Program Targets Global Health Research

The Tulane Office of Global Health has launched a global health certificate program that prepares students to work in diverse settings with diverse populations on health issues that transcend borders.

Carmen Springer, a master's student in international health and development, looks at mosquito larvae. As part of the Global Health Certificate Program, students will gain first-hand experience conducting global health research. (Photo by Holly Scheib)

The program is for graduate students from any of the five collaborating Tulane schools: Liberal Arts, Medicine, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Science and Engineering and Social Work. It is a component of the Fogarty Center's Framework Programs for Global Health.

"Finding solutions to global health issues requires a multidisciplinary approach. Each discipline can add to our understanding of a problem and can contribute to the solutions," explains Valerie Paz Soldan, deputy director of the Office of Global Health and research assistant professor of international health and development.

"We need to understand the social, environmental and cultural determinants of an issue, and develop multidimensional solutions that may include creating awareness of problems through media campaigns, influencing behavior change through individual or community level interventions or making structural changes to improve people's access to education and health care."

Beginning in spring 2010, the program will require enrolled students to complete one core course and two additional courses already offered at Tulane, one of which must be in a school other than their own.

The core course "Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Global Health and Social Justice" will include frameworks that have contributed to the study of global health, including human rights, social justice and ecological theories. Speakers from different schools within the university will discuss case studies from their disciplinary perspectives.

Students will attend a seminar series and overseas summer practicum, where they will gain first-hand experience in conducting research and working in the field of global health.

The program is limited to 20 participants. To apply for the Spring 2010 semester, students should complete the application or contact Andrea Meyer, program manager.

Laura Horne is communications coordinator in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.