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New CPHHS Center for Global Health opens with inaugural symposium

Leaders in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences’ new Center for Global Health are hosting the center’s inaugural symposium June 5-6.

The symposium, “New Global Health: Transforming the Horizon,” will bring together practitioners, researchers, educators and Oregon State’s partners from around the world who are engaged in finding equitable and sustainable health solutions to global health challenges.

“The globalizing nature of our world brings with it both old and new challenges,” says Center for Global Health Director Chunhuei Chi. “Through the center, we are gathering a brain trust of partners motivated to think boldly about how to improve the health and well-being of populations around the world. What makes this center unique – as there are more than 100 global health centers across the nation – is an emphasis on community ownership and forging equal partnerships to address both immediate and more upstream factors driving illness and suffering.”

“With a dozen international partners and a handful of domestic partners coming together at this symposium, we will collectively explore innovative ways to collaborate,” Chunhuei says. “Besides benefiting our partners and impacting communities, this new initiative will connect faculty with new partners for global health research and projects. For students, we will explore new opportunities for meaningful internships, research and study abroad.”

The symposium serves as a platform for attendees to learn more about the center, discuss current initiatives and areas of focus for participating organizations, and engage in social networking to create synergies and identify areas of mutual interest and collaboration.

Sessions include introductions of the Center for Global Health’s global partners and potential partners, roundtable discussions, current research in global health at Oregon State and more.

Participants from international partners include Ruchi Sogarwal, associate director of MAMTA: Health Institute for Mother and Child – an organization committed to integrated health and development issues in the context of poverty, gender and rights with a life-cycle approach in India – and Angela Chaudhuri, director of Swasti – a health resource center in India that focuses on achieving public health outcomes for those who are socially excluded and poor.

“Future-oriented higher education must prepare students to function effectively in a world that often transcends national and cultural boundaries,” says Public Health Professor and Center for Global Health collaborator Sunil Khanna. “Developing international partnerships help our students, faculty and staff in indelible ways. These partnerships create new opportunities to travel abroad for purposes of study, research, internship and cultural awareness. International partnerships can have a transformational effect by helping us develop intercultural communication skills and gain a nuanced understanding of global diversity in terms of both differences and commonalities.”

The Center for Global Health builds on a commitment dating back to the college’s founding in 1889 and its dedication to improve the lives and health of diverse families and communities. The center remains inspired by this vision, which is why it launched in 2014 to protect health at home and prevent disease, death and disability abroad.

Addressing current and future global health challenges with respect for human dignity and self-determination, the center represents current faculty expertise and interests in areas such as health systems strengthening and equity, rural and migrant workers’ health, water and environment, occupational health and safety, aging across the world, food security and community nutrition, adolescent gender and reproductive health, global mental health and more.

“When Dean Bray asked me to begin planning for the center in December 2012, she emphasized that it should be unique and not just another global health center in a crowded landscape,” Chunhuei says. “Moreover, she wants this center to serve both faculty and students in our college and across OSU. We were very excited when the center was launched in January, and appreciate the support and enthusiasm from faculty and students. All center staff are working extremely hard to prepare for this symposium, which will serve as the launching pad for new collaborations around research, education and service. These new partnerships and projects will be pivotal in accomplishing the center’s mission.”

For more information on the center and the symposium, visit the Center for Global Health’s website.

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