Center for Global Health

April 27, 2016

To:Faculty, Students and Staff

From:Faculty, Students and Staff

Re: Faculty, Students and Staff

As many of you may have noticed, the pace of activities involving global health has accelerated dramatically on campus over the past several months. From brown bag lunches, to career development workshops, to the recent symposium with Paul Farmer, I'm pleased to note how a broad range of initiatives have cohered, catalyzing the global health community at Penn.

This momentum is the direct result of the formation last July of the Center for Global Health (CGH) under the leadership of Glen Gaulton. It flows from a strategic planning process Glen initiated in concert with internal and external advisers.

I am confident that the positive impact this forward-thinking approach is having on campus will soon be felt around the world, and I am writing to share with you the steps we are taking to create new opportunities for our faculty and students in this domain. 

The CGH mission is to improve health equity worldwide -- through enhanced public health awareness and access to care, discovery and outcomes based research, and comprehensive educational programs grounded in partnership. Its formation spoke to the tremendous need and opportunity for Penn to grow in this space, due in part to the increasing demand from our trainees and faculty for global opportunities and to increasing support for global initiatives at the NIH, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other funding entities.

CGH activities rest on four pillars: build Tomorrow's Leaders in global health, address Global Health Imperatives, support Regional Centers of Engagement in underserved locations, and unite the Penn Global Health Community:

Tomorrow's Global Health Leaders -- This program will foster the development of junior and senior colleagues at Penn with interests in global health, and support bi-directional exchange and training activities that promote wellness and that sustain the provision of health training, care and research in concert with our partners.

Global Health Imperatives -- This program advances care and research focused on reducing current and growing global disease burdens, such as in oncology, infectious disease and women's health, and in accelerating the pace of biomedical innovation in under-resourced settings through rapid biomedical technology adaptation and use. 

Regional Centers of Engagement -- This program adopts a comprehensive team-oriented approach, integrating each of our missions in education, care, research and service with those of committed partners, including local governments, organizations and foundations, as well as other academic institutions. Centers of Engagement are located in Africa (Botswana and Rwanda), in Latin America (Guatemala, Costa Rica and Peru) and in the USA (Philadelphia), with plans to create a new effort in Asia (based in India).

Global Health Community -- This program unites and supports our students, staff and faculty with a passion for global health, strengthens the bonds within Penn, and embraces our global colleagues as essential members of this effort. The scope of Community activities includes formal and informal workshops, pilot projects, and seminars and symposia. Activities span the Perelman School of Medicine departments, centers and institutes, link to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and bridge the multiple schools at Penn and with other Universities.

The vision of CGH is "a healthy world." By advancing programs on these four fronts, the Center is poised to expand Penn's global profile and help make that vision a reality. For more information, I encourage you to visit the new CGH website, or drop by the CGH office in 240 John Morgan.