Reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality with a Solar Suitcase: The Power to Save Lives-Laura Stachel, MD, MPH & Hal Aronson, PhD-03/13/2012 - 6:00pm

Event Information
Event Topic: 
Reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality with a Solar Suitcase: The Power to Save Lives
Event Date: 
03/13/2012 - 6:00pm
Event Location: 
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, 650 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto CA
Speaker Information
Event Speaker: 
Laura Stachel, MD, MPH & Hal Aronson, PhD
Event Speaker Title: 
Co-Founders, Medical and Technology Directors
Event Speaker Company: 
Event Speaker Bio: 

Laura Stachel, MD, MPH & Hal Aronson, PhD

LAURA STACHEL, M.D., M.P.H., Co-founder, Medical Director, WE CARE Solar
Co-founder and executive director of WE CARE Solar, Laura Stachel is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with fourteen years of clinical experience. She holds an M.D. from University of California, San Francisco and an M.P.H. in Maternal and Child Health from University of California, Berkeley. She is a DrPH candidate at UCB; her dissertation centers on emergency obstetric care in Nigeria. Stachel is the Associate Director of Emergency Obstetric Research in West Africa for the Bixby Center for Population Health and Sustainability. She collaborates with Population Reproductive Health Partnership, and was a co-investigator for a collaborative Population Council study aiming to improving the standard of maternity care in Nigerian state hospitals. Laura serves on the Editorial Board for the Berkeley Wellness Letter, co-chairs an international working group on Energy and Health for the UN Foundation, and lectures at the UCB School of Public Health.

HAL ARONSON, Ph.D., Co-founder, Technology Director, WE CARE Solar
Co-founder and technology director of WE CARE Solar, Hal Aronson been teaching renewable energy in the Bay Area and around California for thirteen years. He is co-director of Solar Way Forward, a solar design, education, and consultation firm. He co-created Solar Schoolhouse, bringing solar curriculum to schools throughout California. He also created California Youth Energy Services, a service learning program that now employs one hundred youth a year as energy-efficient retrofitters. Hal leads professional development workshops, teaches at Solar Richmond and Solar Energy International, and creates project-based learning and curriculum for students of all ages. Hal installed the first legal residential solar electric system in Santa Cruz County (in 1983). He obtained his Ph.D. in environmental sociology from UCSC; his dissertation focused on environmental justice.

Event Details
$6 - Students/In-transition - Members only
$11 - Early-bird Registration - Members only
$20 - Late Registration and Non-Members
$25 - Walk-ins
Event Details: 

This seminar presents the progress to date of WE CARE Solar (, a Berkeley-based non-profit, in delivering ultra-efficient lighting, power for mobile communication, and medical equipment to maternal health clinics of the developing world. In 2008 - 2009, when OB/GYN doctor Laura Stachel was studying clinical practices in an urban state hospital and surrounding clinics in Nigeria, she found a surprising result. Lack of reliable electricity was a major factor for material and infant mortality, even in grid connected buildings. Women with obstetrical complications were unable to obtain life-saving care, for lack of light and electricity-dependent equipment, despite the availability of trained medical personnel. Partnering with her husband Hal Aronson, they founded a non-profit called WE CARE Solar and developed a portable solar electric system called The Solar Suitcase to address the problem. Now the award-winning Solar Suitcase has been introduced in 17 countries, and the organization is poised to begin large-scale programs in two African nations. This seminar reviews the history of WE CARE Solar and highlights challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.