Charlene A. Galarneau

Charlene A. Galarneau
Faculty emerita
B.A., University of Massachusetts; M.A.R., Iliff School of Theology; A.M., Ph.D., Harvard University

Charlene A. Galarneau

Associate Professor Emerita of Women’s and Gender Studies

Ethics of US health care, health policy, and public health with emphases on gender, race, and class; bioethics; theories of justice; global health.

Charlene A. Galarneau is Associate Professor Emerita of Women’s and Gender Studies (WGST) and taught at Wellesley from 2005-2018. Prior to that she was faculty in the Community Health Program at Tufts University (1996-2005) and held a secondary appointment at Tufts Medical School. She received a doctorate in religion from Harvard University with a concentration in religious social ethics and health policy, and holds master’s degrees from Harvard and the Iliff School of Theology (Denver).

Charlene’s research focuses on the ethics of health and health care, and in particular, theories of justice that attend to gender, race, class, and other social structures. Her book, Communities of Health Care Justice (Rutgers, 2016), presents a concept of community justice that takes seriously the moral and policy roles of communities in a just health care system. Other research interests include religious exemptions in the Affordable Care Act, the consequences of health care reform on immigrants, institutional discrimination in U.S. blood donation policy, and reproductive justice. Her work also appears in Health and Human Rights, The Hastings Center Report, The American Journal of Bioethics, Public Health Ethics, The Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, and The Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.

At Wellesley, Charlene taught courses in feminist bioethics, gender justice and health policy, women and health, global health, and U.S. public health. She directed (and prior to that co-directed) the WGST Health and Society Minor and taught its core course, and was faculty in the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs (2017, 2010-2012). In 2009, Charlene was honored with Wellesley’s Anna and Samuel Pinanski Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2007, with the Outstanding Contribution to the Academy Alumni/ae Award from the Iliff School of Theology.

Charlene’s academic interests were initially motivated by her early public health/health care work with rural community/migrant health centers and the communities they serve, with the Colorado Community Health Network (a state-wide primary health care association), and by her tenure on the National Migrant Health Advisory Committee (Secretary HHS appointment).