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Creating a Center for Global Health at the University of WisconsinMadison

Haq, Cynthia MD; Baumann, Linda PhD, RN; Olsen, Christopher W. DVM, PhD; Brown, Lori DiPrete MSPH; Kraus, Connie PharmD, BCPS; Bousquet, Gilles PhD; Conway, James MD, FAAP; Easterday, B C. DVM, PhD

Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318160af6b
Global Health Initiatives
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.

Author Information

Dr. Haq is professor, Family Medicine and Population Health Sciences, and director, University of Wisconsin Center for Global Health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin.

Dr. Baumann is professor, School of Nursing, and affiliate professor, Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.

Dr. Olsen is professor, Public Health, and associate dean, Academic Affairs, University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, Madison, Wisconsin.

Ms. Brown is assistant director, University of Wisconsin Center for Global Health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin.

Dr. Kraus is clinical professor of pharmacy, University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy, Madison, Wisconsin.

Dr. Bousquet is dean, Division of International Studies, and director, International Institute, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.

Dr. Conway is associate professor of pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin.

Dr. Easterday is dean emeritus and professor emeritus, University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, Madison, Wisconsin.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Haq, Center for Global Health, 4235 Health Sciences Learning Center, 750 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705; telephone: (608) 263-6546; fax: (608) 262-2327; e-mail: (clhaq@wisc.edu).

© 2008 Association of American Medical Colleges