Institute for Global Health, SPHHS to Host Panel on Collaborative Solutions

From left: Rita Colwell, Jennie Ward-Robinson and Michael Depledge
Rita Colwell, Jennie Ward-Robinson and Michael Depledge

The UMass Amherst Institute for Global Health (IGH) and the School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS) will host “Global Health Challenges: A Panel Discussion for Collaborative Solutions” on Friday, Nov. 3 from 9:30-11:15 a.m. in S240 Integrative Learning Center.

The panel will include Rita Colwell, former director of the National Science Foundation (NSF); Jennie Ward-Robinson, president and CEO of the PAHO Foundation; and Michael Depledge, former head of science at the U.K. Environment Agency.

The panelists will discuss their perspectives on key challenges in global health for the future in an interactive format, with questions from the audience encouraged throughout the discussion.

Tim Ford, professor and chair of the department of environmental health sciences and newly appointed director of IGH, will serve as moderator and will direct panelists to think about areas of global health that are particularly relevant for the state’s flagship campus to address.

“I see the IGH as a tremendous opportunity for the UMass Amherst campus community and beyond to engage in the global health debate,” says Ford. “Multiple perspectives are necessary to inform solutions to global health problems that should include representation from every school and college on the UMass campus, and indeed the surrounding institutions and community. Only a truly interdisciplinary approach can begin to address global health challenges.”

“Global Health Challenges: A Panel Discussion for Collaborative Solutions” is the first in a prospective series of events and serves as an introduction to the recently reconstituted IGH. The panel discussion will be followed by a student poster session from 11.15 a.m.-1 p.m., to provide an opportunity for students and faculty to interact more closely with the panelists.

“It is a unique opportunity to lead the Institute for Global Health and help to chart a new mission and vision,” says Ford. “To launch new directions for the institute with a panel of experts who have each worked in international health and advised policy makers at the highest levels of governments from multiple nations is extremely exciting. IGH is an opportunity to build partnerships with organizations that directly address global health. To this end, I am delighted that Jennie Ward-Robinson is part of the panel discussion. We have already initiated discussions on a PAHO Foundation-UMass Amherst partnership that would allow the university to engage in implementation and translational research in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Adds Ford, “My hope is that faculty, students and others will actively engage in the discussion and will contribute to the vision for IGH.”

The event is free and open to the public.