Katia Vieira de Moraes LaCasse, M.D.
Master of Public Health Program
A dedicated humanitarian, Katia Vieira de Moraes LaCasse, M.D., was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and received her medical degree from Faculdade de Medicina do ABC in 2004 and completed a pediatric residency in 2010 at Santa Casa de Misericordia de São Paulo.
After several years working as a pediatric hospitalist and running a private pediatric practice, Vieira de Moraes LaCasse embarked on her first humanitarian deployment to Afghanistan with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The experience had an immense impact on her and changed her life trajectory, says Vieira de Moraes LaCasse.
"After my six months in Afghanistan, I returned home to Brazil, quit both my jobs and closed my private practice. I could not fathom going back to work in private hospitals when I knew how much help was needed in humanitarian contexts," she says. "I set out to dedicate my life to humanitarian work full time."
Three years ago, after additional MSF deployments to South Sudan, as well as Save the Children deployments to Colombia, Syria, Haiti, and Dominican Republic, Vieira de Moraes LaCasse moved to Vermont. Currently serving as the clinical lead for the Emergency Health Unit at Save the Children U.S., she decided to pursue a Master of Public Health degree at UVM to "add more tools to her arsenal to provide better responses and affect policy development," she says. After her first two courses this summer, Vieira de Moraes LaCasse says she "already noticed a significant difference in perspective and reasoning in my work," and adds "I am convinced that starting my MPH at UVM was the right decision."