Welcome back from Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Togo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya,  Malawi, Ethiopia, Nepal, Germany, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam   — not to mention those of you who explored the global dimensions of improving health and well-being right here in Wisconsin!

After classes ended in May, nearly 200 of you set out to expand your understanding of sustainable global health and well-being.  You engaged as learners and change-makers with communities around the world.  It has been great running into you and hearing your stories on the Lakeshore path, State Street, coffee shops, and the library (really!) — a special thanks to those who have stopped by my office to share!

This year I will be blogging about field work, fall courses, global health networks, and books related to global health.  I would also love to feature YOUR WORK as your global health projects and ideas develop.

travelMy travels:   In ECUADOR I will be teaming with Instructor Janet Niewold to work with the Sumak Mayo women’s group on a women’s micro-enterprise and health project.   The women are selling jewelry and scarves, and are hoping to develop an eco-tour that highlights their rich indigenous culture.  In ETHIOPIA I will be continuing to collaborate with leaders on Quality Improvement in Emergency Medicine, and I hope to expand the effort to have hospital-wide impact.  There are many other broad-based initiatives going on in Ethiopia with leadership from Dr. Girma Tefera, Dr. Jonathan Patz, and Heidi Busse, MPH, so I hope to blog about their efforts as well.  Finally, I will be going to MOZAMBIQUE for the first time, to work on quality improvement in the pediatric department of a large public hospital.   If you see me between campus listening to a WALKMAN don’t worry, you have not slipped through a time warp into the 1980s — I am making use of my vintage equipment (cassette tapes!) to brush up on my Portuguese.

booksBooks Related to Global Health:  I will be reviewing a mixture of fiction and non-fiction related to global health.  I’ll be covering a pair of South African novels,  Ways of Dying by Sakes Mda and Disgrace by JM Coetzee, which I read during my recent visit to South Africa.  I’ll review  Strength in What Remains, by Tracy Kidder (of Mountains Beyond Mountains fame) and I also have Inferno, by Dan Brown, on my desk.  That is about the World Health Organization – should be fun.  Of course I will cover this year’s UW-Madison GO BIG READ, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.  Also on my bedside table is La Linea by Ann Jaramillo and What is the What by Dave Eggers.  If you have books to suggest please post in the comments section and I will add them to the list, and maybe even review your suggestions first.

Global Health Networks: I will  blog highlights from my reunion at the Harvard School of Public Health, where there will be some workshops and lectures on leadership, and the American Public Health Association — the theme this year is Global Health.  I will be participating in an Roundtable on Inter-professional Competencies with a network of other universities –the concept note that I will present draws on insights from the global health teaching and lecturing that I have done at UW and at  John’s Hopkins University over the past 20 years.  Also, I will be presenting a “TED talk” at a Conference related to Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in April — so I will blog or tweet items of interest.


Teaching:  This semester I will be teaching Foundations in Global Health Practice for graduate students in the health sciences, and a new course, with Professor Nancy Kendall, entitled Education and Global Change.  I’ll also be doing grand rounds for the OB/GYN department, and preparing a workshop session for the residents at UW hospital.  These will be highly interactive sessions, and I will share key resources and insights here.

GUEST BLOGS:  I welcome these from all of you!  Please email your global health reflection with 1 or 2 images that go with it to and I will contact you about next steps.

GH Student Mailbox:  We have had some amazing email exchanges about your field work.  I am going to share some of these as blog posts (making them anonymous first) from time to time — so that by “reading each other’s mail” and sharing comments, we can all learn more about Global Health.