About the Global Health Program
Message from the Director
Although hard to believe, the Global Health Program at UVMLCOM/WCHN is already entering its sixth year. During this time, the program has gained national and international recognition for being a leader in global health and medical education. As of December 2014, the program joined the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, a worldwide organization based in Washington, D.C. comprised of 130 academic institutions and other groups working to address global health challenges. As an active member of the consortium, our program delegates serve as keynote speakers and subcommittee members, and present numerous posters at the annual conference. Over the past five years, we have established ourselves as our own unique brand in global health focused on humanism, bidirectionality, and respect, centered on one overarching theme: To become a voice for the voiceless as global health citizens.
We are delighted for the flourishing of all our programs through a robust expanse of partnerships with prestigious medical universities and institutions, as well as community organizations and hospitals around the world- in the Dominican Republic, Russia, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. We are in the final stages of establishing a Nursing Division in Global Health at WCHN whereby nurses will accompany our medical teams on global health electives. One of our local partners, Sacred Heart University’s College of Nursing, will send its first group of nurses and physician assistants-in-training to our host sites in Uganda this September.
We are indebted to the devotion of our national and international partners- medical students, residents, faculty, and community members- who have allowed us to grow into such a wide, expansive network. We have all come together to advocate for the underserved. Uniting around this philosophy has infused remarkable energy into the program. It is thanks to the contribution of so many people, both at home and abroad, that we have gained significant recognition in such a short period of time.
Toward our central goal of capacity building around human resources and medical education, we have hosted and trained more than forty international guests from our partner sites, including fifteen of our Vietnamese colleagues in the short three years since the inception of our partnership with Cho Ray Hospital. We have also carried out a number of research projects focused on community health and development, including the impact of solar torches on education in Nakaseke, the efficacy of a water purification system in Uganda, a community health needs assessment in the Dominican Republic, the economic and social impact of informal caregivers at Mulago Hospital, and a study that served as a foundation of accreditation of a nursing school in a rural community.
Over the past five years, we have built meaningful relationships with our program participants who went through the Global Health Program, be they our students who were hosted by our partners, or those of our partners whom we hosted. As instruments of change in their medical education departments, hospitals, and communities, these alumni can now contribute to the communities that impacted them so deeply during their electives. Let us think about how we can further develop our Newsletter and Global Health Diaries blog toward becoming comprehensive platforms for representing the Global South and the Global North, and connecting all of our alumni, partners, and members through one vein.
Moving forward into this next era of our program, we hope to focus on bringing all of our resources together as a unified force to positively impact underserved communities here at home and abroad through bidirectional exchange, respect, and trust. We can use the momentum we have collectively gained to incite significant movement.
We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support we continue to receive from our strong and resourceful international partners with whom have developed a mutually trusting relationship. They have been instrumental in shaping our global health philosophy and helping the program flourish. They stand by us, and we by them. The walls between our borders have diffused, our many voices merged into one, based on a deeply held philosophy: to be the voice of the voiceless.
Majid Sadigh, M.D.
Director of Global Health Program
Trevz Family Endowed Chair in Global Health
Western Connecticut Health Network