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Office of Global Health reinvigorates by reconnecting to alumni

November 02, 2021 10:00 AM

Gloria Kalong (MPH GCHB '20) traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for her practicum in 2018. The Office of Global Health looks to create more partnerships for practicums, research, and networking.

Gloria Kalong (MPH GCHB '20) traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for her practicum in 2018. The Office of Global Health looks to create more partnerships for practicums, research, and networking.

Since its founding in 1912, the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine has been actively involved in addressing health issues globally as well as locally. In 2009, the school launched the Office of Global Health, a university-wide center that today is injecting new energy and enthusiasm into its activities by reaching out to a loyal and active community: school alumni with global health careers. 

The Office of Global Health (OGH) was founded by epidemiology professor Dr. Pierre Buekens, who was dean of the school at the time. The OGH was designed to foster collaborative and interdisciplinary research among faculty and promote global-focused research training opportunities for students. While those goals haven’t changed, Associate Dean for Global Health Richard Oberhelman is building on that foundation with several exciting new initiatives.

Over the past several months, an SPHTM Global Health Working Group has been reengaging with international alumni, including graduates of master’s and doctoral programs in international health and former Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows – international professionals who studied at Tulane through a visionary Fulbright exchange program. Organizers have invited these alumni to participate in university-wide presentations on global health topics. They also hope to arrange international practicums for students and research collaborations for faculty with alumni working in global health. 

The OGH is also spurring new activity with the help of alumnus Robert Palestina (MPH HEDC ’18), who was hired as a senior program manager, and a steering committee with members from seven of the nine graduate schools within the university. 

OGH continues to promote global health research training opportunities for Tulane students by managing several international NIH training grants. The Tulane Program to Advance Representation in Minority Health Research (Tulane ARMHR, formerly known as Tulane-Xavier MHIRT), accepted five new trainees this year for research training opportunities in New Orleans and in sponsored international sites in Peru, Dominican Republic, and Sierra Leone. The UJMT Fogarty Global Health Fellowship also awarded year-long fellowships to three Tulane-affiliated doctoral students and postdocs who proposed sponsored research activities in Mexico, Suriname, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.   

OGH and Tulane University were executive planning committee sponsors for the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Universities of Global Health (CUGH) in March 2021, which brought in over 1,900 registered participants. OGH also sponsored a CUGH student research competition that funded conference registration for winners from the SPHTM and the School of Medicine.

Stay up to date on OGH activities by visiting ogh.tulane.edu

If you work in global health and would like to participate in any of the center’s activities, contact them at officeglobalhealth@tulane.edu.