While the school year ended for many students, 15 graduate students will spend a portion of their summer traveling abroad for a global health educational experience as part of Penn State’s Global Health Exchange Partnership (GHEP). Students from Penn State College of Medicine's master of public health and doctor of public health programs and international partner institutions will investigate public health challenges and study diverse approaches to addressing these challenges in India, Ghana, Taiwan and Morocco.
“Working with clinicians, biostatisticians and post-docs at Taipei Medical University, I learned first-hand how the interdisciplinary nature of the public health field guides the successful implementation of public health programs, evaluations and policies to effectively reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases both at the national and global levels,” said Megan Litz, a GHEP participant and recent graduate of the master of public health program.
GHEP was launched last summer as a collaboration between Penn State and international academic institutions. The Penn State Master of Public Health Global Program will welcome six international medical, public health and nutritional science students to the Hershey campus this July. The two-week learning experience will give incoming students from China, Taiwan and the Netherlands an opportunity to compare health systems across the globe, address worldwide health concerns and collaborate on ways to improve health education, research and services.
“The mission of GHEP is develop creative, thoughtful, and globally minded public health professionals by facilitating a global dialogue on diverse approaches to common health challenges.” said Kristin Sznajder, PhD, assistant professor and associate director of international initiatives.
“GHEP is an excellent program,” said Dr. Nai-Wen Kuo, a Fulbright Scholar and dean of the College of Public Health, Taipei Medical University. “Through this program, students from abroad will be able to mingle with Penn State students to expand their global view, which is an essential quality for a public health leader. As the dean of TMU College of Public Health, I strongly encourage my students to participate in GHEP.”
During their stay, students participating in GHEP will gain knowledge of the U.S. health care system, work with Penn State public health students to compare public health challenges, meet national and state legislators and learn from leaders in the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
“Penn State is committed to improving public health issues affecting the world, and one way we can accomplish this is through GHEP,” said Vernon M. Chinchilli, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences. “Students participating in this exchange program have the opportunity to acquire valuable, hands-on experience and gain an international perspective on a variety of health-related topics.”
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