For the first time, a group of physicians and their collaborators from medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health have coordinated a single global health conference that incorporates health concerns in border and rural communities.
The Arizona Health Sciences Center is hosting the Arizona Global Health Conference to share insights about integrated approaches to medicine, innovations in technology, cultural competency and social entrepreneurism, among other topics.
The conference will be held Friday and Saturday, at the Kiewit Auditorium at the UA Cancer Center, 1515 N. Campbell Ave., the first day and at the DuVal Auditorium at the UA Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., the second. General admission for the two-day conference is $60. Student admission is $30. Event details are available online.
The conference will revolve around health disparities in different cultures, preparing physicians for patients of different cultural backgrounds, and the further development of more comprehensive and cohesive programs.
"To advance the existing global opportunities on the UA main campus and at AHSC, it is critical to capitalize on the large potential that exists for expanding multidisciplinary collaboration on education and research programs," said Dr. Bradley Dreifuss, director of the rural and global health program in the UA Department of Emergency Medicine.
The conference will feature two keynote speakers: Marc Nichter, a Regents Professor of Anthropology and coordinator of the UA Graduate Medical Anthropology Training Program, and Parminder Suchdev, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University's School of Medicine. Nichter will discuss ways to link global and rural health research and also training and service while Suchdev will make a call to action for those in academic health centers.
The focus of the forum is on cultural competency, preparing physicians to interact with people that come from different background and learn how to bridge those gabs for creating good relationships and more comprehensive and cohesive programs for moving forward,
All told, 25 UA employees – experts in their respective fields – are attempting, through the conference, to create awareness around the specific needs of global, border and rural communities.
"By bringing together like-minded individuals for the conference, we can cultivate multidisciplinary student and faculty interest and enthusiasm to create a new approach for health initiatives at the UA," Dreifuss said. "We want to create awareness and provide opportunities to coordinate research and education efforts, while also gaining support and providing guidance to the administrative leadership in future global health initiatives."
The event is designed for physicians, researchers, students, trainees, community members and other professionals, giving them information about opportunities for collaboration, especially multidisciplinary approaches to health practice, hands-on fieldwork opportunities and other collaborations among colleges. The conference will include audience participation.
"The point is to showcase what we already have here at the UA and soliciting support from the higher administration to show them that there is a return on investment for programs like this that can become an education tool, a recruitment tool and a way for the University to move forward as a whole," said Aubri Carman, conference organizer and second-year student in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.
"Our biggest hope is for students and faculty to network and realize the potential we have at the University to become a large globally known university in the field of health care, public health and health in general."