About the Global Health Program
Message from the Director
Welcome to the 2014-15 Annual Report of the Western Connecticut Health Network/University of Vermont Global Health Program. This past year has seen substantial growth of our Global Health Program, including the establishment of new partnerships and satellite sites, expansion of existing programs, and the opportunity to respond directly to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Our faculty, residents, medical students, health professions students and staff have participated in global health initiatives in multiple programs around the world, and we are pleased to have hosted so many of our international colleagues here in the U.S. This exchange offers insight into global health issues and provides training and capacity building for our partners. Through these close connections, we are able to increase our impact with each institution, at home and abroad.
A new partnership initiative has been launched in China, with a memorandum of understanding and program initiatives that will be developed this upcoming year. Meanwhile, our well-established partnership sites have grown in capacity and breadth. In Uganda, where this past year alone more than 25 individuals have participated, a comprehensive curriculum has been formulated surrounding the cultural and social aspects of global health in the homestay model. Clinical observation training and research centers have been initiated at Pakwach Schistosomiasis Center, a 160-bed facility with electronic medical records and vast research potential in Pakwach village. This was also the case with Nakaseke Hospital, a 120-bed facility in Nakaseke village that partners with the African Community Center for Social Sustainability (ACCESS), an organization that Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) has other involvements with as well. WCHN volunteers conducted a survey of ACCESS nursing assistant graduates this past summer in order to help advocate for an upgrade to a nursing school.
In the Dominican Republic, we are focusing on community health and engagement. After conducting a health needs assessment of the Paraiso community in the Dominican Republic, Sacred Heart University has extended its involvement with WCHN, sending the first wave of nursing students to Hospital PAP for training in March 2015. We are now in search of a medical school partner near Paraiso to build a sustainable medical education program in the Dominican. Sacred Heart University has also agreed to partner with ACCESS Nursing School in Uganda once it upgrades to help with the transition and to send nursing students for training with the ultimate goal of a bilateral exchange program.
The program here at home has also expanded our impact on campuses and in hospitals we serve. The annual Global Health Day at the University of Vermont (UVM) was held with guest speakers including Professor Nelson Sewankambo, the provost of Makerere College of Health Sciences in Uganda, in 2014, and Professor Celestino Obua, Vice Chancellor of Mbarara University of Science and Technology, in 2015. We look forward to hosting Professor Aleksey Sozinov, Rector of Kazan State Medical University, in 2016.
The second wave of Scholars in Global Health was selected to train in the United States at Danbury Hospital and some of them already have returned home, including our new site director of the Dominican Republic satellite program. Interest in global health has grown at WCHN and at UVM at the student, resident, nurse and faculty level. This has propelled UVM to become an official member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, where five posters were presented at the 2015 annual conference in Boston.
Finally, WCHN and UVM readily responded to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa by fully supporting my deployment for 9 weeks. I travelled with my UVM colleague, Dr. Margaret Tandoh, and was a part of a team of expatriates that helped plan, construct, and operate one of the three American built Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Liberia.
For the last three years, our original focus on enhancement of patient care through improvement of medical education has become highly successful, with the establishment of numerous comprehensive exchange programs around the world. We look forward to expanding our impact further by focusing on clinical research to further enrich our objectives.
Majid Sadigh, M.D.
Director of Global Health Program
Western Connecticut Health Network