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Acad Med. 2008 Feb;83(2):148-53. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318160af6b.

Creating a center for global health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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  • 1Family Medicine and Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin Center for Global Health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53705, USA. clhaq@wisc.edu

Abstract

Globalization, migration, and widespread health disparities call for interdisciplinary approaches to improve health care at home and abroad. Health professions students are pursuing study abroad in increasing numbers, and universities are responding with programs to address these needs. The University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison schools of medicine and public health, nursing, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and the division of international studies have created an interdisciplinary center for global health (CGH). The CGH provides health professions and graduate students with courses, field experiences, and a new Certificate in Global Health. Educational programs have catalyzed a network of enthusiastic UW global health scholars. Partnerships with colleagues in less economically developed countries provide the foundation for education, research, and service programs. Participants have collaborated to improve the education of health professionals and nutrition in Uganda; explore the interplay between culture, community development, and health in Ecuador; improve animal health and address domestic violence in Mexico; and examine successful public health efforts in Thailand. These programs supply students with opportunities to understand the complex determinants of health and structure of health systems, develop adaptability and cross-cultural communication skills, experience learning and working in interdisciplinary teams, and promote equity and reduce health disparities at home and abroad. Based on the principles of equity, sustainability, and reciprocity, the CGH provides a strong foundation to address global health challenges through networking and collaboration among students, staff, and faculty within the UW and beyond.

PMID:
18303359
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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