aims to determine optimal policies and platforms for surgical delivery that maximize health benefits while simultaneously minimizing the risk of financial catastrophe faced by patients. In 2018, he was awarded the Arnold P. Gold Humanism in Medicine Award by the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery.

When not working, he is a photographer, public speaker, rock climber and has competed on Seasons 8, 9, and 11 of American Ninja Warrior.

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