Photos from the Accessing Safe Deliveries in Tanzania (ASDIT) Research Project Launch

By: Maria Wilson
Global Health Office Outreach Assistant

Monday November 23rd marked the Halifax launch of the five-year Accessing Safe Deliveries in Tanzania (ASDIT) global health research project. Dalhousie University researchers will collaborate with partners from the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health (TTCIH) and the Morogoro Regional Hospital in Tanzania to improve access to, and the performance of, emergency maternal care across the country.

The event was held in the newly renovated Tupper Commons. Speakers at the launch included Dean of the Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine Dr. David Anderson, Dr. John LeBlanc, who is leading the Dalhousie team and Zabron Abel of the TTCIH. You can read more about the ASDIT project, as well as Zabron’s time in Halifax, in our last blog post. For now, here are a few photographs from the research launch!

Dr. David Anderson at the ASDIT launch.

Dr. David Anderson giving opening remarks at the ASDIT launch.

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Dr. John LeBlanc, Dalhousie ASDIT project lead, explaining the project outline and goals.

Zabron Abel representing the TTCIH, explaining his role within the ASDIT project (pictured with Said Msabaha of the Global Health Office and Dr. John LeBlanc).

Zabron Abel representing the TTCIH, explaining his role within the ASDIT project (pictured with Said Msabaha of the Global Health Office and Dr. John LeBlanc).

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Some of the ASDIT project launch attendees listening to Zabron Abel’s speech.

Members of the ASDIT project team (from left to right): Tanya Bilsbury, Marsha Campbell-Yeo, Doug MacMillan, Gail Tomblin Murphy, John LeBlanc, Heather Scott, Findlay Muir, Chris Wirz, Ron George, Zabron Abel, Shawna O’Hearn, Krista Mallory, Suzanne Sheffield and Chad O’Brien.

For more information on global health at Dalhousie University, check out our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Website.

Partnerships in Global Health: The Accessing Safe Deliveries in Tanzania (ASDIT) Project

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Zabron Abel of the TTCIH pictured on his last morning in Halifax (with snow on the cars).

By: Maria Wilson
Global Health Office Outreach Assistant

Funded by Global Affairs Canada, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Dalhousie University is one of 20 teams of Canadian and African researchers, alongside African decision makers who will join forces to identify, test, and deliver life-saving interventions to secure the future of pregnant women and children.

Dalhousie University researchers are collaborating with partners from the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health (TTCIH) and the Morgoro Regional Hospital in Tanzania. The 5-year project entitled “Accessing Safe Deliveries in Tanzania (ASDIT)” aims to improve access to, and the performance of, emergency maternal care across the country.

The team of Dalhousie University researchers is led by John LeBlanc and comprised of Doug McMillan, Heather Scott, Ron George, Marsha Campbell Yeo, Gail Tomblin Murphy and Shawna O’Hearn. The project has incredible support from Pat Rodee, Jennifer Morawiecki, and Chris Wirz with International Research and Development and Suzanne Sheffield at the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

TTCIH is a health training institution, established under a public-private partnership between the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Novartis Foundation and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. The main goal of the TTCIH is to support the Tanzanian government’s national health reform policy for strengthening human resource development through providing quality health training, facilities and services.

Each month, the Global Health Office blog will be profiling one of our partners. We were fortunate enough to have Zabron Abel from TTCIH join us in Halifax for two weeks. I had the opportunity to have lunch with Zabron last week and asked him a few questions about the ASDIT project and his time in Halifax. I am including some of the information from our discussion, as well as from the launch of the ASDIT project on Monday November 23rd.

  1. Could you briefly describe the history of the TTCIH?

TTCIH is the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health located about eight hour drive from Dar es Salaam in a town called Ifakara. Established 50 years ago, TTCIH provides quality training programs, facilities and support services for the strengthening of human resource development in Tanzania

  1. What is your role with the TTCIH?

I am the e-Learning and Marketing Manager which involves coordinating marketing, promoting the TTCIH and attracting new partnerships. The e-Learning part of my role includes designing, developing and delivering training using information and communications technology.  We use these materials to train health workers in a variety of disciplines.

  1. You have partnered with Dalhousie before. How would you describe your previous experience?

TTCIH has had a long-standing partnership with Dalhousie University since 2005. TTCIH believes that the driving force of success is partnership. There have been a number of successes in this partnership, including training through faculty development, microresearch, and hosting Dalhousie medical, nursing and pharmacy learners as part of their training.

  1. Could you describe the current ASDIT project and your role within the project?

The ASDIT project is focused on maternal and newborn child health. The project aims to evaluate the scale up of a training program for emergency obstetrical and neonatal care in Tanzania. The training upgrades the skills of associate clinicians, midwives and nurses to perform emergency care. The project will explore the barriers and enabling factors to scaling up CEMONC which will assist in policy and planning at the regional and national level. My specific role is to provide post-training support and mentorship by creating e-learning resources for the health care team to use when they return to their rural clinics.

  1. What is your favorite thing about Halifax, and Dalhousie University?

Halifax is a really cool city. The people are humble and there is not as much pressure as you see in bigger cities. As for Dalhousie University, I like the organization, faculty and programs.

  1. Other than seeing snow (the last time Zabron visited was in the month of April so he didn’t get to experience Halifax in the winter), what are you excited for on this trip?

The TTCIH believes in partnerships, and I am excited to be able to explore more areas of partnership, and expand our current partnership with Dalhousie University.

  1. Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would like to thank Dr. Pemba (Director of TTCIH) for his vision, and believing that partnerships are instrumental to success. He has been key in the success of both the TTCIH and myself. Dalhousie University should keep thinking of developing countries for open collaboration, partnerships, visibility and benefits for students on both sides.

 

Thank you to Zabron for having lunch with me (at Pete’s in the SUB – yum), participating in an interview, and for braving the cold to take a brief tour of Dalhousie upper campus.

Safe travels back to Tanzania, and hope to see you again in the future as the partnership between the TTCIH and Dalhousie University grows!

For more information on what we at the Dalhousie Global Health Office do, visit our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Website.

International Development Cooperation in Global Health – Global Health Rounds

By: Maria Wilson
Global Health Office Outreach Assistant
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November Global Health Rounds attendees.

The latest session of Global Health Rounds took place on November 18th, 2015. Global Health Rounds is a free public lecture series, focused on highlighting and discussing the global health activities at Dalhousie, as well as contemporary global health challenges, with leaders in the field. These sessions are offered monthly and anyone is welcome (and encouraged) to attend. Speaker and location details will be posted on the Global Health Office Website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The November session was titled: “Global Health from an International Development Cooperation Perspective: A North-South Approach.” The facilitator was Manfred Egbe, a visiting PhD student-researcher from Universitat Rovira I Virgili in Tarragona, Spain. Led by Manfred, attendees (pictured above) learned about upstream approaches to improving health in rural areas of Mali.

This project is taking place in several communities in rural areas of the Koulikoro region, such as Diedougou, Kolonia and Tyékouméla. The Koulikoro region is pictured below on the map of Mali in seafoam green. Some of the many partners involved in this project include OSALDE (Association for the Right of Health) a Spanish NGO, ASACO (Community Healthcare Association), CSCOM (Community Healthcare Centre), community members and other NGOs in the region.

A map of Mali for all the geography buffs, with the Koulikoro region pictured in green.

A map of Mali for all the geography buffs, with the Koulikoro region pictured in green.

Manfred’s role within the project has been as a project evaluator and medical anthropologist. His ethnographic portion of the study involved identifying problems and challenges in the community related to health by consulting health directors and community members. As part of this research, he conducted a range of in depth individual and group interviews using both quantitative and qualitative methods, reviewed OSALDE documents and examined WHO data. Through these methods, Manfred was able to identify a tree of problems that needed to be addressed in Mali.

The central problem was identified as high infant and adult morbidity and mortality. To gain a more in depth look, the project next asked – what are the causes of mortality and morbidity? The top three causes of death were identified as malaria, lower respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases. This is accompanied by high costs of medicine, and a shortage of medicine for treating these diseases.

Instead of stopping there, they next asked – what social, cultural and environmental conditions are leading to a high burden of disease and death? These are referred to as the upstream causes of disease. This term comes from a metaphor used in the public health approach to disease prevention. The metaphor describes a dangerous river that runs through a community. Several people have been seen floating down the river, struggling and drowning. Rescue workers try to save those in danger; however, no matter how hard they work, they do not have the resources to save all victims. A straightforward, “downstream” solution to the problem may be to hire more staff, to try to save the people who have fallen into the river. However, traveling upstream to determine why people are falling into the river in the first place may be more effective. Perhaps they need to cross the river to access a food supply, but there is no safe crossing point and they are being swept away in the process. An “upstream” approach would be to build a stable, sustainable bridge, allowing people to cross the river and preventing them from falling in the first place.

Several factors were identified as upstream causes of morbidity and mortality. Environmental factors play a role in the burden of disease in Mali, where there are essentially two seasons: wet and dry. During the wet season, there is extensive flooding, leading to breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Furthermore, extremely wet conditions favor the transmission of waterborne diseases. This is paired with poor access to health care and health services in rural areas. Through the interview process, the community identified their upstream issues as contaminated wells, droughts during dry season, women being undervalued, difficulties accessing education (particularly for women) and poor sanitation in health facilities and the community.

To address the upstream issues, OSALDE has worked with community partners to support training of nurses, improving access to clean drinking water, building capacity by increasing literacy and working to improve the status of women through education.

The project also aimed to improve access to healthcare services (including the elimination of financial barriers) and improve healthcare system quality. In the Diedougou commune this involved offering a minimum healthcare service package including clinical activities, preventive activities, obstetric activities, medico-technical activities, pharmaceutical activities and management activities. They have also improved the healthcare centre, which now has a maternity ward, surgical unit and a general practitioner’s office.

The take home message from Manfred’s presentation: there are many determinants of health. These include, but are not limited to social, economic, genetics, political, and cultural factors. Straightforward approaches such as treating disease to decrease mortality are important when undertaking projects to improve health. However, most projects undertaken in resource poor countries have a fixed term (i.e. two years, five years, etc.). If we do not take the time to address sustainable solutions to health problems, and work with community partners, improvements in health status will not last.

I will leave you with a quote I really enjoyed from Manfred’s presentation: “the platform of global health accommodates people from different disciplines.” Many different minds with many different approaches can and should come together in global health to address issues that affect us all, and arrive at a sustainable solution.

Thank you to Manfred for sharing your experiences at this month’s Global Health Rounds. There will be no Global Health Rounds in December so as to not conflict with holiday plans and exams. We look forward to seeing you in January!

 

 

Community interventions: what is mHealth, and how can it help to improve maternal and newborn child health in developing countries?

By: Maria Wilson
Global Health Office Outreach Assistant
From November 5-7, 2015 Montreal hosted the Canadian Conference on Global Health.  A delegation from Dalhousie participated in the many opportunities, and we will be publishing a series of blog posts from the students who attended.

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Before I begin this blog post, I must disclose something to everyone reading – until November 5th 2015, I had never heard of the term “mHealth.” In fact, if you go look at my Twitter feed from earlier this week (shameless plug @_marianicole), I improperly stylized it as “MHealth.” Somebody had already re-tweeted my tweet (thanks @QueensGlobalHealth) by the time I recognized my error, so I didn’t want to delete and correct it. Fun fact: you cannot edit a tweet.

Sure, I had (briefly) heard of using mobile technology to address global health issues in one of my classes; however, mHealth as a concept is new to me. But hey, that’s what conferences are for: learning new things and gaining new perspectives. On the off chance that you, the reader of this post (if there are any of you out there), also have no idea what mHealth is, let me attempt to enlighten you! Because hey, conferences are also for sharing ideas and information (essentially, conferences are full of benefits).

Last Thursday at the Canadian Conference on Global Health (CCGH), there was a group of oral presentations on mHealth interventions geared toward improving maternal and newborn child health (MNCH) in developing countries. For this post, I’ve tried my best to blend information from this session, along with background information from a brief literature search on the topic of mHealth to pass along one of the many useful things I learned today, to all of you (hi mom, thanks for reading).

The first question that I know is burning in your mind: WHAT DOES THE M STAND FOR?!?! I may have spoiled that earlier in this post (sorry), when I talked about mobile technology to address global health issues, because the “m” is for “mobile.” The large photo of various mobile devices at the start of this post also probably gave that away (again, sorry).

mHealth is an emerging field of global health in which mobile and wireless devices are used to generate, aggregate and disseminate health information. Around the world, mobile networks are keeping people connected daily, even in the most rural of areas. mHealth is particularly important in the context of developing countries, where cost-effective solutions are necessary to improve healthcare systems and delivery.

One of the presentations, given by Kristy Hackett, at the CCGH outlined community health workers’ (CHWs) motivation during an mHealth intervention trial to improve MNCH in Singida, Tanzania. CHWs, who have enormous potential to improve MNCH in hard-to-reach communities, were provided with either a smartphone or paper-based protocols to use in household visits. The smartphone used an application that would guide and support CHWs throughout each visit with prompting questions, tools to help calculate important indicators such as gestational age, and help them decide if a clinical referral was necessary. Findings from qualitative interviews indicated that mobile phones initially incentivized and simplified the CHWs’ work, but difficulties arose with charging and airtime. The study findings highlight the need to continue to refine and improve mHealth approaches in order to move toward more efficient health delivery and better health outcomes.

Some of the many other applications of mHealth include reminding patients to take medications through notification systems and conducting disease surveillance. The 2015 mHealth Summit is currently underway in Washington DC (November 8-11). You can check out their website here: http://www.mhealthsummit.org/.

Look for more blog posts from Dalhousie delegates at the 2015 CCGH over the next few weeks. As always, for more information on the Global Health Office you can check our Twitter, Facebook and Website. We have also recently started an Instagram account, and I am going to shamelessly and directly ask (beg) you to follow us because (a) we have been and will be posting some really awesome pictures and (b) we currently only have 13 followers, which is an increase of 225% since Thursday when we only had 4. Happy Tuesday everyone!

 

Connections Shape Global Health Success

By: Kyle Warkentin, BScN 3rd Year

 

From November 5-7, 2015 Montreal hosted the Canadian Conference on Global Health.  A delegation from Dalhousie participated in the many opportunities and we will be publishing a series of blog posts from the students who attended.  Kyle Warkentin is a Dalhousie Nursing student and a member of The Dalhousie School of Nursing Global Health Committee (DSON GHC).

Capacity Building for Global Health: Research and Practice was this year’s 22nd annual Canadian Conference on Global Health with four plenary themes including: human resource strengthening; building global health research capacity; addressing the needs and gaps in health systems through the example of Ebola; and exploring the future of global health.

The 22nd Canadian Conference on Global Health was an experience that enabled students, practitioners, researchers, and early participants into the field the opportunity to collaborate, grow, and ask questions. The conference was designed in such a way that enabled persons from all corners of the career dimension to feel included in all aspects of the conference’s main theme.

Overall the conference gave a refreshing international approach to global health, which is constantly related to not having a top down approach but work in the communities, work with the local NGO’s, and work with governments to truly make change in that country. The career of global health is local and international. Sometimes, people have global health careers and never leave their country. Damaging approaches to global health is the touristic concept of flying in, helping for 3 weeks and flying out, that just does not work.

With the relevance and proximity to the Ebola scare that shook the entire world, the way the researchers and leaders laid out their presentations revolving this issue was both interesting and informative in an immediate type of fashion. The effects of mass hysteria from the media, the importance of learning lessons from places like Haiti after the earthquake were also addressed broadly throughout the conferences many plenary and concurrent sessions.

The speakers were rich in knowledge and included big names such as the Director of International Emergency and Recovery Ops, Hossam Elsharkawi, Canadian Red Cross and Steve Cornish, Canadian Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders. The conference also included international speakers from places that are actively involved in global health research such as Mariana da Rosa Martins from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul who spoke regarding issues of Global Health Governance.

There was indeed, something for everyone. Whether you were a young new grad eager to engage in new opportunities with potential employers/internships or learn about mistakes/ideas from current leaders embarking on the journey of a global health career, the sessions were there. There was opportunity to mingle, connect, and make lifelong friends. It is really about the connections that you make that shape your career.

Dalhousie delegation at the 2015 Canadian Conference on Global Health

Dalhousie delegation at the 2015 Canadian Conference on Global Health

Showcasing Partnerships in Global Health: Global Health Open House and Living Library

By: Maria Wilson
Global Health Office Outreach Assistant
 

The annual Global Health Open House took place on Saturday October 3rd in the Tupper Link. This year’s theme was  “Shaping the Future through Partnerships.” In the spirit of partnership, the Global Health Office collaborated with the Dal Med Global Health Initiative (GHI) to offer a poster session, along with a Global Health Living Library. The poster session showcased educational initiatives and research projects that members of the Dalhousie community have undertaken with a diverse group of partners. Dr. Lori Weeks from the Faculty of Nursing spoke to attendees about her experience facilitating an interprofessional gerontology course including students from Canada, the USA and Norway. Second year MSc. Community Health and Epidemiology student Courtney Heisler presented a midterm evaluation of the Integrated Approach to Addressing the Issue of Youth Depression (IACD) in Malawi. Of her participation in the poster session, Heisler said:

Presenting at the 2015 Dalhousie University Global Health Open House was a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the work being done in adolescent mental health in Malawi by teenmentalhealth.org and Farm Radio International. The midterm evaluation of the IACD program highlights both the effectiveness of the program, and the need for continued investment in the mental health training of Malawians.

Second year MSc. Community Health & Epidemiology student Courtney Heisler with her poster at the 2015 Global Health Open House.

Stories that Bind: A Living Library of Healthcare Experiences brought in over twenty human “books” to share their unique perspectives with event attendees. Participants from a variety of backgrounds engaged in one-on-one discussions on topics including healthcare barriers faced by the visually impaired and deaf communities, the impact of experiencing and surviving racism on the health of women of African ancestry in Nova Scotia, and barriers and challenges that immigrants and refugees face when accessing healthcare. These conversations brought together individuals from across disciplines in order to gain a more robust picture of healthcare issues in our local and global communities through knowledge sharing.

Dal Med GHI hopes to make the Living Library an annual event, and is seeking feedback in order to grow and improve in the future. If you attended the Living Library event, you can help by filling out this short feedback form http://bit.ly/1K6CODn.

We would like to thank everyone who came out to both events, and we hope to see you next year! More photos from the event will be posted on the Global Health Office blog soon. If you would like more information on global health education and research opportunities, please check out the Dalhousie Global Health Office’s social media (links below) or contact us at gho@dal.ca.

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Welcome: Shaping the Future Through Partnerships

By: Shawna O’Hearn, Director, Global Health Office

Welcome to a New Year!

As September arrives, the noises of campus change from construction to students talking about health equity, diversity, global health and partnerships.  The Global Health Office has grown with a new service learning program, more established initiatives for African Nova Scotians through PLANS, international elective opportunities are growing and we are always identifying opportunities to continue embracing and supporting social accountability across the health faculties.

This year, our work will fall within the theme of “Shaping the Future Through Partnerships” and you will see multiple new initiatives throughout the year.  Please join us on Saturday October 3, 2015 in the Tupper Link from 1-4 pm as we host our annual Global Health Open House which will showcase the diversity within our programs, partnerships and reach across and beyond the campuses.

Global Health Open House Oct 3, 2015

Global Health Open House Oct 3, 2015

We are thrilled to be presenting our Open House in partnership with the Dal Med Global Health Initiative (GHI) who will be facilitating the Global Health Living Library: Stories that Bind, A Living Library of Healthcare Experiences, which allows us to bring together a stronger more collaorative voice of global health at Dalhousie.

Stories that Bind, A Living Library of Healthcare Experience

Stories that Bind, A Living Library of Healthcare Experience

We look forward to working with students, faculty and staff from across the multiple campuses at Dalhousie University and continuing to collaborate with our local and global partners.

Don’t be a stranger.  Come see us in person or through our virtual presence.

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“Hello nice people from the moon” – student blog

By: Jen LeBlanc
Outreach Coordinator, Global Health Office

 

Dalhousie Students in Tanzania

Dalhousie Students in Tanzania

This summer the global health office is supporting three Dalhousie University students completing research and internships in Tanzania. They are embracing this cultural and clinical experience with such enthusiasm and blogging about it as often as they can; so much so that we wanted to share some of their stories with you.  The students’ visit coincides with Ramadan, a holy month observed by Muslims worldwide that requires fasting from sunrise to sunset, and these bright students considered what this might mean before they arrived.

Before coming to Dar, I was apprehensive about Ramadan (the holy Islamic month in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset). I wasn’t sure if there would be restaurants open, would it be offensive to walk around with a water bottle? These were some serious concerns. However, despite the large Muslim population, Dar is fairly relaxed…..My favourite experience living in a largely Muslim city is the haunting call to prayer resounding above the sound of horns honking and crowds milling about the street. While I don’t understand the words, it still offers a feeling calm, and a sense of being transported from the hectic chaos that can be daily life.

To complement their research and placements the students are taking language classes.  This has been important for the students to learn some conversational Swahili which has offered them more meaningful interactions with friends and colleagues and has deepened their appreciation for the culture that surrounds them.  They are also enjoying the tastes of the local menus – sounds like they could write their own guide book on the best butter chicken in the neighbourhood.

It’s nice to see that they have also found some time to visit the National Museum and discovered items that are not only historically interesting but also related to their visit.

A little more on point with our purpose for being in Tanzania was the exhibit on the HIV epidemic. Which included some interesting cartoons from the 1980’s (the height of the AIDs crisis and before the availability of antiretroviral medications, when the diagnosis of HIV was the equivalent to a death sentence).

We are so proud of these students! They are doing amazing work and are wonderful ambassadors for Dalhousie. Their blog posts are short and sweet, because let’s face it – they are busy and we are glad they are spending so much time out exploring their surroundings. The benefit is that they give us a snapshot into this amazing experience and they allow these students to feel connected to someone or something bigger. If you would like to read some of these stories yourself please follow the blog link.

Congratulations to Our 2015 Resident Award in Global Health Winner!

2015 Dr. Jock Murray Award for Resident Leadership in Global Health
Dr. Gregory Knapp
BHSC,MSC,MD
Department of Surgery

He has demonstrated a true and, quite frankly, contagious passion for global health work. His undeniable desire to support global health initiatives and his perseverance to find new opportunities is truly inspirational.

Dr. Knapp’s global health career began in high school and extended into his undergraduate education where he dedicated many hours to the local Red Cross Council. In 2006 while in India he was exposed to the Indian health care system and became aware of the connections between economics, culture and health.  This led to Dr. Knapp’s participation in the 60th Annual International Seminar in West Africa, a joint venture by CIDA and WUSC/CECI.  He was one of only 20 students from across Canada and examined barriers to women’s education in northern Ghana.  This sparked Dr. Knapp’s interest in interdisciplinary and cross-cultural group work and effective leadership in such circumstances.

Gregory Knapp’s undergraduate thesis examined the spread of HIV in post-conflict Angola and he went on to complete a Masters of Science in International Health Policy at the London School of Economics.  Upon returning to Canada, Dr. Knapp began medical school and coordinated the creation and implementation of the Bachelor of Health Science’s Global Health Specialization at McMaster University.  His hands on approach meant that he taught one of the undergraduate courses to incoming students.

Greg has been an integral part of the creation and on-going activities of the Dalhousie University Global Surgery Office.

In January 2014 Dr. Knapp participated in a trip to the University of Dodoma in Tanzania that resulted in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding later that spring.  The focus of this partnership is to provide necessary surgical training to learners, instructors and researchers in Tanzania. This unique partnership will use tele-simulation capabilities and as the lead for this project, Dr. Knapp is exploring opportunities for electronic mentorship.

Dr. Gregory Knapp is a global health leader focused on research, teaching and mentorship.  He understands the importance of interdisciplinary and cross-cultural cooperation and is sensitive to the requirements of low-resource settings. We look forward to what the future holds for our 2015 Resident Award in Global Health winner!

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Dr. Gregory Kanpp receiving his award plaque

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Dr. Gregory Kanpp chatting with Shawna O’Hearn

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Dr. Gregory Knapp & Ms. Shawna O’Hearn

Congratulations to Our 2015 Faculty Award in Global Health Winner!

2015 Dr. John Savage Memorial Award for Faculty Leadership in Global Health
Dr. Ronald George
MD, FRCPC
Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine

Dr. Ron George demonstrates a strong commitment to global health across his career.  His work in anesthesia, obstetrical anaesthesia and systems change reflects his desire for social justice. As a leader in global health Dr. George has made sustainable partnerships, research, teaching/curriculum, and mentorship the focus of his work.

Ron’s involvement with global health began in 2006 when he became a volunteer with Kybele, an NGO focused on improving childbirth safety worldwide. Dr. George worked at the Tamale Teaching Hospital in northern Ghana where he initiated a partnership focused on training and quality improvement for obstetrics and obstetrical anesthesia. Dr. George continues to be involved with Kybele as a team member as well as serving on the board of directors.

In his nomination letter from Dr. Andre Bernard who worked in Ghana says;

I was struck by Ron’s passion for seeing health care transformation as a systems-level intervention, requiring local leadership as well as empowered participation by health care providers and administrators at all levels.

Locally Dr. George is involved with the well-established partnership between Canada and Rwanda focused on residency training in Anesthesia.  Ron also serves as Director and co-chair of the Anesthesia for Global Outreach (AGO) course, one of three courses globally, that happens annually in Halifax.  Begun in 2008 the course focuses on training and preparing anesthesiologists for work in resource limited contexts, particularly in low income countries.

Ron is seen in our Department as one of the go-to people on global health…Ron is a dynamic leader who has consistently demonstrated a passion for improving the lives of others.

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Dean of Medicine Dr. Tom Marrie, Ms. Shawna O’Hearn, Dr. Ron George, Dr. John LeBlanc

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Dr. Allen Finley, Dr. Patricia Livingston, Dr. Ron George, visiting Rwandan fellows

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Dr. Ron George receiving his award plaque

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Dr. Ron George with Ms. Shawna O’Hearn