Molly Marsh is managing editor at Partners In Health, an organization that works to provide health care to poor populations around the world.

Posts By This Author

What Matters Most?

by Molly Marsh 04-01-2015
"Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End" by Atul Gawande 

EARLY IN Being Mortal, surgeon Atul Gawande tells the story of Joseph Lazaroff, a patient with incurable prostate cancer. His medical team pursued multiple treatments, including emergency radiation and surgery, but Lazaroff ultimately died. What most struck Gawande later was that he and the team avoided talking honestly about Lazaroff’s choices—even when they knew he couldn’t be cured.

“We could never bring ourselves to discuss the larger truth about his condition or the ultimate limits of our capabilities, let alone what might matter most to him as he neared the end of his life,” Gawande writes. “The chances that he could return to anything like the life he had even a few weeks earlier were zero. But admitting this and helping him cope with it seemed beyond us.”

Why is that? For one, Gawande’s medical training didn’t prepare him for dealing with frailty, aging, or dying, he writes. He and his peers were taught to “fix,” to heal people with expertise, tools, and tests. Like most doctors, he approached his patients’ challenges as medical problems to solve, whether they were the accumulations of old age or terminal illness.

Good News About Smart Giving

by Molly Marsh 11-06-2014
"A Path Appears," Knopf Publishing

IT’S EASY to lose heart when tackling the painful challenges we live with—poverty, racism, violence, sex trafficking. We volunteer and donate our time and money, but do those efforts really make a difference?

Nicholas D. Kristof, a New York Times columnist, and Sheryl WuDunn, a former Times reporter who works in finance, had the same question; A Path Appears is the result of their investigation. The husband-and-wife team canvassed the giving world, interviewing socially minded people working as individuals or in community with nonprofits, corporations, for-profit organizations, and everything in between. Turns out millions of lives are being transformed next door and across the globe—including our own.

Bernard Glassman, for example, is an aeronautical engineer who wanted to do something about homelessness. After researching the issue for six months, he decided jobs were the most urgent need and started Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, N.Y., a for-profit company whose mission is to employ homeless men and women.

How to Beat Ebola

by Molly Marsh 11-05-2014
The only way to defeat the epidemic is to strengthen health-care systems.

CONSIDER A FATHER from rural Liberia who shows symptoms of Ebola. There are no health clinics in or near his village, so he and his family make the 10-hour trip to Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, using public transportation, potentially infecting others at every stage of their journey.

They arrive at the city’s public hospital, which is overflowing with patients because the facility is understaffed and underresourced. Staff members don’t have sufficient training or the tools to treat Ebola’s symptoms, the space to isolate infected patients, or the appropriate equipment to protect themselves from danger. They can’t cope with the sheer number of patients—those with the virus or with other illnesses—and the father likely dies.

What if, instead, the father is seen by a community health worker in his village? She notes his fever, vomiting, and diarrhea and knows he needs fluids immediately. The nurse who supervises her concurs, and they begin treatment. In the meantime, the nurse sends word for an ambulance from the nearby clinic to retrieve him, and she tells the family to limit their contact with others and to watch for similar symptoms in themselves for three weeks.

The local clinic is fully staffed and resourced. Doctors and nurses in full protective gear meet the ambulance, take the father to a hospital bed that is placed at some distance from others, and continue administering fluids. Because his community health worker spotted his symptoms early, and because high-quality care is close by, the father likely lives.

Extended Interview with Sami Awad

by Jim Rice, by Molly Marsh 05-01-2010

Sami Awad’s vocation is to tear down walls in the Middle East.

New and Noteworthy

by Molly Marsh 02-01-2010

Blessed Are …

Extended Interview with Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

by Molly Marsh 01-01-2010

Promoting gender equality is crucial to combating global poverty, a point Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn make in their new book,

Turning Despair into Hope

by Molly Marsh 01-01-2010

Focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism.

Audio Interview with Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

by Molly Marsh 01-01-2010

Promoting gender equality is crucial to combating global poverty, a point Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn make in their new book,

New and Noteworthy

by Molly Marsh 01-01-2010

Power of the Word

New and Noteworthy

by Molly Marsh 12-01-2009
The Sant'Egidio Book of Prayer, by Angela Riccardi; Peaceful Heroes, by Jonah Winter; Bearing the Mystery: Twenty Years of Image, by Gregory Wolfe; Trails of Hope and Terror: Testimonies on Immigration, by Miguel De La Torre.

Uwem Akpan's Double Calling as Priest and Writer

by Molly Marsh 11-13-2009

While we'd love to think we inspired Oprah to choose Uwem Akpan's Say You're One of Them as her current book club pick, we are glad his collection of stories is getting lots of new readers. Last year we asked Sojourners contributing writer Kimberly Burge to profile this important writer -- probably the first Nigerian Jesuit priest ever to have two stories published in The New Yorker. Burge writes about Akpan's double calling as a priest and writer, his early training in religious formation as well as the craft of writing. "More and more," Akpan says, "I'm beginning to believe that Christ was both a priest and a poet."

Light vs. Heat

by Molly Marsh 11-01-2009
Science and religion books explore the "seen and the unseen."

A Look Inside Graphic Novels

by Molly Marsh 11-01-2009

Take a look inside some of the graphic novels featured in Van Jensen's article, "Nothing Comic About It." 

Want to End Poverty? Focus on Women and Girls

by Molly Marsh 09-10-2009

Promoting gender equality is crucial to combating global poverty, a point Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn make in their new book,

New and Noteworthy

by Molly Marsh 09-01-2009
Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices, by Julie Clawson; The Fray, by The Fray; Learning to Sing in a Strange Land, by Wesley Stevens; and Grace Notes: Daily Readings with a Fellow Pilgrim, by Philip Yancey.

Resources About Sports and Human Rights

by Molly Marsh 08-01-2009

For more on sports and human rights, check out these books:

New and Noteworthy

by Molly Marsh 07-01-2009
Dom Helder Camara: Essential Writings, by Francis McDonagh; Where Mercy Fails: Darfur's Struggle to Survive, by Chris Herlinger; The Economics of Honor, by Roelf Hann; and Albert Schweitzer: Call to Africa, by Martin Doblmeier.

Theology in a Minor Key

by Molly Marsh 06-01-2009
The blues live in this world -- yet long for the next. An interview with Steve Nichols.

New and Noteworthy

by Molly Marsh 06-01-2009
Money & Faith: The Search for Enough, by Michael Schut; After Gandhi: 100 Years of Nonviolent Resistance, by Anne and Perry O'Brien; Beyond Our Differences, by Peter Bisanz; and Kids + Money, by Lauren Greenfield.

Steven J. Nichols talks Blues, Suffering, and Salvation

by Molly Marsh 06-01-2009

The blues can articulate our deepest suffering as broken humans in need of redemption, says Stephen J. Nichols, professor of Christianity and culture at Lancaster Bible College and author of Getting the Blues: What Blues Music Teaches Us about Suffering and Salvation. Listen in as he talks with Sojourners associate editor Molly Marsh about the theological story contained in the blues.