Miriam Taegtmeyer is a Professor of Global Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, where she heads the Community Health Systems Research Group. The group consists of staff and doctoral students with a research portfolio of over £8 million (2018), spanning 11 countries across Africa and Asia. Our vision is to create a world where your health is not dictated by who you are, where you are born or where you live. We conduct robust and innovative global health implementation research on community health systems. We engage and partner with communities, practitioners and policy makers and our research is used to strengthen and sustain high quality community health systems for underserved communities
As a public health researcher, practicing NHS consultant physician and qualified teacher Miriam focuses on implementation research that bridges disciplines. Her research in the complementary areas of HIV testing and counselling, community health systems and quality improvement has directly impacted public health and informed global and national policies and guidelines. She is particularly interested in progress to universal health coverage and improved health equity in resource poor settings. Using mixed methods research she has designed and tested approaches to the scale-up of community health programmes that are both cost effective and of high quality, leading to over 90 peer reviewed publications in JAMA, AIDS, JAIDS and the WHO Bulletin among others. Through her unique approach to combining research with implementation her work is responsive to local needs, solution-based and builds on local capacity and priorities thus ensuring policy uptake and creating resilience in health systems. In 2015 Miriam was included in the Graduate Institute list of 300 Women Leaders in Global Health.
The REACHOUT network, for which she is PI, is respected internationally as an example of excellence in community health systems research. REACHOUT hosts the Thematic Working Group on Close-to-Community Providers under Health Systems Global – a community of practice bringing together over 250 key players in health systems. The work of REACHOUT has been quoted in UK parliament and its approaches to quality improvement of community health programmes have influenced national and regional policy in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Ethiopia. Findings from Miriam’s research in HIV have been taken up in national policy through her involvement in the Kenya VCT committee (2001 – 2004); the Kenyan national ARVs task force (2002-2004), the Namibian national HTC guidelines (2010) and operational plan for HIV (2011) and the Tanzanian quality improvement framework for HTC. She was a member of the WHO HTC guidelines development group (2007-2015) and member of the WHO consolidated ART guidelines (2010 – 2014).
Miriam was the founder of LVCT Health(link is external), an indigenous Kenyan NGO which was established out of an operational research project on HIV testing and counselling in 2000. This work was cited as an example of best practice in the 2004 National Audit Office Report due to its cost-effective health impact. LVCT Health has now grown into a successful, internationally-recognised, indigenous organisation that provides HIV tests and services to millions of Kenyans, trained over 3000 health care workers and provided technical assistance to Ministries of Health in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Botswana and Tanzania, creating a large platform for implementation research. It is a great privilege for Miriam to continue to have joint research projects with LVCT Health. Miriam has also provided technical assistance in HIV counselling and testing in Nigeria, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Namibia.