Global Health Program
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Global Health Program will facilitate the efforts to contribute to global health by faculty, staff, residents, students, and community partners of the school.
1. Education and Training
- Develop a common forum within the school to share experiences and exchange ideas related to global health
- Explore and facilitate healthcare and education related overseas opportunities for SIU students, trainees, and faculty
- Explore and assist with need based education and training of physicians and other healthcare workers from overseas
- Investigate potential development of exchange programs with selected overseas institutions
- Enhance the educational experience of students and residents by providing teaching on major diseases that are common globally but not common in the US
2. Patient Care
- Provide specialist services by physicians and healthcare workers in underserved parts of the world based on their need
- Explore the potential for development of exchange training programs
- Learn from some of the effective strategies being used in resource poor countries to provide cost effective medical care to their citizens and apply to training of doctors in the US
- Explore opportunities and develop research collaborations with medical schools overseas and healthcare organizations
- Help educational institutions in underserved areas to develop research program and strengthen research capacity, and develop joint venture research at a bilateral or multinational level
- Provide training to the researchers from other countries
4. Community Service
- The ultimate goal of the program is to provide service to the communities in needy parts of world by strengthening their healthcare capabilities
Importance of Global Health Program for SIU School of Medicine
- There are plenty of opportunities for overseas experiences for medical students, residents and other trainees to broaden their knowledge horizon through the global health.
- Every year medical school’s faculty, students and other staff go to overseas countries including Nicaragua, Honduras, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Cambodia, Haiti, Gambia, Nepal, India, Philippines and other countries, for which the school’s global health program can facilitate, coordinate and provide supervision to make their efforts more effective.
- There are partners in the community including UIS, HSHS Mission Outreach, African Medical Foundation and IHDN (International Health and Development Network), who want SIU to take leadership role to help their efforts for global health.
- Faculty members at SIU School of Medicine are either conducting or looking for opportunities to do research in overseas countries who need guidance and coordinating office within the school.
- There are opportunities for developing partnership and collaborative relationship with overseas medical schools
What has been accomplished so far?
- The global health program was initiated in 2009 by a group of SIU faculty members on the initiative of Dr. Janak Koirala after he returned from a global health workshop organized by American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH).
- A group of SIUSOM faculty members came up with a plan to gather a list of SIU and community faculty members interested in global health and participating in overseas healthcare work. They also decided to start a regular “global health forum” on a quarterly interval. Several faculty members of the school, medical students, residents, community physicians and students and faculty members from University of Illinois at Springfield have given presentations since 2009.
- A SIU School of Medicine Global Health website has been created which lists the mission and program objectives, faculty resources, faculty advisors, and important links. The website address is: www.siumed.edu/globalhealth
- Global health partners have been identified which include SIU SOM global health student interest group, UIS School of Public Health, HSHS Mission Outreach, and International Health and Development Network.
- Several faculty members have closely worked with SIUSOM’s global health student interest group and provided them mentorship for global health elective course offered at the school. They have also traveled with the students to Nicaragua and Honduras to provide supervision.
- Every year students, faculty and other members of SIUSOM travel to Ghana to with Dr Edem Agamah and his foundation, IHDN, to have a global health experience.
- In May 2013, Dr Janak Koirala, along with the UIS School of Public faculty and students, visited The Gambia on the invitation from University of The Gambia (UTG). The UTG vice chancellor Dr Kah, Provost of Medical School Dr Ousman Nyan, and Department chair of Public and Environmental Health Dr Kuye have requested a bilateral relationship with SIU School of Medicine.
- In 2014, exchange visitor Dr Manen Gorkhaly visited SIU School of Medicine’s ID training program for 2 weeks. His institution, Nepal Academy of Health Sciences (NAMS), has requested help with establishing an ID training program and telemedicine program in Nepal.
- Ongoing talks of collaboration with Northwestern University Division of Pediatric Intensive care to staff the PICU in Nepal with experts from both universities. Funding resource has been identified.
- In addition, every year medical school’s faculty, students and other staff travel to overseas countries including Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Cambodia, Haiti, etc, with the community partners and provide their services.
- In 2015, SIU School of Medicine staff raised and contributed funds to the earthquake victims of Nepal. The faculty and staff also participated in fund raising activities locally at Springfield, St Louis and Chicago. Faculty members volunteered in healthcare and public health related activities in Nepal.
- In October 2017, SIU School of Medicine organized its first Global Health Conference. Over 80 faculty, students, healthcare workers and community partners participated the conference. Several SIU faculty, UIS faculty and community physicians and partners gave their presentations. Several students and faculty also presented their posters.
Future Plan and Opportunities
- The global health program is exploring resources to establish an office with support staff to make its program more effective.
- Develop capacity for planning, preparing, identifying resources, and writing grant proposals for global health related programs.
- Establish scholarships to provide support for student’s global health activities.
- Establish grants to support global health research.
- Expansion of program to get involvement of more medical students, other trainees and faculty members.
- Revision of current Global Health courses and enroll interested students and other trainees.
- Plan to support and facilitate activities in Ghana through our community partner IHDN (International Health and Development Network) and develop it as a site for global health education and research for medical students and residents.
- Maintenance of bilateral relationship with Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS) Pediatrics Department in Nepal, and provide educational support to their PICU and NICU. These ICUs were established with the initiatives of SIU faculty member Dr. Sangita Basnet.
- Establish bilateral relationship with Nepal Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) and provide educational support to begin an Infectious Disease training program. Dr. Janak Koirala has been working with NAMS to start the training program and serves as their visiting professor.
- Develop partnership and collaborative relationship with medical schools in Japan including research collaborations and exchange visitor programs for students, other trainees and faculty.
- Identify and support other programs as they are identified.