Global Health Equity: Envisioning the Future
In our quest for health equity, MSM continues to lead education, research, service, and primary care initiatives for communities that span from southwest Atlanta across the world to South Africa. We do this because we know health disparities do not merely exist here in the United States, but globally where we see racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in medical care, overall health, and education.
In acknowledgment of this context, MSM’s newly established Office of Global Health Equity (OGHE) hosted its inaugural symposium on November 28, 2018 titled, “Global Health Equity: Envisioning the Future.”
Shifting the Paradigm: Community, Culture & Collaboration
Gilberte “Gigi” Bastien, Ph.D., Associate Director, Office of Global Health Equity at MSM, greeted over 300 international and domestic global health and development experts, researchers, advocates, community leaders and students, in imagining a way forward in the pursuit of global health equity honoring communities as partners with cultural competency and collaboration.
Honoring the History and Breaking New Ground in Global Health
Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., President and Dean of MSM, moderated a panel highlighting national global health efforts. National Institutes of Health Directors, Drs. Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., Director, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Roger I. Glass, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Fogarty International Center and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases each gave presentations on milestones achieved over the last several decades.
The morning session concluded with a networking lunch during guests viewed an exhibit of global health research posters. Event attendees also participated in round table discussions focusing on key topics in global health, including community engagement, traditional medicine, and service/mission trips, to name a few.
Complementary and Integrative Approaches to Global Health and Wellness
WSB-TV’s Monica Kaufman Pearson moderated a documentary screening of Strong Medicine: The Secret Power of African Healing, which featured MSM investigators and its African partner, PROMETRA International, as they discussed the HIV and AIDS laboratory research they’ve conducted using traditional African medicinal products. Dr. Michael Powell, associate professor in MSM’s Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Immunology, participated in the panel with Ambassador Andrew J Young, Erick Gbodossou, M.D., president of PROMETRA International and Mahfuz Khan, M.S., Senior Researcher, Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Immunology.
Exemplars from the Field and Harnessing Human Resources for Global Health Equity
Global health stories from the field were shared from Morehouse School of Medicine, the Ayiti Community Trust, the Georgia Global Health Alliance, and many others as they highlighted gaps in global health they seek to fill. A final panel focusing on efforts to address workforce gaps in global health was moderated by Ben Chi, MD, MSc - Co-Director, Fogarty Global Health Fellowship Program at National Institutes of Health, and featured representatives from World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO), the Carter Center, the Center for Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Health Program. Each organization spoke to training and development of students, expanding coordinated care teams to include community health workers, and the examples of collaboration with the broader global health workforce in addressing global health equity.
The symposium concluded with a processional of drums igniting a collaborative spirit for moving forward in our pursuit of global health equity. Guests continued to connect over a multi-cultural reception with food and music, further discussing, “What does health equity mean to you?”
We encourage you to reflect on this question and collaborate with us as we continue to shape our vision for global health equity.