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Duke on Display at Global Health Conference in Washington, D.C.

March 12, 2013

Duke’s work to train the next generation of leaders and seek solutions for the world’s greatest challenges is in the spotlight this week as faculty, students, alumni, staff and partners of the Duke Global Health Institute gather in Washington, D.C. for the annual Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Conference.

More than 1,500 global leaders, researchers, policymakers, educators and students from around the world are expected to come together for the fourth annual CUGH conference. Founded in 2008 to bring together the rising number of global health programs at universities, the Consortium includes more than 120 member universities.

As part of this year’s conference theme of implementation and bridging the gap between knowledge and action, Duke Global Health Institute Director Michael Merson will moderate a session on U.S. Global Health Policy with Vanessa Kerry of Global Health Service Corps on Friday morning. The session will highlight opportunities for reframing and reprioritizing global health in the second Obama administration and Congress. Panelists include Stephen Morrison, director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Agnes Binagwaho, minister of health of Rwanda; Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Ariel Pablos-Méndez, assistant administrator for Global Health at USAID; and Pape Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth International.

“I’m pleased to moderate the session, along with several esteemed colleagues in the field, on what we see as opportunities for the future direction of US policy in global health. One key piece of the discussion will be whether PEPFAR can maintain the bi-partisan and international support it needs to work toward an AIDS-free generation,” said Merson. “I’m also pleased that many of my colleagues at the Duke Global Health Institute will be at the conference to share our innovative research and educational programs.”

Prior to the conference, Merson will also give a talk at the National Cancer Institute’s Global Cancer Research Day on translating lessons learned in global health to expanding global cancer work.

Other Duke presenters at the CUGH Conference include DGHI faculty member Shenglan Tang, associate director for DKU and China Initiatives at the Duke Global Health Institute, who will speak on China’s Emergency in Global Health on Thursday afternoon. Tang’s research has exposed the need for more equitable, accessible and affordable health care services across China. While at the World Health Organization, he made health reform policy recommendations that have since been implemented by the Chinese government.

DGHI partners whose work will be featured at the conference are Peking University, Fudan University, and collaborators from the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College – including Professor Mramba Nyindo and Lucy Killewo. Along with John Bartlett from DGHI, KCMC partners will highlight team-based learning and upgrades to a wet laboratory for clinical medical training as part of the five-year $10 million KCMC-Duke Medical Education Partnership Initiative.

One of DGHI’s newest faculty members, Kearsley Stewart, will present a poster examining the intersections of research, professional training and service learning as part of the undergraduate global health field research experience. She will teach courses in the new global health major, which is being led by DGHI faculty member Gary Bennett.

DGHI Assistant Director for Undergraduate and Medical School Programs Brian Seavey will present DGHI’s work to develop one of the country’s first liberal arts majors in global health.  The major offers students a rigorous, liberal arts program that approaches global health challenges from disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, and will be offered as part of a double major program of study. The global health major at Duke builds on the success of the global health certificate program, of which more than 150 students have completed since it began in 2006. 

An alumna of the Master of Science in Global Health will present her work following graduation with the Robert Malkin’s Developing World Healthcare Technology Laboratory at Duke. Her research looked at the viability of using service contracts to ensure that donated medical equipment was helpful in keeping the equipment in working order. She was also involved in a study that found health care delivery improved with a Duke-led training program for in-country biomedical equipment technicians. This research will be presented on Friday morning in the session on global health workforce issues.

DGHI will also have an exhibit table in Room Washington 1-3.  For a full list of speakers and details on the CUGH conference, please go to http://www.2013globalhealth.org.

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CUGH conference poster

"I’m pleased that many of my colleagues at the Duke Global Health Institute will be at the conference to share our innovative research and educational programs.”

- Michael Merson, DGHI

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