In Loving Memory of Dr. Eileen Stillwaggon

We regret to share that sad news of the recent death of our colleague Dr. Eileen Stillwaggon. She was a champion for the scientific work of neglected diseases and a special contributor to the Chagas Disease Global Coalition.

01 June 2020

We wish to express our deepest condolences to her family in these tough moments, as well as to record our heartfelt appreciation for the ideas, energy and knowledge that Dr. Stillwaggon brought to the network of the Coalition.

She accompanied the Chagas Coalition since its first participation in the annual meetings of the COR-NTD (Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases). Last year, she leaded the proposal of the breakout session focused on mother to child transmission control. In the introduction of her presentation, we still recall her emotional remembrance of the legacy of their parents and the way in which her mother made her feel confidence even in the bad moments with a great sense of determination and hope. In recent weeks, she was still participating with us in the developing of a new session proposal for the next COR-NTD.

Dr. Stillwaggon has been professor of Economics and Benjamin Franklin professor of Arts and Sciences at Gettysburg College. She was educated at the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University, the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge, and the Department of Economics at American University. She wrote extensively on HIV/AIDS in developing nations for scholarly journals. She is the author of the books AIDS and the Ecology of Poverty (Oxford University Press), and Stunted Lives, Stagnant Economies: Poverty, Disease, and Underdevelopment (Rutgers University Press) about the interaction of poor health and poverty, based on her work in informal settlements and public clinics and hospitals in Argentina. She has also taught at universities in Tanzania, Ecuador, and Argentina and conducted research in many countries in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, and Eastern Europe.

Regarding Chagas disease, she contributed with several articles, book chapters and papers. We highlight the recently paper published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene on May 2020: “Congenital Chagas Disease in the United States: The Effect of Commercially Priced Benznidazole on Costs and Benefits of Maternal Screening. Earlier in 2018, she had also published on “Cost Savings through Maternal Screening”. Stillwaggon was an elected Councilor of the Committee on Global Health, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. She was also Secretary of the International AIDS Economics Network and a member of the Editorial Board of AIDS Care and PLoS One.

Words can never express the sadness of losing a so kind and loving human being as Dr. Stillwaggon, but all the expressions shared among the Chagas community, after her death, have been related to an indelibly memory of her sweet energy and dedication to the diseases of vulnerable populations. Thanks Dr. Stillwaggon for everything you gave to us. Once more, we wish to express our deepest condolences to her family and colleagues.