CGH Scholar Spotlight | Dr. Marietta Ambrose

CGH Scholar Spotlight | Dr. Marietta Ambrose

Marietta Ambrose, MD MPH is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine. Dr Ambrose is a cardiologist with additional expertise in multimodality cardiovascular imaging and women’s cardiovascular health at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). She directs Penn Cardiology International (PCIL), which is HUP’s cardiovascular medicine division’s global outreach section. One of PCIL’s current initiatives concentrates on improving healthcare in the Caribbean region, via collaboration with Jamaica’s Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC). HIC is a regional cardiovascular medicine center of excellence, which has been improving the quality of cardiovascular healthcare in the Caribbean. HIC provides higher-level management of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) through utilization of suitable, affordable technology and innovation. Dr Ambrose and UPenn faculty, including Dr Glen Gaulton, PhD (Vice Dean, Director of the Center for Global Health) and Dr Thomas Cappola, MD, ScM (Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine) participated in the inaugural 2019 “Masters of Cardiology” international CVD conference (organized by HIC and Association for Black cardiologists). The conference focused on CVD in low resource settings, and Dr Michael Parmacek, MD (Chairman, Department of medicine, UPenn) delivered the keynote lecture. Currently, PCIL provides a monthly series of continuing medical education (CME) teleconferences to HIC. This teleconference seeks to improve HIC’s immediate delivery of heart failure care, with a long-term goal to create an advanced heart failure program. In the future, PCIL hopes to increase engagement of UPenn cardiologists and trainees at HIC, and to develop relationships with other Caribbean institutions.

(From left to right) Dr Glen Gaulton, Dr Ernest Madu (HIC Founding Director), Dr Thomas Cappola, Dr Michael Parmacek, and Dr Marietta Ambrose at the “Masters of Cardiology” International CVD Conference. 


CGH Scholar Dr. Stephen Avery Receives Global Health Award

CGH Scholar Dr. Stephen Avery Receives Global Health Award

Dr. Stephen Avery, PhD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Penn and CGH Scholar, will receive a Harvard Global Health Catalyst Ambassador Award at the 2019 Global Health Catalyst Summit. The Summit will take place from May 24-26, 2019 at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Avery organized and served as the meeting chair for the Global Health Catalyst Summit in Tanzania in April 2019.

Winners of the 4th Annual Center for Global Health Photo Contest!

Winners of the 4<sup>th</sup> Annual Center for Global Health Photo Contest!

Congratulations to the Winners of our 4th annual photo contest!

Perelman School of Medicine students (MS, MPH, PhD) and trainees (residents, fellows) submitted photos from domestic or global health experiences. Thank you to all who participated in our Photo Contest!

In addition to being featured here, winning photos will be displayed in the CGH office, as well as on the plasma screens across the PSOM campus. Be sure to take a look!

1st Place

Kim Firn, MD Student

Gaborone, Botswana | July 2018

Most of the world’s blindness is avoidable, meaning it is due to a preventable or treatable cause. Many remote villages in developing countries do not have access to screening techniques that may detect such causes early enough to prevent blindness. The Botswana-UPenn Partnership collaborates with a UK-based company called Peek Vision, the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Botswana Ministry of Education to implement a national eye health screening program. This photo shows the use of a mobile device that can be used for screening anywhere. Community health workers with solar charged backpacks can screen people in villages far from medical centers to help prevent blindness.

2nd Place

Dr. Isabel Straw, MPH Student

Syrian/Jordan Border, Al Zataari Refugee Camp | July 2018

“Sisters” – The two girls in photo were sisters visiting our paediatric clinic in Al Zaatari Camp, which is the largest refugee camp on the Syrian border. I chose this photo because of the relationship between the sisters. The older sister insisted on every medical exam being done on her first before her younger sister. It was common in the setting of the camp to find siblings caring for each other in very protective ways.

3rd Place 

Maria Cortese Hering, MPH Student

Kumasi, Ghana | March 2019

“Metalshop” - This was a trip to a metalwork shop in an industrial area of Kumasi, Ghana. The artistry of the workmen came at a cost as they handled piles of silica dust to conduct their craft. Silica dust has been found to be a carcinogen and yet these artists work there every day without any protection from inhaling the dust.

Baccalaureate Speaker | Dr. Denis Mukwege

Baccalaureate Speaker | Dr. Denis Mukwege

Dr. Denis Mukwege is a gynecological surgeon, human rights activist, Founder, Panzi Hospital and the Panzi Foundation, and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Dr. Mulwage will be the Baccalaureate Speaker and receive an Honorary Doctor of Sciences degree at Penn’s 2019 Commencement. Before becoming a Nobel Laureate, Dr. Denis Mukwege was the 2016 recipient of Penn Nursing’s Renfield Award 

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CGH Spotlight | Joan Benson MD, MPH

CGH Spotlight |  Joan Benson MD, MPH

Dr. Joan Benson leads Merck’s engagement with global health organizations involved in vaccine policies, immunization programs and funding for vaccines internationally, including WHO, Gavi and UNICEF. In this role she is responsible for establishing and managing key strategic partnerships and programs to accelerate the adoption of vaccines in order to reduce the burden of vaccine preventable diseases globally, including in resource limited countries.

Joan Benson has led the development and execution of partnerships on cervical cancer prevention with several developing country governments, including Bhutan, India, Rwanda, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda and Botswana. Through partnership with the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation and the Royal Government of Bhutan, the country rolled out a national HPV vaccination program against cervical cancer. In addition, she led Merck’s participation as a corporate founding member in the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon – an initiative launched by the George W. Bush Institute, the United States Government through the U.S. Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen®, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The initiative was aimed at catalyzing the global community to reduce deaths from cervical and breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa by raising awareness of these diseases and increasing access to quality services to detect and treat them.

Prior to her current role in Merck Vaccines, Dr. Benson was part of the team that led the partnership between the Government of Botswana, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Merck to help address HIV/AIDS during the early days of the epidemic. Prior to joining Merck, she worked at the Stamford Health Department, Connecticut, the Southend Medical Center in Stamford and also as a practicing physician in Nigeria. Dr. Benson graduated from the University College Hospital/University of Ibadan with a degree in Medicine and received her post-graduate training at Harvard University in Public Health focusing on International Health.

Dr. Benson was the Keynote Speaker at CGH's Career Pathways in Global Health Conference on April 6, 2019. Learn more about Dr. Benson's non-traditional journey in global health below!



Call for Abstracts | Global Health Catalyst Summit in Tanzania

Call for Abstracts | Global Health Catalyst Summit in Tanzania

The Global Health Catalyst Summit will be held on April 1-4, 2019 in Tanzania. More information and abstract submission details can be found here

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Dr. Yehoda Martei | Optimizing Cancer Therapy Delivery in Resource-Limited Settings

Dr. Yehoda Martei | Optimizing Cancer Therapy Delivery in Resource-Limited Settings

Who: Open to all

What: Breast Cancer Conference: Special Seminar — "Optimizing cancer therapy delivery in resource-limited settings" — Yehoda Martei, MD, MSCE, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

When: Monday, March 11, 2019 @ 8-9AM

Where: PCAM South Pavilion, 12th Floor, Room 12-122

Dr. Martei trained at the University of California, San Francisco and then moved to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for fellowship. She received her masters from the University of Pennsylvania in Clinical Epidemiology. She is currently an Instructor A in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and a Global Health Scholar at the Center for Global Health at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Martei has broad exposure to clinical research in Botswana. Her research interest is to pioneer critical research needed to inform implementation strategies for improving breast cancer outcomes in resource-limited settings.

Visiting Summer Fellows at Penn!

Visiting Summer Fellows at Penn!

This summer, six emerging health leaders from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya and Tanzania joined us for epidemiology short courses, mentoring, and networking. One of them, a Mandela Washington Fellow (MWF), has also been interning with Penn’s nationally recognized Center for Community Health Workers to fulfill his Professional Development Experience for the MWF program. While in Philadelphia, they also toured a Federally Qualified Health Center in West Philadelphia and Prevention Point, and multi-service health organization addressing he opioid crisis in Kensington.

See below for brief bios of these amazing young leaders:


Hermann Zampou, MD

General Practitioner, Clinique Emmanuel, Ouagadougou

Mandela Washington Fellow, Civic Leadership Track

Research Assistant Intern with Penn’s Center for Community Health Workers


Nana Serwaa Agyeman Quao, MD

Emergency Medicine Residency (PGY-3)

Emergency Medicine Department, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital

Epi Short Course: Introduction to Epidemiologic Research Methods

Project Title: The Tuberculosis (TB) Burden Among Health Workers at the Emergency Department at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, (KATH)


Angel Velarde Lopez, MD, MSCE

Professor of Physiology, University of San Carlos of Guatemala, Faculty of Medicine

Epi Short Course: Clinical Trials and Translational Research

Alejandro Ramos, MD

University of San Carlos of Guatemala, Faculty of Medicine

Epi Short Course: Introduction to Epidemiologic Research Methods

Joint Project Title: An educational intervention for preparedness in seismic events in the school of medicine of the University Of San Carlos Of Guatemala


Serah Ngugi, MBch.B, PhD, M.Med

Paediatrician and Senior Assistant Director of Medical Services

Epi Short Course: Clinical Trials and Translational Research

Project Title: Effects of maternal subclinical mastitis on early growth, morbidity and mortality in HIV-exposed but uninfected infants in Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya


Emmanuel Mpolya, BScN, RN, MMedSci, PhD

Lecturer, Department of Global Health and Biomedical Sciences, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST)

Epi Short Course: Clinical Trials and Translational Research

Project Title: Adoption of the HIV ‘test-and-treat’ among undiagnosed and recently diagnosed adults in Tanzania: Identifying determinants and barriers

Are you an MS3/4 interested in the Botswana Medicine Elective?

Are you an MS3/4 interested in the Botswana Medicine Elective?

MS3/4s interested in the Botswana-UPenn medicine elective are invited to attend the information session on Friday, October 12th from 5-6 PM in the Wood Room (2nd Floor) in the John Morgan Building. The information session will provide a thorough overview of the elective (including rotation expectations and responsibilities, living and working in Botswana, etc) and discuss the application, interview, and selection process.

The Botswana Clinical Elective, an enriching experience providing exposure to multiple levels of healthcare in a low-resource setting. The 7-week general medicine elective allows students to experience:

  • Understanding the importance of context when working in different settings
  • Diagnosis and management skills in a resource-limited area, including end-of-life care
  • Impact of culture on patient presentation, doctor-patient and team relationships, and the provision of medical care
  • Exchange of knowledge with other students, health professionals, and trainees
  • Spend time with dynamic, smart, resourceful University of Botswana and Penn faculty committed to working in resource-limited settings


Questions? Contact Andie Yost, CGH Training Administrator.

Global Internship Program in Botswana

Global Internship Program in Botswana

The Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP) facilitates internship opportunities in Botswana for Penn students outside of the School of Medicine. These internships are interdisciplinary and are ideal for Penn undergraduate and graduate students interested in Communications, Computer Science, Public Health, Social Work, and/or Education.

Location: Gaborone, Botswana or Mochudi, Botswana

Duration: 12 weeks, starting late May 2019 through early August 2019

Application Deadline: January 6, 2019

For more details and to apply, click here!

CGH Scholar Spotlight: CHOP & Penn Medicine's Kassa Darge on collaboration he built between CHOP and Addis Ababa University

CGH Scholar Spotlight: CHOP & Penn Medicine's Kassa Darge on collaboration he built between CHOP and Addis Ababa University

Kassa Darge (MD, PhD), a pediatric radiologist, is the William Van Alen Endowed Chair of the Department of Radiology and the Radiologist-in-Chief at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He is a Professor of Radiology and Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he is an Honorary Professor of Radiology at the Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, where he is responsible for the CHOP International Pediatric Radiology Outreach Program. Dr. Darge is also the President of the Board of the Radiology Associates of the Children’s Hospital (RACH) and the Radiology Associates of New Jersey (RANJ).

Since 1991, Dr. Darge has been involved in various international outreach activities. Initially, his focus was on tropical pediatrics, but later on switched his work to pediatric radiology education. In 2008 he established the collaboration between the Departments of Radiology at CHOP and Addis Ababa University with the objective of supporting the radiology residency program in pediatric imaging education and conducting a pediatric radiology fellowship. In February 2017 the first 2 pediatric radiologists graduated from this 2-year fellowship program – the first ones in a country with a 100 million population with almost 60% in the pediatric age group.

To learn more about his career trajectory, mentors and global health work, check out the Doc Talk video in which he shares his reflections.

Click to view video

CGH Scholar Spotlight: Penn Global Surgery Group

CGH Scholar Spotlight: Penn Global Surgery Group

Joy Obayemi (MS2) and Elizabeth Card (MS2), members of the Penn Global Surgery Group, attended this year’s Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) conference in New York held March 15-18, 2018. Both students presented posters on the research they conducted in Northern Tanzania during the summer of 2017 on different topics in global surgery.

Joy Obayemi’s presentation focused on the various factors that lead to surgical delays in a tertiary hospital located in Moshi, Tanzania. Her presentation provided an analysis of specific resources missing from the operating theater, the operating culture in this setting, and the administrative barriers to surgical efficiency.

Elizabeth Card presented her work on traditional bone setters, or local healers who specialize in treating broken bones. She discussed the details of their treatment process, the training that they received, and the reasons why injured patients may choose traditional care over allopathic care. One key finding that she presented was the willingness that traditional bone setters had to collaborate with allopathic physicians at the hospital and their desire to be formally trained in sterile technique and other practices of Western medicine. Elizabeth’s poster received the award of Best Student Poster for the Neglected Topics in Global Health category.

The work that Elizabeth and Joy conducted in Tanzania is a part of a larger global health project spearheaded by Neil Sheth, MD, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Penn, with the goal of establishing a center for orthopaedic care in Moshi, Tanzania. Student research for this project is supported by the Center for Global Health and the Penn Global Surgery Group. The Penn Global Surgery Group is an organization created and led by Penn medical students. Its mission is to spread the awareness and need for sustainable surgical services in low resource settings, while educating students about current developments and challenges in global surgery delivery. Further, the group promotes mentorship to connect current and future leaders, physicians, staff, students and scholars in global surgery.


Film Screening, Fri 11/17: Bending the Arc

Film Screening, Fri 11/17: Bending the Arc

Click to RSVP

Who: Open to all

What: A screening and discussion of documentary film, Bending the Arc

When: Friday, November 17, 2017 from 4-7PM

Where: Biomedical Research Building (421 Curie Blvd), Gaulton Auditorium

Film Description (See trailer):

A powerful documentary about the extraordinary team of doctors and activists - including Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, and Ophelia Dahl, cofounders of Partners in Health- whose work thirty years ago to save lives in a rural Haitian village grew into a global battle in the halls of power for the right to health for all. Epic, yet intimate, the film is a compelling argument for the power of collective and personal vision and will to turn the tide of history.

Following the film, Jon Shaffer, co-founder of PIH Engage, will lead a discussion about advancing justice in health through system building and social movements.

Jon Shaffer is a Ph.D. student in sociology at Boston University where his research interests exist at the intersection of global health, human rights, science and technology studies, and social movements. Previously, Jon helped launched a community organizing platform with Partners In Health called PIH Engage (, which has supported more than 100 teams of volunteer community organizers, thousands of new grassroots supporters, raised nearly one million dollars, and developed new capacity to advocate for policies that advance the human right to health. Before that, he worked to develop, launch, and lead GlobeMed ( which has engaged thousands of university students in the global health equity movement. When not organizing or reading, Jon loves going for runs, playing KanJam, and learning to strum the guitar.

*Refreshments will follow the event*

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Global Health Career Development Workshop: Tues, Feb 6th @ 4PM

Global Health Career Development Workshop: Tues, Feb 6th @ 4PM

Click to RSVP

Who: Open to all; targeted primarily to all medical trainees (residents, fellows, students)

What: Learn how to plan ahead for global health careers in academic medicine with Dr. Glen Gaulton, Vice Dean and Faculty Director of the Center for Global Health.

When: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 from 4-5PM

Where: Jordan Medical Education Center (JMEC), Room 515 West

Glen Gaulton Bio: 

Glen N. Gaulton, PhD is Vice Dean and Director of the Center for Global Health, and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.In this capacity Dr. Gaulton oversees the full scope of global heath activities in the school with a mission to improve health equity worldwide through improved awareness and access to care, discovery and outcomes based research, and comprehensive educational programs grounded in partnership. Prior to this appointment Dr. Gaulton served for 16 years as the lead scientific officer of the Perelman School. In this capacity he supervised all aspects of the School’s research and research training enterprise and was responsible for both stimulating new research endeavors and providing the optimal intellectual and administrative support for ongoing research and education programs.

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Talk: Strategic Framework for Penn’s Global Initiatives: Mon, Feb 12th @ 12PM

Talk: Strategic Framework for Penn’s Global Initiatives: Mon, Feb 12th @ 12PM

Who: Open to all

What: Learn about the Penn Strategic Framework for Global Initiatives from Zeke Emanuel, MD, PhD, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Amy Gadsden, PhD, Executive Director for Global Initiatives

When: Monday, February 12, 2018 from 12-1PM

Where: Biomedical Research Building, Room 252

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CGH Scholar Spotlight: Penn Vet's Boris Striepen leads the charge on cryptosporidiosis

CGH Scholar Spotlight: Penn Vet's Boris Striepen leads the charge on cryptosporidiosis

Boris Striepen, PhD, Professor of Pathobiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine, is an expert in the cell and molecular biology of apicomplexan parasites. Organisms in this group cause a number of important diseases including malaria, severe opportunistic infections associated with AIDS, and fetal and early childhood diseases.

His current research focus is the parasite Cryptosporidium. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cryptosporidiosis sickens approximately 750,000 people each year in the United States. Caused by Cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite that is typically transmitted through contaminated water, the disease is the second leading cause of severe diarrhea in small children. Globally, diarrheal diseases claim the lives of over 800,000 children under the age of five each year. The disease can be particularly serious in children who are malnourished and in individuals who are immunocompromised either due to illness or medical treatments.

Boris recently received a $1.8-million, three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to enable the development of drugs for cryptosporidiosis.


Building Tomorrow's Global Health Leaders

Building Tomorrow's Global Health Leaders

Penn hosted five scholars from three different African countries (Kenya, Botswana and Tanzania) this summer as part of the Afya Bora Consortium (ABC).  ABC is a partnership between four U.S.-based universities, including Penn, and five African universities to offer African global health leaders practical skills and training not typically available to them. To learn more about their experiences, check out this Penn Medicine News blog post or watch a video of the ABC Fellows' impressions. Full interviews with the ABC Fellows are available on the CGH YouTube Channel. This is a snapshot of the work CGH is doing to foster opportunities for collaboration at Penn from around the world.

CGH International Scholar Spotlight: Implementing culturally-appropriate, evidence-based interventions for under-served communities in Guatemala

CGH International Scholar Spotlight: Implementing culturally-appropriate, evidence-based interventions for under-served communities in Guatemala

Alejandra Paniagua-Avila, MD, MPH is Research Director and investigator at FUNSALUD, an NGO focused on providing primary healthcare, conducting public health research and building local capacity for research. She is interested in identifying determinants across the life course to prevent and manage non-communicable diseases. Dr. Paniagua-Avila is passionate about implementing culturally-appropriate and evidence-based interventions that reach the most underserved communities of Central America, particularly in rural Guatemala.  She holds a Medical Degree from Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala and received an MPH from the University of Pennsylvania as a Fogarty International Center Trainee. Below are some photos highlighting her team’s work with FUNSALUD. All Photo credits: David Juarez.

This photo  shows the FUNSALUD team, composed of nurses, physicians, psychologists and laboratory technicians, standing in front of a bus that was turned into a mobile neurodevelopmental clinic, where psychologists perform evaluations of children that are participating in a Zika study. Photo credit: David Juarez.

Two Zika study community nurses visiting a house in the study catchment area. FUNSALUD provides services to around 22 villages that suffer from socioeconomic distress, high levels of food insecurity, maternal and child mortality and non-communicable diseases. The research studies have allowed the NGO to increase visibility at the community levels, which increases trust towards our team and brings more patients to the clinic. Photo credit: David Juarez.

The third picture is a bird-eye of the FUNSALUD complex, which includes a clinic, a laboratory building, a research building and a house where clinical residents and researchers live. Photo credit: David Juarez.

One of the vehicles that the team of nurses use to travel around the villages. In some cases, they have to travel for more than an hour to get to the most isolated rural areas. Photo credit: David Juarez.

A bird’s eye view of some of the rural areas where FUNSALUD works. Photo credit: David Juarez.

CGH Scholar Spotlight: Sila Bal, MD, MPH

CGH Scholar Spotlight: Sila Bal, MD, MPH

As a 7-year-old child visiting her parents’ native country of Turkey, Sila Bal, MD, MPH, came face-to-face with the realities of inequality when she saw a child the same age as her begging on the streets of Istanbul. Sila’s mother bought the boy lunch and explained to her that not everyone enjoyed the same basic securities she and her family did. While Sila felt helpless in the moment, it eventually sparked her passion in global health, where she would have a hand in reducing inequalities, seeing potential and creating solutions.

Sila graduated this May from the Perelman School of Medicine with an MD/MPH. She will be completing her internship at Pennsylvania Hospital, followed by an ophthalmology residency at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston. She was recently selected as the 2018 recipient of the Robert Suskind and Leslie Lewinter-Suskind Award in Global Health, which is awarded to the graduating student who “exhibits the greatest intent on helping solve the critical health problems of our fragile planet.”

During her time as an MD/MPH student, Sila became aware of the significant disparities in the burden of vision impairment worldwide and was surprised to discover that the impact of vision loss on quality of life was worse than most other chronic disease, owing to a reduction in social participation and capacity to contribute. Blindness, she learned, had become a disease of poverty, due to lack of healthcare access and disproportionate exposure to risk factors.

As part of her public health fieldwork, she interned with FIBUSPAM, an NGO that provides eye care to rural communities in Ecuador. There she met Estella, an elderly indigenous woman who had been blind for over a decade due to dense cataracts. After traveling for hours through the mountains to the clinic for surgery, Estella’s surgery was performed under local anesthesia in an attempt to decrease costs. The following day when her eye patch was removed, Estella’s eyes quickly scanned the room to find her daughter. She beamed with joy, tears streaming down her face, as she praised her sight. As Estella embraced Sila, it became clear to her that her calling was to dedicate herself to improving eye health around the world. She is determined to go beyond the traditional donor-based medical brigade common in ophthalmology and instead advocate for the importance of eye care as a major contributor to quality of life.

Sila with the local FIBUSPAM team

Sila presenting her MPH capstone on vision-related quality of life in recently resettled Syrian refugees in Philadelphia

CGH Scholar Spotlight: Ricardo Castillo-Neyra, PhD, DVM, MSPH

CGH Scholar Spotlight: Ricardo Castillo-Neyra, PhD, DVM, MSPH

Despite being the one of the oldest diseases known to humanity, rabies still kills tens of thousands of people each year and many questions remain about this highly fatal disease.

The World Health Organization lists rabies as one of the 17 neglected tropical diseases, which the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aim to end by 2030, along with other communicable diseases. In response to this bold call to action, research on rabies control is a priority within infectious disease epidemiology.


Domestication and co-evolutionary processes have created a strong relationship between humans and dogs, but have also contributed to the growth of disease transmission from animals to humans.

Dr. Ricardo Castillo-Neyra, an instructor in the Perelman School of Medicine and CGH Scholar, studies the reintroduction of the rabies virus to areas that were previously considered free of the disease. Although many mammal species are known to carry rabies, rabies cases in humans are 99% attributable to transmission from infected dogs. Dr. Castillo-Neyra and his Peru-based team at the Zoonotic Disease Research Laboratory (ZDRL) are studying a canine rabies outbreak in the city of Arequipa, Peru to understand drivers for the reemergence of diseases in urban environments. At the ZDRL – a collaboration between Penn and Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia – they collect data on dog population dynamics, movement of free-roaming dog by GPS collar tracking, spatial coverage of mass dog vaccination campaigns, and community social norms through qualitative research techniques.

Dr. Castillo-Neyra with Liz Leon, a veterinary technician, placing a GPS collar on “Blanquita” in the peripheral neighborhoods of the city of Arequipa. “Blanquita” is an owned dog who is permitted to roam freely in the city the majority of the time.

Mass dog vaccination campaigns, the most cost-effective strategy against rabies, are implemented by the Ministries of Health in Latin America and other rabies-affected regions in the world. In Arequipa, dogs are vaccinated for free, but dog owners face many challenges in participating. Dog owners have to bring their dogs to the vaccination points, which is a difficult task when the vaccination point is far away and when their dogs are not used to being walked on a leash. In addition, these urban neighborhoods are often on rocky, steep areas. In addition to the low participation in dog vaccination campaigns, suboptimal location of vaccination points, high dog population turnover, and other factors, compromise the effect of the campaigns for control and prevention.

Dog owners struggle to bring their dogs to the vaccination points during mass dog vaccination campaigns. Notice the lack of collars and leashes. Dog fights are common and a deterrent for participating in the campaigns.

A strong proponent of the One Health approach, Dr. Castillo-Neyra, a veterinary epidemiologist, encourages physicians, veterinarians, and biologists on the multi-disciplinary team, to work together with collaborating officials at the Ministry of Health in Peru. “There is an important need for researchers and public health officers to learn from different fields and start using transdisciplinary approaches when tackling complex problems, such as canine rabies and emerging diseases, especially in urban areas. At our center we use the One Health approach to integrate human, animal and environmental health in our projects.”

Rabies field workers have to deal with steep, rocky, and unpaved terrain, a common sight in peri-urban localities. Dog owners also face the same challenges when have to bring their dogs to the vaccination campaign through the urban landscape. Dr. Castillo-Neyra develops algorithms to find the optimal locations for the campaign. By accounting for landscape barriers and reducing the effort for dog owners to bring their dogs to the campaign, he seeks to increase vaccination coverage.

Become a CGH Scholar today!

Become a CGH Scholar today!

We are very pleased to announce the establishment of the Center for Global Health (CGH) Scholars program. This program will engage our extraordinary global health thought-leaders and practitioners drawing on their collective energy to further CGH’s mission areas, to provide guidance in formulating new CGH activities, and to better support our global community through enhanced access, partnership, and funding. That’s right – CGH Scholars will help craft and then have access to new funding opportunities! See the Scholars page for benefits and criteria to become either a Scholar, International Scholar or Associate Scholar. We look forward to receiving your application, bringing visibility to your work and improving health outcomes around the world!

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Faculty Spotlight: Penn Medicine's Mike Rubenstein is Recognized by the American Academy of Neurology for his Global Work!

Faculty Spotlight: Penn Medicine's Mike Rubenstein is Recognized by the American Academy of Neurology for his Global Work!

"Michael Rubenstein, MD, found himself working in global neurology almost by accident. With a background of residency training at the University of Virginia, he was already well established as a private practice general neurologist in the Philadelphia area and adjunct faculty at the University of Pennsylvania when his adventurous spirit led him and his children on a safari and volunteering trip to Tanzania in 2009. While there, he asked to see a local medical facility and found himself doing neurologic consultations with two local physicians, Dr. Frank Artress and Dr. Fredrick Mshana, both working at a clinic run by the Foundation for African Medicine & Education (FAME) in Karatu, Tanzania. Rubenstein was immediately drawn to the dedication of these physicians and the importance of the work they were doing. He returned the following year as a volunteer medical provider.He remains a volunteer to this day and considers the FAME clinic his 'second home.'"


Penn Partners with DRASA Trust to Train Healthcare Workers on Ebola Preparedness

Penn Partners with DRASA Trust to Train Healthcare Workers on Ebola Preparedness

Ebola virus most recently appeared in Nigeria on July 20, 2014 when the Liberian-American lawyer and diplomat, Mr. Patrick Sawyer landed at the Lagos Airport, ostensibly en route to a business meeting. Mr. Sawyer had cared for a sibling who ultimately died from EVD in Liberia. Mr. Sawyer was critically ill on his arrival and was immediately transported to First Consultants Hospital in Lagos, where a medical care team, led by Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, directed his care. Tragically, Mr. Sawyer died on July 25 after exposing multiple individuals to the virus: there were ultimately 20 laboratory-confirmed EVD cases in Nigera all traced to Mr. Sawyer, with 8 deaths including Dr. Adadevoh and 3 other staff at First Consultants Hospital.

DRASA Trust, established in memory of Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, provides education and training for outbreak preparedness and prevention, develops and distributes infection control resources, and advocates for strong public health policies. DRASA Trust engaged the Penn Center for Global Health to assist in developing an infection control program in Nigeria targeted to EVD so that events like those in 2014 would be either preventable or more rapidly and effectively controlled. As health care workers provide a front line of defense in this effort, the early discussion surrounding this plan focused on the goals and means of infection control training, as well as the implementation sites and potential larger scale roll-out of such a plan. Recognizing that the development of this plan required knowledge of both the current health care preparedness status of Nigeria and the related procedures and facilities integration, the first phase of Penn's engagement involved a status assessment in July 2017. The Penn team including faculty and staff from PSOM and colleagues from Partners in Health, visited hospitals and universities to engage with key stakeholders in the health sector to collaborate, gather information, and collectively design a training program targeted to prevent future ebola outbreaks.

Career Pathways in Global Health 2019

Career Pathways in Global Health 2019

When: Saturday, April 6 from 10am-1pm

Where: Perry World House


LIVE STREAM LINK: * Link will become active at 10am on 4/6 *

Join us and meet current global health professional and learn how to have a successful career in this exciting field!

Global health is less about geography and more of a lens through which one approaches health care delivery and outcomes in the larger global context. The career paths in this field are as vast as the topic itself. Come learn about the career trajectories and work lives of our featured speakers regarding local and global public health research and practice.


Featuring keynote speaker:

Joan Benson, MD, MPH

Executive Director, Public Health Partnerships

Merck Vaccines


Breakfast & lunch will be served!



4th Annual CGH Photo Contest

4th Annual CGH Photo Contest
4th Annual Center for Global Health Photo Contest

NEW Deadline: Friday, April 12 by 5 PM

Email submission to


1st place: $250 Amazon Gift Card

2nd place: $100 Amazon Gift Card

3rd place: $50 Amazon Gift Card

  1. Perelman School of Medicine students (MD, MPH) and trainees (residents, fellows)
  2. Photos must be from a domestic (impacting transnational populations/any CGH-funded opportunity) or global experience within the past 5 years
  3. Previous winners are not eligible for 1st-3rd Prize but can still submit photos for honorable mention

Human Rights | Child and Maternal Health | Environmental Health | Community Health | Infectious Disease | Other

Subject matter can include portraits, landscapes, or any subject that depicts a global health issue

Submission Guidelines
  1. You may submit a maximum of 2 photos
  2. Each photo must include all of the following information:
    1. Name of photographer
    2. PSOM affiliation
    3. Photographer email
    4. Location (city, country) where photograph was taken
    5. Category of photo (choose from 6 categories above)
    6. Date photograph was taken (if unknown, please provide the year)
    7. Brief description of the photograph's connection to global health (150 word maximum)
    8. This affirmation for images containing faces that are capable of being recognized: “For the individuals pictured in this photo, I asked for and received their consent to be photographed.”
Photograph Technical Guidelines
  1. Quality of each photo must be at least 1536 x 1024 pixels
  2. Format: JPEG or PNG only
  3. No collages will be accepted
  4. Digital alteration of photos should not be done/kept to minimum
Judging Criteria
  1. Initial screening will be based on the technical aspects of the photo i.e. exposure, focus, color, lighting etc.
  2. Secondary judging will be based on content (relevance to category), message, theme, creativity etc. by a panel of judges
Additional Information

Winning submissions will be posted on the Center for Global Health website ( and participants will be notified via email.

By entering the contest, the Participant grants to the Center for Global Health a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to use such photographs on its website, publicity and other works. The Participant grants the Center for Global Health permission to do so without notifying or seeking the Participant's permission, and the Center for Global Health will not owe any form of compensation to the Participant. This agreement will apply to all photographs and other submissions supplied to the Center for Global Health by the Participant and shall remain in effect until cancelled in writing by either party or superseded by a subsequent agreement.

Email submission to by 5 PM on April 12!

Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust pledges support to increase reach of Peek Vision and Penn in Botswana

Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust pledges support to increase reach of Peek Vision and Penn in Botswana

The Perelman School of Medicine Center for Global Health, through the Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP) serves as an implementation partner to Peek Vision, a UK-based social impact organization developing eye health programs utilizing smartphone-based technology. BUP has been instrumental in Peek Botswana’s* success deploying Peek Acuity vision testing to large numbers of Batswana children, by identifying those with a need for basic vision correction and referring them to the optometrist triage team and/or hospital.

As of June 14th, Sir John Major, former Prime Minister of the UK, and the board of Trustees at the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust committed to fully support Peek Vision in ensuring every child in Botswana in need of vision correction is identified and ultimately receives appropriate care. The Trust plans to raise awareness throughout the Commonwealth about the important work being accomplished by Peek Botswana.

*Peek Botswana is a group of organizations including Seeing is Believing (Standard Chartered Bank Botswana), Peek Vision, Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW), Botswana Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE), Botswana Optometrists Association (BOA), and Botswana­UPenn Partnership (BUP).

Penn Announced as Grant Winning Institution for "100K Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund"

Penn Announced as Grant Winning Institution for

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn), together with Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC) has received a grant award for the proposal: Understanding health determinants of diabetes in ethnic minority communities: a student exchange experience using a mixed methods research approach. Penn and USAC will expand the Guatemala Health Initiative for students to participate in researching the growing epidemic of diabetes in the United States and Guatemala. The program is an innovative and balanced bilateral exchange of students to learn public health community-based research skills in interdisciplinary teams with a focus on mixed methods approaches. Students will attend a number of workshops in Philadelphia and Guatemala and receive field-based training in communities in both countries to further their knowledge of the epidemic of diabetes in ethnic minority communities in Guatemala and in local communities in West Philadelphia. The Dr. Bernett L Johnson Sayre Health Center and the Hospitalito Atitlán will serve as host community organizations.

Penn and USAC will contribute to the goal of 100,000 Strong in the Americas to increase the annual number of U.S. students studying in other countries of the Hemisphere to 100,000, and bring 100,000 students to the United States by 2020. Innovation Fund grants fuel partnerships among universities and colleges in the U.S. and the rest of Western Hemisphere to implement new student exchange and training programs.

The Understanding Health Determinants of Diabetes project will focus on the diabetes epidemics in the Highland Maya communities of Guatemala and the West Philadelphia African American communities. Working with the hosting community organizations, students will explore the patient knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes to begin to improve self management of diabetes. They will also provide A1C screening to community members to help people learn about their diabetes.

The grant is sponsored by NAFSA: Association of International Educators and CAF Development Bank of Latin America. After the grant year, with support of the Rector of the University of San Carlos Office of International Collaboration and the Center for Global Health at Penn, the program will continue for an additional year and seek to grow the diabetes program.

Delivering Quality Eye Care with a Smartphone

Delivering Quality Eye Care with a Smartphone

Spotlight Photo: Peek Screenings at the Goodhope Senior Secondary School multi-purpose hall.

The Center for Global Health, through the Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP), partners with Peek Vision, a UK-based social impact organization developing eye health programs utilizing smartphone-based technology. A team of ophthalmologists, developers, and engineers have created a mobile app and clip-on adapter that transforms a low-cost Android smartphone into an eye examination suite, capable of running a range of tests, including taking images of the back of the eye. It is easy to use, affordable and portable.

Peek Botswana* integrates with the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ successful School Health EPI Campaign that administers measles, rubella, and HPV vaccinations to children at schools. The EPI teams utilized the Peek Acuity vision test to reach more children who needlessly live without basic vision correction. When a child is identified with visual impairment the system auto-generates a referral to the optometrist triage team and/or hospital and sends a personalized SMS to the parent and a list of children in that school to the head teacher or key contact for the school.

*Peek Botswana is a group of organizations including Seeing is Believing (Standard Chartered Bank Botswana), Peek Vision, Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW), Botswana Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE), Botswana Optometrists Association (BOA), and Botswana­-UPenn Partnership (BUP).

View Full Press Release


Schoolchildren, parents, and guardians line up to be triaged by Optometrists and Ophthalmic Nurses in school classrooms at a triage camp in Phitshane Molopo Primary School.


Bob, a Health Education Assistant, screening a child during the Peek Botswana school screening.


A student at Mariba Primary School being screened using the Peek Acuity app.


Students and their parents waiting to be attended to by the Peek Optometrists during a Weekend Triage Camp in Phitshane Molopo (but just another day for the goats).


All photos by Ryan Littman-Quinn

Watch the Interview: Vingroup Leaders Visit Penn

Watch the Interview: Vingroup Leaders Visit Penn

Penn recently entered into a formal alliance with the Vingroup to improve health care and to create new undergraduate and graduate medical training programs in Vietnam.  The alliance is positioned to extend our global reach through the creation of a new Center of Regional Engagement in Southeast Asia, based in Vietnam.

In an interview with CGH Director, Dr. Glen Gaulton, senior leaders from Vingroup, Ms. Thuy Anh Le, CEO of Vinmec and Dr. Linh Cu Le, Director of Health Sciences Education — VinUni, discuss healthcare challenges in Vietnam and the exciting path forward for Vingroup, both in launching a new nonprofit university as well as improving quality of care throughout the Vinmec health system. 

Click to view the video

Vingroup-Penn Alliance website launch

Announcing Vingroup-Penn Alliance website

In June 2018, Penn entered into a formal alliance with the Vingroup to improve health care and to create new undergraduate and graduate medical training programs in Vietnam. The alliance is positioned to extend Penn's global reach through the creation of a new Center of Regional Engagement in Southeast Asia (based in Vietnam).

The new Center will focus initially on the establishment of medical and nursing schools within a newly formed private, nonprofit university (VinUniversity) and enhancement of graduate medical education and health care provision within Vietnam’s largest private nonprofit health system (Vinmec).

Both VinUniversity and Vinmec are components of the Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest private company, a business that shares Penn Medicine’s commitment to community service through the transformation of health care.

Click to view the SITE

New Penn Medicine Collaboration in China

New Penn Medicine Collaboration in China

On April 26, 2017, Penn Medicine hosted a senior delegation from the China Taiping Insurance Group Ltd. at the Perelman School of Medicine campus to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that will guide collaboration between the organizations. The collaboration will encompass establishing a referral mechanism for Taiping Investment's insurance clients to Penn Medicine, the development of an executive training program for Chinese healthcare executives, and technical assistance and consultation on administrative and clinical management systems for hospitals managed by Taiping Investment.

Dr. Tori Williams: Using Technology to Diagnose & Teach in Botswana

Dr. Tori Williams: Using Technology to Diagnose & Teach in Botswana

Dr. Tori Williams, Director of Dermatology at Princess Marina Hospital, gave a fantastic talk on May 16th on using technology to diagnose and teach in Botswana.

Missed the talk? View Dr. Williams' slide deck here!

New Video Posted: Career Pathways in Global Health

New Video Posted: Career Pathways in Global Health

Check out our latest video from the 3rd annual Career Pathways in Global Health event, featuring panelists from Partners in Health, PEPFAR, Global Health Corps, and Penn.

Click to view video

Happening soon – October 6-7! CHOP Pediatric Global Health Conference

October 6-7, 2017 | Ruth and Tristram Colket Jr. Translational Research Building, 3501 Civic Center Blvd

Happening soon – October 6-7! CHOP Pediatric Global Health Conference

International Migration and Child Health: Progress and Priorities in Immigrant/Refugee Health 

This conference, sponsored by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) will explore the state of immigrant and refugee health from a global, national and local perspective. Attendees will gain clinical, advocacy, public health and research tools to better serve these populations. Cases, discussions and stories will help us better understand the context of those who leave their homes seeking a better life. For more information or to register, please visit the following website.

Interested in West Africa? Learn to Speak Manding!

New course offering, beginning in Fall 2017 | AFST 490-687 | Meets Mondays and Wednesdays, 5-7:30pm.

Interested in West Africa? Learn to Speak Manding!

This course serves as an introduction to verbal and written communication in Manding, a language commonly referred to as Bambara, Jula or Malinké, which is spoken by upwards of 30 million people across much of Mali, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso as well as the region more broadly. For more information, contact

Winners of the 2nd Annual Center for Global Health Photo Contest!

Winners of the 2<sup>nd</sup> Annual Center for Global Health Photo Contest!

Congratulations to the Winners of our 2nd annual photo contest!

TODAY is World Health Day! To celebrate, we are announcing the results of our 2nd Annual Global Health Photo Contest. Please find more information about World Health Day below.

Thank you to all who participated in the 2nd Annual Center for Global Health Photo Contest!

Perelman School of Medicine students (MS, MPH, PhD) and trainees  and (residents, fellows) submitted photos from domestic or global health experiences and we were incredibly impressed with the submissions.

In addition to being featured here, winning photos will be displayed in the CGH office, as well as on the plasma screens across the PSOM campus. Be sure to take a look!

1st Place

Christopher Magoon, PSOM Student, MS3

Yunnan, China | 2013

China now has a higher prevalence of diabetes than the United States.  Processed foods, motorized transportation, and sedentary jobs have been cited as major reasons for the rise in diabetes in the country.  Though not immune, rural areas have been spared the worse of the diabetes epidemic.  While striving urbanites are quick to describe rural farmers as “backwards” or “primitive,” their active lifestyle and access to unprocessed foods—such as the bamboo pictured here—have spared them from the worst of the diseases of modernity.  Of course, the barriers to health in these are areas are manifold:  from poor educational opportunities, to environmental degradation, to lack of insurance.  For now at least, many in China’s rural areas consume a balanced, fresh, and largely plant-based diet.

2nd Place

Christopher Liu, Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellow

Kumasi, Ghana | 2017

In order to participate in a hearing screen, a child has to learn to raise his or her hand whenever a tone is played. This is known as conditioning. Those who fail conditioning are referred for formal testing. As evidenced by the perplexed look on this child's face, despite help from his older brother, he failed to condition and was referred to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

Subject matter can include portraits, landscapes, or any subject that depicts a global health issue

3rd Place 

Jaclyn Mauch, PSOM Student, MS1

Havana, Cuba | 2017

This photo depicts the outdoor gym where Cubans exercise. Similar structures are throughout the city and serve to provide a place of exercise for the community.

Honorable Mention 1

Christopher Magoon, PSOM Student, MS3

Yunnan, China | 2013

When I visited this town, the schools were closed.  It was not a holiday—rather there was a severe drought, and the workers’ families had left.  Only the few wealthy farmers who could afford to hire engineers to dig wells remained.  Climate change and other environmental degradations have made it difficult for many who live off the land in China.  Combined with a shrinking social safety net, this poses a real challenge to the health and livelihood of a large cohort of Chinese society.  

Honorable mention 2

Jonathan Zember, CHOP radiology fellow

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | 2017

This is a photo of Dr. Kassa Darge, the chairman of CHOP radiology, and his trainee, pediatric radiology fellow Jonathan Zember, who were on a CHOP-sponsored radiology outreach program to the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, including a CME conference and graduation ceremony for the first ever pediatric radiologists in Ethiopia. They are outside the Ethiopia National Museum. The photo captures an intimate moment of Dr. Darge giving advice to his trainee about the complexities of medical outreach, in particular radiology.


Honorable Mention 3

Morgan Congdon, Pedatric Resident at CHOP

Tonle Sap Lake (outside of Siem Reap), Cambodia | 2016

This photo was taken during a clinical elective that I did in Cambodia. I spent time with a non-profit organization that provided healthcare to people with limited access to resources. As a volunteer I took a boat with a team of local healthcare workers to reach the floating villages on the Tonle Sap Lake via several key-located floating clinics. Healthcare for these particular Cambodians is dependent on water levels in the lake and various inlets and it gave me great perspective into the ways in which the environment can impact one’s health and that of a community. 

Honorable Mention 4

Sila Bal, MD-MPH Student

Kikajjo, Uganda | 2014

The last decade has seen significant advancement towards easily accessible drinking water worldwide. However, regions in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa still have a ways to go. In Kikajjo, young girls walk to the nearest water source after school to retrieve safe drinking water for their families. The communities rely on the girls as this water is used for everything from cooking to personal hygiene, making it essential for maintaining a healthy environment. The girls make the best of their daily chore, singing and laughing along the way. In this photograph, they are very close to home and nearing the end of their busy day.

Honorable Mention 5

Yoonhee Ha, MD-PhD student

Juba, South Sudan | 2011

On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became a new nation. After decades of war, the country had some of the poorest health indicators worldwide, and NGOs and humanitarian organizations provided ~80% of the country’s healthcare.

I took this photograph during the South Sudanese soccer team’s inaugural match. In a stadium with no scoreboard, people piled into stands and stood atop walls to catch a glimpse of the game. A man standing on top of one of those walls proudly swept a large banner across the evening sky, and a tangible sense of hope could be felt throughout the stadium.

This same sense of hope was already being harnessed to tackle health problems such as maternal mortality. The preceding year, the Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery enrolled its first students to address the country’s devastating shortage of skilled attendants. Similarly, the National Nurses and Midwives Association was established to raise standards of practice.

World Health Day 2017

TODAY is World Health Day! Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlights a different topic in global health to bring awareness and inspire action on the subject: this year’s focus is depression, the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. According to the latest estimates from WHO, more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. Lack of support for people with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.

To learn more about WHO’s year-long campaign “Depression: let’s talk”, please visit:

Botswana-UPenn Partnership Seminar: April 25th, 12 - 1PM

Botswana-UPenn Partnership Seminar: April 25th, 12 - 1PM

Join us for a talk on Malaria Research in Botswana, presented by Giacomo Paganotti, PhD, Research Associate, Botswana-UPenn Partnership. The seminar will be held Tuesday, April 25th from 12:00-1:00PM in 209 Johnson. 

Travel Medical Insurance available at no cost for all Penn affiliated travel

All Penn students and employees traveling on Penn-affiliated trips are members of International SOS (ISOS).  ISOS membership includes 24/7 medical and security consultation, hospital referrals, travel medical insurance, and emergency evacuation assistance. 

In order to receive notification of ISOS membership, a summary of benefits and a link to download your ISOS member card, please register your roundtrip flight itinerary in Penn's Global Activities Registry

You are encouraged to review destination guides and travel advisories by visiting the International SOS Penn Portal.  Feel free to contact the International SOS Assistance Center at any time if you need assistance before departure or while abroad.

For more information, visit Penn Global » International Travel Guidance » International SOS

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CGH Presents Inaugural Global Health Champion Award

Ernest Madu, MD

We are pleased to honor Ernest Madu, MD, chairman and CEO of the Heart Institute of the Caribbean with the first annual Global Health Champion Award. Dr. Madu was presented with the award on September 15, 2016, as part of a celebration for the newly launched Center for Global Health. Dr. Madu is an internationally recognized authority in cardiovascular medicine and innovative healthcare solutions. He has led multiple transformational health care projects that bridge gaps in access to quality health care delivery in Africa and the Caribbean.

CGH Director, Glen Gaulton, PhD had this to say about Dr. Madu:

We are thrilled to bestow Dr. Madu with our inaugural Global Health Champion award.  Dr. Madu's commitment to health care quality and access is truly remarkable. His tremendous achievements in global health serve as an inspiration to our students and faculty as we continue to build upon our mission to advance worldwide health equity through enhanced awareness and access to care.

Dr. Madu founded the Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) in Kingston, Jamaica in 2004. The revolutionary health clinic serves as the center of excellence for cardiovascular diseases, occupational health, diabetes care, and general internal medicine in the West Indies. Prior to HIC’s inception, the only option for patients in need of these services was to travel at huge expense to the United States or other countries with more developed health care infrastructure. To date, HIC has provided more than $1 million in free or reduced cost care to patients, a significant contribution in an area where 56 percent of hospital deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease.

"This award is a true honor and signifies the increased efforts from the global health community to prioritize non-communicable diseases," Dr. Madu said. "Today, cardiovascular disease is second only to HIV/AIDS as the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa. I look forward to a continued partnership with the Penn Center for Global Health to combat this growing epidemic and help improve the health and lives of people in need around the world." In addition to his role as Chairman and CEO of HIC, Dr. Madu has published more than 100 scientific papers in peer-reviewed medical journals and his work has been profiled in leading journals and magazines. He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the European Society of Cardiology and the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, and was most recently awarded the fellowship of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences. Dr. Madu is also the Managing Partner of IHS Group, Nashville, Tennessee.

Lunch seminar featuring Agnes Binagwaho, MD, M(Ped), PhD, Former Minister of Health, Rwanda

Monday, April 10, 2017 | 12-1pm | Perry World House, 3803 Locust Walk

Featured Speaker: Agnes Binagwaho

Join us for an exciting talk by Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, a Rwandan pediatrician who served as the Minister of Health of Rwanda from May 2011 to July 2016. After practicing as a pediatrician for over 15 years, she led the National AIDS Control Commission between 2002 and 2008. She then served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health from 2008 until 2011. Dr. Binagwaho serves on many academic boards. Her engagements include research on health equity, HIV/AIDS, information and communication technologies (ICT) in e-health, and pediatric care delivery systems. Dr. Binagwaho will be discussing how Rwanda created a more equitable health system, using science, evidence, tradition, participation and accountability.

RSVP at 

2016 Fall Symposium: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Sustainable Global Surgery

Friday, December 2, 2016 | 4:30pm | Law Auditorium, JMEC | Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, 5th Floor

2016 Fall Symposium: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Sustainable Global Surgery

Featured Speaker: Mark G. Shrime, MD PhD MPH FACS

Assistant Professor, Otolaryngology, Global Health, and Social Medicine Research Director, Program in Global Surgery and Social Change Harvard Medical School.


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Public Health and Stigmatization in India

Thursday, Nov 5, 2016 | 6:00 pm | University of Pennsylvania | Williams Hall Room 723 (36th & Spruce Streets) | Refreshments Provided

Photo: Sami Siva

Michael Edison Hayden, an American journalist based out of Mumbai, and Sami Siva, a Canadian photographer of Indian origin, present their Pulitzer Center-supported reporting project on India's health care crisis as seen through the eyes of doctors, government officials, and activists from Mumbai, Delhi, and beyond. Together, with the support of the Pulitzer Center, the journalists have also reported on transgender women living on the fringes of society and battling an epidemic of HIV/AIDS, and on the communities along the India-Pakistan border affected by a heroin epidemic.

The Campus Consortium partnership between the Middle East Center, South Asia Center and the Pulitzer Center features programming on campus with journalists to foster broader discussions and nuanced analysis of concerns that span disciplines and international student reporting fellowships. Last year's fellows, Priya Ramchandra and Farzana Shah will give an update on their summer reporting projects from India and Iran.

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Climate Change and Food Security: How Our Future Depends on the Sustainable Development Goals

Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016 | 5:00 pm | University of Pennsylvania | Fitts Auditorium

Ambassador Macharia Kamau

Kenyan Ambassador to the United Nations
Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on El Niño and Climate

One year after the UN adopted the momentous Development Agenda. Ambassador Kamau will speak of the historic process leading to the adoption of the goals and the threats facing the achievement of the goals. 

Ambassador Kamau served as the Co-Chair of the General Assembly Working Group on the Sustainable Development (SDGs) and was the co-facilitator of the 2030 Development Agenda.

In May 2016, United Nations Secretary-General Ki-moon appointed Ambassador Kamau and President Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on El Niño and Climate

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