CGH celebrates Global Health Day 2018
Emily Nagourney and Victoria Chen | The Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health
Each year, the Center for Global Health celebrates Global Health Day by sharing and informing global health knowledge, expertise and experiences with the Johns Hopkins, local, and international communities.
On March 29, 2018, the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health, in partnership with the JHSPH MPH Program and the Johns Hopkins Alliance for a Healthier World, welcomed Dr. Rajesh Panjabi as the 2018 Global Health Day Keynote Speaker. Delivering a captivating talk to students, staff, and faculty from across the Hopkins community, Dr. Panjabi shared his inspiring story behind Last Mile Health and his conviction that “no condition is permanent.”
After escaping civil war in his home country of Liberia at age nine and moving to the United States, Dr. Panjabi returned to Liberia in 2005 as a medical student to work with the Liberia Ministry of Health. Shocked by the destruction from years of violence and led by the commitment of community members to take action, Raj co-founded Last Mile Health, an organization committed to bringing access to healthcare to Liberia’s most remote communities. By partnering with the government to design, scale, and advocate for national networks of community health professionals, Raj has been able to return to his home country and serve the communities that were left behind in the civil war.
In his talk, Dr. Panjabi stressed the importance of on-the-ground engagement and why building a Community Health Academy to train, equip and support community health workers is essential to achieving universal health. Responding to a question about sustainable and equitable models for future global health programming, he reflected that solutions should come from and be led by those they are meant to serve, and the need to ensure local partners are given an equal seat at the table, stating, “It’s the country’s people who are leading the work […] the world of social media bestows credit on the NGOs because we have communications arms, etc., but we’ve continued to try to bring it back to the leadership of the Ministry of Health.” Woven throughout the talk were pictures and stories of resilience: health workers who paddled canoes for hours to bring a severely ill child to clinic, and the thousands who put their own lives at risk during the 2014 Ebola outbreak to serve their neighbors. Their stories, and the story of how Last Mile Health has mobilized a growing cadre of skilled health professionals in the most hard to reach places of the world, is impactful and inspiring.
Since 2005, Dr. Panjabi and his team have expanded the organization’s efforts to other countries, with a focus on the solutions that bring quality health care to everyone, everywhere. With several notable accolades in his blossoming career – he is an Associate Physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and recipient of the TEDx prize, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and named one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”, among others honors – Dr. Panjabi’s tone throughout his talk was humble, urgent, and hopeful in the power of community resilience and capacity to make sure no one is left behind.
You can view the full webcast here.
An integral part of Global Health Day is recognizing the faculty mentors who play a role in shaping international student experiences. Nominated by students, these mentors showcase the qualities and attributes that define dedicated, passionate, caring mentors. This year, the Center for Global Health recognized four outstanding mentors, selected from a nomination list of nearly 20 faculty members across Johns Hopkins University:
- Bhakti Hansoti, School of Medicine, “She teaches us every day to take ownership and think critically about public health issues. More than anything, I admire her hard work and desire to grow, while ensuring each of us grows in our way.”
- Susan Harvey, School of Medicine,“Her ability to inspire, motivate, and embolden students is one of the reasons she is a phenomenal mentor.”
- Connie Hoe, Bloomberg School of Public Health, “I am grateful for the way she treats me as a colleague and appreciates my professional experience and skills, while fostering my capacity to learn and grow.”
- Caitlin Kennedy, Bloomberg School of Public Health, “She embodies exceptional leadership and mentorship qualities…I felt my ideas, approaches, values, and contributions were perpetually celebrated and prioritized.
At the afternoon poster session 96 students and trainees across the Schools of Public Health, Medicine, Nursing, Arts and Sciences, Business, and Advanced International Studies presented on their global health experiences. Students showcased a wide range of projects––including field observations, laboratory-based work, qualitative and quantitative research––carried out in 41 countries over the past year. Over three quarters of these projects were funded by the Center for Global Health through the Global Health Established Field Placements, Paul S. Lietman Global Travel Fellowship, Global Health Established Multidisciplinary Sites, and Global Health Field Research Award. Additionally, twenty students presented on their MPH field experience and three individuals presented independent global work. Awards were presented to the top three posters, and to the highest scoring photographs submitted to the annual schoolwide global photography contest.
Poster Contest Winners
- 1st Place: Marysol Encarnacion and Emily Nagourney, “Barriers and Facilitators to COPD Management in Uganda and Peru”
- 2nd Place: Suzanne Pollard, “An evaluation of the Fondo de Inclusión Social Energético program to promote access to liquefied petroleum gas in Peru”
- 3rd Place: Sandra Talero and Eric Wan, “Program Assessment and Cost-Effective Analysis of the National Program for Elimination of Trachoma as a Public Health Problem in Colombia”
- Honorable Mentions:
- Anita Dam, “EMPOWR: Exploring Multiple Perceptions of Women’s Risk for HIV Acquisition Based on Contraception Values and Preferences”
- Jessica Mirano, “Formative Research Study on Menstrual Hygiene and Management (MHM) in primary and secondary school girls in Belize”
- Lauren Parmley, “An Adaptive Randomized Evaluation of Nurse-led HIV Treatment Interventions for Female Sex Workers Living with HIV”
- Abigail Reich, “An Exploration of the Moral Dilemmas Faced by Nomadic and Settled Pastoralists”
- Abigail Winiker, “Effects of a clean fuel intervention on adult cardiopulmonary outcomes”
Photo Contest Winners
1st Place: Tim Werwie, “Next in line”. Mali, 2016
2nd Place: Vanessa Burrowes, “Niños de Las Montañas (17,010 ft)”. Peru, 2017
3rd Place: Swati Sudarsan, “Lardi’s Pride”. Ghana, 2015
The Center for Global Health would like to thank the following individuals for their contributions to a successful Global Health Day:
- JHSPH MPH Program (Marie Diener-West, Paul Whong, Lisa Lassiter)
- Johns Hopkins Alliance for a Healthier World (David Peters, Ben Link, Sheridan Jones McCrae)
- JHSPH Communications (Susan Sperry, Tarun Bhatnagar, Marisa Russell, Nick Moran, and JHSPH Communications team)
- JB Grant Society (Salma Warshanna-Sparklin, Priyam Doshi)
Photo of Dr. Panjabi: Marisa Russell, JHSPH Communications