Enhancing. Synergy. Global. Health. Global Health Initiative Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University.

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1 Enhancing Synergy in Global Health Global Health Initiative Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University

2 For decades, Columbia University s Mailman School of Public Health has been deeply engaged in addressing public health challenges around the world. The School has well-established partnerships, research initiatives, and field programs in 100 countries where Mailman School faculty members work at the forefront of global public health research and practice on a vast array of issues. Today s global health problems require a vigorous and multidimensional response.whether it be in regard to communicable or non-communicable diseases, perinatal morbidity, nutritional deficits or injuries, more than ever a health system approach and a diversity of expertise are critical to devising the complex approaches needed to address these challenges. Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH Director, Global Health Initiative Based on this foundation, the School launched the Global Health Initiative (GHI) to foster new interdisciplinary science and promote partnerships that can fundamentally reshape thought and practice in the field of global public health. Attention to nurturing the new generation of global public health leaders has been at the center of GHI s efforts offering numerous additional opportunities for student engagement in global health issues. By mobilizing and linking the work and resources of the Mailman School with other institutions and programs both within Columbia University and across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, the Global Health Initiative is developing sustainable partnerships. This is enhancing synergies that can address the complex challenges that confront the health of populations around the world.

3 Global public health is a distinguished part of the Mailman School of Public Health s legacy and a key focus of our strategic plan. As we implement our 21st century vision for public health education, develop our research agenda, and expand our practice partnerships, the Mailman School is committed to advancing interdisciplinary scholarship and promoting health equity around the world. Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH Dean, Mailman School of Public Health The values of the Mailman School s Global Health Initiative Principled Partnerships The Role of Evidence A Multi-Level, Systemic View of Global Health Challenges Creating Links Between Research, Education and Policy Human Rights and Social Justice inform and shape our strategic objectives Stimulate Interdisciplinary Science Develop Sustained Global Partnerships Establish Innovative Educational Opportunities Enhance Leadership CREATING PLATFORMS FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE Thematic working groups unite faculty across disciplines and interests to scope new challenges, mobilize resources and training, and establish strategic programs of research. Thematic working groups on Health in Crisis and Health Systems Science have to date been established. The Health in Crisis Working Group looks beyond individual crises earthquakes, floods, and war to the interplay of factors behind these events, such as climate change, political instability, and migration. Reframing and linking these formerly distinct programmatic priorities offers the promise of developing both preventive actions and effective responses by the social, institutional, and economic structures that sustain health and healthcare systems.

4 The Health Systems Science Working Group is providing the thought leadership, research data, and field experience necessary to replicate proven pilot programs and model centers. The goal is to expand the impact of evidence-based solutions and build systems that can bring prevention, care, and treatment services to individuals, families, and communities on a significantly larger scale. Interdisciplinary science is also promoted by other priority programs. For instance, the Global Mental Health Program, is defining an agenda and setting the pace for multiple research collaborations and educational opportunities in partnership with diverse schools and institutes at Columbia University, as well as other academic institutions, government, and global agencies. CONNECTING GLOBAL PARTNERS Building on the partnerships established by Mailman faculty around the world, GHI seeks to advance relationships characterized by mutual respect and equitable benefit with partner institutions. Currently vibrant hubs are developing in Bangladesh, South Africa, Brazil, Tanzania, Vietnam and the Middle East to further training, education, research, and practice with longstanding partner institutions. Global Partnerships to Improve the Lives of Refugees GHI is working with Columbia University s Middle East Research Center in Amman to advance the health, nutrition, and protection of the region s many refugees. The Mailman School s Program on Forced Migration and Health is galvanizing national and international agencies towards forming regional and comprehensive child protection systems, including establishing the focused capacity to investigate grave violations against children in war-torn regions of the Middle East and North Africa. Mailman faculty and researchers with the Institute for Human Nutrition are supporting the development of a family-based health system addressing the emergence of non-communicable disease as a major threat to refugees, as well as the wider population of the region. The Changing Landscape of Global Public Health In October 2010, on the Columbia University campus, the Mailman School of Public Health brought together 125 thought leaders in global public health from 33 countries for the landmark conference The Changing Landscape of Global Public Health. Co-sponsored by the Association of Schools of Public Health and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, this meeting helped to create a vision for next-generation strategies and identified leadership requirements for global public health in the decades ahead. With broad representation from the global North and global South, researchers, policy-makers, practitioners, advocates, educators and donors advanced new perspectives on the themes Changing Health and Prevention Needs, Innovations in Science and Technology, Globalization and Global Health Governance, and Transforming Health Systems. Learn more at: Maternal and Child Health The Global Health Initiative has facilitated joint research by the James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University and Columbia s Mailman School that has enabled valuable exchange of intellectual resources. Work includes research with UNICEF Bangladesh to evaluate maternal and child health programs. This project provides the opportunity for Columbia students to apply expertise on the ground through BRAC s Centre for Urban Health Equity. ICAP Working hand-in-hand with governmental and non-governmental organizations, ICAP has been instrumental in supporting the scale up of HIV prevention, care, and treatment in sub-saharan Africa and Central Asia. Through the GHI, the platform established through such work is being used to explore wider issues in health service delivery, in such areas as maternal and neonatal health. In this way ICAP s work is offering increasingly broad opportunities for students and faculty to directly contribute to global public health development.

5 EDUCATING THE NEXT GENERATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH LEADERS A core mission of the Global Health Initiative is to provide innovative educational opportunities for students at the Mailman School and across the Columbia University campus, while also opening the door for them to learn from thought leaders and practice leaders across the globe. At the same time, GHI leads efforts to provide a welcoming environment for students from around the world to engage in its innovative new curriculum and benefit from the rich intellectual resources on the School s campus. Expanding Knowledge at Columbia At the Mailman School, we believe an understanding of global health is crucial for all those working in the field of public health. All Masters of Public Health (MPH) students are required to complete coursework in globalization and global health as part of the School s new curriculum. Students pursuing their MPH degree also have the opportunity to obtain the additional credential of a Certificate in Global Health, with focused coursework that includes a six-month overseas placement. For undergraduate students at Columbia University, the School offers an undergraduate course entitled Fundamentals of Global Health. This course introduces principles of global health, enriching the education of students majoring in such areas as economics, political science and international affairs, as well as inspiring students to consider a public health graduate degree and career in the field. Reaching Across the World The Global Health Initiative is facilitating an online learning infrastructure through distance learning in order to facilitate educational exchanges between the Mailman School and its southern partners and international students and faculty. These exchanges will enhance the capacity of all institutions for shared, innovative interdisciplinary work. Examples of innovative use of this technology to reach wide and far include ongoing courses on HIV surveillance and health systems. Whether working on joint research, shared advocacy regarding intergovernmental initiatives, or collaborative academic instruction delivered through the medium of a global classroom, our aim with the Global Health Initiative is not just to complete a targeted task, but to develop relationships that will provide a means of lasting influence in this field for years to come. Alastair Ager, PhD Executive Director, Global Health Initiative

6 Learning Together Freda Ready had her first field experience with global public health issues in Mozambique during two years in the Peace Corps. As a medical student now, Freda followed her interest in global health to Zanzibar where she worked with the Mailman School s ICAP to help define the demographics and behaviors of substance users at risk for HIV. She also taught classes in a community rehabilitation center engaging with this important population. Saheed Akinmayowa Lawal, from Nigeria, along with colleagues Isabel Kazanga from Malawi, and Simon Nantamu, from Uganda, spent the 2011 Spring Semester at the Mailman School of Public Health as part of the International Doctorate Program in Global Health, a student exchange program facilitated by the Global Health Initiative. They attended a range of classes that support development of their research projects in urban health, quality assurance processes, and healthcare human resource management. Jenny Tiberio, an MPH student, completed her practicum requirement with the Mailman School s Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program at the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania, where the Global Health Initiative is building upon research collaborations to establish training and exchange programs. During her six-month placement, Jenny worked on improving emergency referral services for women experiencing difficulties in labor, with a particular focus on the potential contribution of mobile phone technology. Global Posts from Around the World Global Health Initiative faculty members and Mailman global public health students share their experiences around the world on GHI s Global Posts. From Thailand to China to Nigeria, these blog posts shed light on the interplay of economic, political, geographic and cultural complexities that can be obstacles to health and require collaborative, interdisciplinary solutions. Visit us at

7 With globalization and the increased connectivity of peoples at the heart of so many challenges in the field of global health, it is essential to work together in partnership to develop effective solutions.

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