Linkages and Collaborations
The Gillings School of Global Public Health collaborates with the Public Health Foundation of India and the Association of American Schools of Public Health to support the creation of new Institutes of public health in India. The school provides training for young faculty, teaching public health knowledge, theory, and methods. Partnership goals include expanded faculty exchanges, research and field-based collaborations, and student exchanges. Focus areas include nutrition, biostatistics, health policy, and diseases of animal origin. In addition, as part of the MEASURE Evaluation project — the largest project at UNC, based at the Carolina Population Center, and funded by USAID — the school has developed a partnership with PHFI to undertake Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) training programs on a regular basis. This collaboration began in 2009, with an M&E training on Population, Health, and Nutrition programs. In the last year, we have partnered with PHFI on an M&E training of HIV/AIDS, a Geographic Information Systems Application in Public Health training, and developing a diploma program in Health Economics, Health Care Financing, and Health Policy. We also have plans to repeat the various trainings at multiple periods over the next year.
The Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health (SEARCH) is a community health project that has become internationally known for its work in maternal and newborn health. SEARCH was founded in 1985 by a doctor couple, Abhay Bang and Rani Bang, who were inspired by the life and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. Their dream was to develop an institution of community health that provides health care to the local population and generates research knowledge that can be used by the global community. Dr. Bang approached our school because he feels that our students and faculty are unique among public health schools in their ability to solve real-world problems.
The Deshpande Foundation, founded in 1996 by Gururaj (Desh) and Jaishree Deshpande, funds entrepreneurial, sustainable projects in their home region of northwestern Kamalaka. Two UNC student teams supported by the foundation designed a cutting-edge, sustainable sanitation project and a training program to reduce sexually transmitted infections and gender-based violence among young people.
Gravis, Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti, is a non-governmental organization that serves the rural poor in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan. GRAVIS is based on the Gandhian philosophy of self-reliance and works toward the rehabilitation of drought affected and marginalized rural communities, enabling village ownership and control over its environment, institutions, and relations. Their work in medicine and public health includes health service delivery to a population of over one million people, with specific programs on water, sanitation and hygiene, reproductive health, and nutrition. In summer 2011, two UNC public health students completed masters’ practica with Gravis, surveying the health needs of the elderly population and developing a school nutrition and health curriculum. The director of Gravis, Prakash Tyagi, was a Humphrey Fellow at UNC’s School of Public Health in 2005-2006 and continues to work with us on global learning initiatives.
BPHES’ Centre for Studies in Rural Development (CSRD), Institute of Social Work & Research, Ahmednagar is one of the pioneer institutions in community extension and social work education in India. It was established in 1961. It is managed and run by Bhaskar Pandurang Hiwale Education (BPHE) Society, Ahmednagar. The Institute affiliated with University of Pune has established a relationship with UNC School of Social Work in 2014 to serve as a host to UNC students, faculty, and others.
Suresh Pathare, a professor and director of the Centre for Studies in Rural Development was a Visiting Scholar at UNC from September 2013-2014.
JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research is located in Mysore, Karnataka. JSS Academy, although only officially founded in 2008, is a culmination of a half-century of perseverance in the field of education steered by the philosophy of noble minds. Its medical institutions train physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare professionals to provide the highest standards of patient care, while also pursuing cutting edge research.
Collaborations between UNC and JSSU began in July 2014 when Ramesh Adepu, a JSSU faculty member, spent three weeks at UNC as a visiting scholar to better understand pharmacy practice and education in the U.S. and at UNC. Global partnerships, such as the one with JSSU, are a foundational component of UNC’s work to infuse a global dimension throughout the University’s teaching, research and service activities; to deepen and broaden UNC’s global work; and to enhance its global visibility.
UNC School of Dentistry signed the MOU with Yenepoya University on July 24, 2017 to establish an exchange program for dental students interesting in exploring international opportunities. Since 2017, many students from both universities have participated in this successful exchange.
Global distance learning
Worldwide, the need for accessible, high-quality global health education is growing, due to the pressing need to expand and develop the global public health workforce to address existing and emerging public health priorities. Current distance learning practices do not address the needs of public health practitioners in the field, who often have limited access to high quality instruction. Rohit Ramaswamy, Gillings Visiting Clinical Associate Professor at our school, is working with our faculty and three international nonprofit organizations to develop and apply a standardized, rigorous, distance-based curriculum for core public health competencies to real-world case studies and global health problems. India is a focus country. This effort will not only increase access to high quality public health training for professionals in India and other countries, but will be adapted to meet the specific needs of learners and capitalize on their real-world experience.