You are sitting at your desk with a paper and pencil. You draw a rectangle on the paper and start looking at it from different angles. It represents the layout of an operating room. You draw a larger box around the inner one. This represents the whole perioperative area. What do you put inside these boxes? How many water stations do you need? Hand washing basins? What about oxygen pipes or electrical outlets? Or back-up generators for the unstable electrical system in the low-resource setting? These are all things Jim Ansara and his team and Build Health International (BHI) are trying to tackle – creating low-cost but robust surgical facilities in places like Haiti. Listen in as we discuss the complex planning that is required for the design, construction, and maintenance of surgical facilities, infrastructure within health systems, and creating sustainable teams (both construction teams and surgical teams!). We are sure you will learn a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in the creation of medical structures and things you should think about as part of the surgical workforce using these facilities – we know we did!

Jim Ansara: Founder/former CEO of Shawmut Design and Construction and Co-Founder/Executive Director of Build Health International (BHI)






“Infrastructure, Design/Construction/Maintenance of Hospitals, Sustainability”







Dr Rolvix Patterson: Otolaryngology Resident at Duke University and Research Associate at Harvard PGSSC




Jim Ansara works on the front lines to build global health infrastructure where it’s needed most. Founder and former CEO of Shawmut Design and Construction – one of the top 25 construction companies in the US – Jim has pursued “boots-on-the-ground” philanthropy since his retirement in 2005, giving to and participating in programs that make tangible differences in the lives of underprivileged people. After the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Jim volunteered to oversee construction of a 350-bed national teaching hospital. At 240,000 square feet, Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais remains one of the only large construction projects successfully completed in Haiti since the earthquake. Today, Jim is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Build Health International (BHI), where he leads a multi-disciplinary team to bring resilient and sustainable healthcare infrastructure to some of the poorest and most marginalized communities in 20 countries across Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.


Guest Host: Dr Rolvix Patterson, MD, MPH,  is a North Carolina native and an otolaryngology – head and neck surgery and T32 research resident at Duke University. As an undergraduate at Duke, he majored in Global Health and studied Haitian Creole. Upon graduation, he moved to Fond-des-Blancs, Haiti, where he served as Visitor and Communications Coordinator for Health Equity International at St. Boniface Hospital. Rolvix then earned his medical degree (MD) and Master of Public Health (MPH) from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During that time, he conducted research on surgical care in Haiti and served as a Paul Farmer Research Associate at Harvard Medical School’s Program in Global Surgery and Social Change. His current research focuses on the global burden of head and neck conditions and otolaryngology care delivery.