By: Shawna O’Hearn, Director, Dalhousie Global Health Office
As we start a new decade, we take a few minutes to reflect on the last one.
We started the decade as the International Health Office focusing solely on international partnerships and opportunities for students to do electives. And we grew to expand the vision of community engagement, equity and inclusion to capture these international relationships as well as develop relationships with our local communities. Our name changed to reflect this broader vision of global health and programs emerged to meet community needs.
The Local Global Health elective expanded by responding to community-identified concerns by matching second year medical students with community partners. Students joined the new service learning program and began to understand the needs and resources that will inform their future practice.
Recognizing the lack of diversity within the health professions, the Johnson Scholarship Foundation supported the growth of PLANS and Indigenous Health through the Global Health Office. Both programs seek to increase representation of underrepresented groups (Indigenous and African Nova Scotian) into the health professions through recruitment and retention, community collaborations and partnerships to improve health outcomes within the African Nova Scotian community.
We welcomed, supported and taught in new collaborations through MicroResearch with Drs Noni MacDonald and Bob Bortolussi both in Nova Scotia and East Africa. We saw funding for maternal and newborn care research, and we supported the growth of global health units in Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; and Anesthesia.
At Dalhousie, we said good-bye to some local leaders who took their work to new careers including Dr. Stan Kutcher, Dr. Ron George and Dr. Ivar Mendez. We also shared condolences with the loved ones of Patti Melanson, Dr. Karen Mann and Dr. Vince Audain who guided us to build strong, ethical partnerships.
Our work allowed us to collaborate across the country on global health and social accountability through AFMC, CSIH and CCGHR. We contributed to new medical education accreditation standards, presented our research at national and international conferences, and supported the development of global health research principles.
Our work supports the health faculties and in particular, the advancement of Dalhousie Medicine’s new priority of “Serving and Engaging Societies” with the inaugural Assistant Dean, Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed.
We are excited about the next decade as we support the growth of health equity in our region, nationally and globally. We look forward to continuing to work with you as we build communities for healthier lives.
Learn more about our work and programs
- Global Health: https://www.dal.ca/news/2019/10/10/envisioning-the-next-stage-of-global-health.html
- Service Learning: https://www.dal.ca/news/2019/06/13/dal-med-students-connect-to-and-learn-from-people-with-intellect.html
- PLANS: https://www.dal.ca/news/2018/07/26/african-nova-scotian-camp-is-summer-camp-with-a-purpose.html
- Indigenous Health: https://www.dal.ca/news/2018/07/31/junior-university-helps-prepare-indigenous-teens-for-careers-in-.html