Powering Healthcare: The State of Play in Health Facility Electrification (Webinar)

19 July 2016

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PresentationIntroduction to the webinar and panelists

Presentation—Jem Porcaro: Introduction to Powering Healthcare

Presentation—Michaela Pfeiffer: Health Facility Electrification in a Global Public Health Context

Presentation—Carolina Barreto: Common Barriers to Sustainable Health Facility Electrification

This webinar, hosted by the Clean Energy Solutions Center and the United Nations Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network, will explore the role energy plays in strengthening health systems, particularly the functionality of health facilities and the services provided in them. Speakers will discuss the state of play in health facility electrification, providing analysis of the main barriers and opportunities for providing sustainable energy solutions to health facilities. This webinar is intended to be an introduction to the topic and the first of a series of webinars UN Foundation plans to hold in 2016 on sustainable health facility electrification, under its broader support to Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All).

The presentations will be followed by an interactive question and answer session with the audience.


  • Michaela Pfeiffer — Technical Officer – Interventions for Healthy Environments at the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Carolina Barreto — Beyond the Grid advisor at Power Africa in Kenya
  • Jem Porcaro — Senior Director of Energy Access at United Nations Foundation


Michaela PfeifferMichaela Pfeiffer, Technical Officer, Interventions for Healthy Environments at the World Health Organization (WHO)

Michaela has a Master’s degree in the control of infectious diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has worked in the health development sector for the World Health Organization for more than a decade on issues ranging from the coordination of donor assistance, vulnerability impact assessments, to the analysis of the effectiveness of targeted health interventions, including in the context of humanitarian emergencies.

Michaela joined WHO’s environment department in 2007 and for the past two years has the senior technical officer leading WHO’s global programme on Greening the Health Sector. In this capacity, she is working to address environmental issues associated with WHO’s own work and operation. She is also leading several projects on sustainable health systems focussing on issues such as green procurement, health care waste management, and mitigation of health sector greenhouse gas emissions. Michaela is WHO’s operational focal point for the SE4ALL High-Impact Opportunity on Energy for Women’s and Children’s Health.

Carolina BarretoCarolina Barreto, Beyond the Grid advisor at Power Africa in Kenya

Dr. Barreto is a renewable energy professional with more than 12 years of international experience. Dr. Barreto is part of Tetra Tech’s Clean Energy Team working on the identification, development, and implementation of renewable energy projects worldwide. She provided technical support for electricity grid backup systems in 33 health facilities in Haiti, providing backup from critical loads to entire facilities. The storage systems were charged by the grid, diesel generators and/or solar arrays providing solutions to grid reliance and resilience for disaster response. In Guyana, Dr. Barreto evaluated for 12 solar installations for rural health centers located in the Hinterlands where she inspected for code compliance, administered surveys to health workers, collected data health-energy impact, and worked with stakeholders on long term sustainability strategies. In Peru, She designed, installed, monitored and maintained more than 100 renewable energy systems in 86 villages in Ancash that addressed basic medical care including vaccine refrigeration and radio communication for remote health centers. Dr. Barreto provides technical due diligence and appraisals for the MCC Benin Power Compact off-grid component, a $45.9M investment entailing critical infrastructure electrification including health centers. She is currently the Beyond the Grid advisor for Power Africa in Kenya. She has a Doctorate in Energy Engineering and a Masters in Solar Energy Engineering.

Jem PorcaroJem Porcaro, Senior Director of Energy Access at the UN Foundation

Jem focuses on the UN Foundation's Energy and Women's Health work, in particular health clinic electrification. Jem has more than ten years of experience in international energy development. Immediately prior to joining the Foundation, Jem worked with Nexant and earlier in his career worked with UNDP on energy access issues in their global energy practice. Jem received his Master of International Affairs with a concentration in International Energy Policy and Management from Columbia University, and his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Tufts University.