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Rachel Hall-Clifford, PhD, MPH, MScAssistant Professor


Rachel Hall-Clifford, PhD, MPH, MSc, is Assistant Professor in the Center for the Study of Human Health and the Department of Sociology at Emory University. She is a medical anthropologist who applies social science approaches to global health research and implementation.

Dr. Hall-Clifford has conducted fieldwork in the central highlands of Guatemala on the delivery of health services for 15 years. Her research areas include accessible health care for marginalized populations, health systems strengthening in post-genocide contexts, and global health fieldwork ethics.

She has held medical anthropology research positions at Oxford University, Harvard University, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Hall-Clifford is Director of the NAPA-OT Field School in Guatemala and Co-Founder of safe+natal.


  • PhD in Anthropology, Boston University, 2009
  • Master of Public Health, Boston University, 2005
  • MSc in Medical Anthropology, University of Oxford, 2002
  • BA in Anthropology, University of the South, 2001

Recent Publications

M Juarez, Y Juarez, E Coyote, T Nguyen, C Shaw, R Hall-Clifford, G Clifford, and P Rohloff. Working with lay midwives to improve the detection of neonatal complications in rural Guatemala. BMJ Open Quality, 9(1). 

R Hall-Clifford and R Cook-Deegan.  “Ethically managing risks in global health fieldwork:  Human rights ideals confront real world challenges.” Health and Human Rights Journal, 21(1), 7-18. 

S Roche, M Brockington, S Fathima, M Nandi, B Silverberg, HE Rice, R Hall-Clifford.  Freedom of choice, expressions of gratitude: Patient experiences of short-term surgical missions in Guatemala. Social Science & Medicine, 208:117-25.

R Hall-Clifford, S Roche, S Fathima, N Palmius, K Hollingworth, J Kennedy, J Merida, M Stephens, R Lavalley, P Rohloff, P Garcia, G Clifford. Sustainable Technology for Surgical Referrals: Pilot Implementation of an Electronic Referral System for Short-Term Surgical Missions. Journal of Health Informatics in Developing Countries, 11(2).

B Nichols, K Umana, T Britton, L Farias, R Lavalley, RHall-Clifford. Transnational Information Politics and the “Child Migration Crisis”: Guatemalan NGOs Respond to Youth Migration. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 28(5):1962-87.

R Hall-Clifford, R Amerson.  From Guidelines to Local Realities:  Evaluation of oral rehydration therapy and zinc supplementation in Guatemala.  Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública/Pan American Journal of Public Health41:e8

Research Expertise

  • Childhood diarrheal disease and oral rehydration therapy
  • Maternal health in resource-constrained contexts
  • Global health program evaluation and operational research