Global Health Seminar

EPH 591 01

Global Health SeminarStudents gather for the global health seminar at the Anylan Center. 

The Global Health Seminar is a year-long, weekly elective course intended for students in the health professions to develop an understanding of key aspects of global health research and practice. The course features faculty from across the health professional schools and other global health experts from around the world. Its participatory and collaborative nature provides a rich environment for interdisciplinary dialogue. The goal of the course is for students to attain a good understanding of key issues upon which they may base future research, service, and clinical pursuits in the field of global health. The objectives of the course are for students to:

  • Analyze current global health challenges taking into consideration their social, political, economic, legal, and human rights dimensions
  • Evaluate and discuss responses to global health needs by integrating information provided by invited speakers and skills from this seminar as well as those from other courses taken at respective programs
  • Assess the global health governance infrastructure and understand the importance of international collaboration
  • Explain and propose solutions for addressing ethical challenges and issues of feasibility in implementing health interventions
  • Develop skills to collaborate with health professionals working in clinical medicine, nursing, and public health by engaging in a participatory learning environment with invited speakers and Yale faculty, staff, and students
  • Discuss challenges and opportunities of professional development, both in terms of potential pathways and essential values in global health

The Global Health Seminar is a requirement for students in the Global Health Concentration at the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) and for students in the Certificate in the Science and Practice of Medicine in the Global Context at the Yale School of Medicine (YSM).  In addition to faculty advisors from the School of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Physician Associate Program, a program manager from YSPH supports the Seminar. 

Historically, the Global Health Seminar has also been led by strong student input and engagement and is supported by a student-leadership team representing all the health professional schools. The student leadership team forms annually in the fall from interested students who have participated in the course. This team is part of the Global Health Working Group (GHWG), a group of students from all the health professional schools.  The GHWG is composed of the Student Coordinator for Global Health (representing YSM’s Office of International Medical Student Education) and the student leadership groups for the Global Health Seminar and Topics in Global Medicine course. The GHWG meets several times per semester to coordinate the two courses.

The Global Health Seminar contains two components: thematic lectures and a module.  Over the course of the fall semester, lectures will focus on global health history and architecture and advocacy. The module will focus on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).  For each class, 1 - 2 readings will be posted on classes V2 prior to each session.  Students are encouraged to read the articles and articulate questions and ideas for class discussion.  After each session, students can learn more about the invited lecturer and their career path over an informal dinner.  The success of each session is dependent upon active participation and interaction. 
Modules are designed as a series of consecutive sessions, coordinated by a faculty member, that delve into a particular topic in greater detail.  These sessions require more engaged student participation and discussion and are meant to provide a more in-depth learning experience under the guidance of an expert in the field. 

Lecture Day/Time:     Mondays 5:30 – 7:00PM
Location:                    The Anlyan Center (TAC) Room N-107

Faculty Advisors
YSM: Gerald Friedland, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology; Director, AIDS Program

YSM: Tracy Rabin, M.D., Instructor, Internal Medicine

YSM: Sheela Shenoi, M.D., Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, AIDS

YSN: Patricia Ryan-Krause, Associate Professor, School of Nursing; Director, School of Nursing

YSPH: Michael Skonieczny, M.A., Executive Director, Global Health Leadership Institute

PA: Rosana Gonzalez-Colaso, Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, PA Program

Program Manager
Anjuli Bodyk, Program Coordinator, Global Health Concentration (GHC) at YSPH


Global Health Seminar Student Leadership Group
Ikenna Achilihu, YSPH

Jennifer Grasso, YSPH

Nirupama Krishnamurthi, YSPH

Thomas Lazzarini, YSM

Rejoice Ngongoni, YSM

Ava Yap, YSM



  • The Seminar will start with an overview of global health history and current trends, including challenges over the next ten years.  This theme will also focus on highlighting diverse perspectives on global health from stakeholders including NGOs, multilateral organizations, and universities.

9/8      Global Health 501 in 60 Minutes or Less

    • Richard Skolnik: Lecturer in Public Health (Health Policy) and in Management and Residential College Associate Fellow in Faculty of Arts and Sciences

9/15    From Kazan to Kampala: Building Human Capacity to Improve Health

    • Asghar Rastegar: Professor of Medicine; Director, Office of Global Health; Chief, Fitkin Firm YNHH

9/22    The Role of the World Bank in Global Health

    • Keith Hansen, Global Practices Vice President, World Bank Group

9/29    From the Frontlines: The Experience of Medicins Sans Frontieres

    • Unni Karanukara: Former International President, Medicins Sans Frontieres; Jackson Institute for Global Affairs Senior Fellow


  • Caused by a variety of parasites, bacteria, and other microbes and transmitted in various ways, neglected tropical diseases have one major trait in common: they affect mostly poor people, most often in the poorest countries. About 4.2 billion people are at risk of these diseases in 142 countries.  Through lectures and group discussion the module will focus on NTDs, including current efforts and future outlook.

10/6    The Ebola Virus: How Dangerous Is It?

    • Jamie Childs, Senior Research Scientist and Lecturer in Epidemiology (Microbial Disease)
    • Global Health Opportunities Fair

10/13  Sleeping Sickness in Uganda

    • Serap Aksoy, Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Disease)

10/20  Emerging NTDs: Chikungunya

    • Durland Fish, Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and Forestry and Environmental Studies

10/27  NTD Discussion

    • TBD


  • The Seminar will conclude on global health policy and advocacy, including the role of universities and NGOs in influencing policy.  The policy and advocacy theme will also include a session on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), its current focus and future vision. To commemorate World AIDS Day, the final session will look at a unique new partnership between Yale, the private sector, and the advocacy organization ONE.

11/3    Kids for World Health

    • TBD

11/10 The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

    • Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator

11/17   Mining and Health in South Africa: The Global Health Justice Partnership

    • Gregg Gonsalves, Research Scholar in Law; Lecturer in Law; Co-Director, Global Health Justice Partnership (GHJP)

12/1    Ghana – Yale Partnership for Global Health

    • Elijah Paintsil, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Disease) and of Pharmacology
    • Michael Cappello, Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Disease), of Epidemiology (Microbial Disease) and of Microbial Pathogenesis; Director, Yale Program in International Child Health

Schedule - Spring 2014

Communicable Diseases

1/13: Health in Harmony: Saving Rain Forest with a Stethoscope: six and a half years of success

  • Kinari Webb, Founder & President, Health in Harmony
    Kinari Webb will talk about her experiences founding the international non-profit, Health In Harmony, and share stories of their successes in saving lives and rain forest in Indonesian Borneo. The NGO works to find win-win solutions where both humans and nature benefit both in the short and long-term.  

1/27: HIV and TB Care: The Tugela Ferry Care and Research Collaboration

  • Sheela Shenoi MD Assistant Professor  and Gerald Friedland MD Professor,   AIDS Program, Section of Infectious Diseases, YSM and Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, YSPH
    This session will initially describe the intertwined epidemics of HIV and TB and the uncovering of the third epidemic of extensively drug restant (XDR) TB) in rural KwaZuluNatal, South Africa and their local and global implications. We will focus on the strategies developed and tested by US and South African collaborators to confront the epidemics in health care facilities and, community settings and their associated challenges and successes. The role of students and trainees in this work will be described as well.

2/3: Cancelled and rescheduled for 4/28/14

Module: Health Access

2/10: Access and the American Health Care Paradox

  • Betsy Bradley, PhD, Professor of Public Health; Director, Yale Global Health Initiative; Faculty Director, Global Health Leadership Institute; Master, Branford College, Yale College
    In this session, we will understand the many meanings of access in the field of global health, and we will examine the movement toward universal health globally. Students will examine the experiences of the United States in trying to expand health care access to health care through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and compare it to efforts in middle and low-income countries (Mexico and Ethiopia) to expand access. Contributing factors to restrictions in access will be explored.

2/17:Facilitated Group Discussions

  • Elizabeth Bradley; Global Health Working Group Facilitators
    Break into groups and discuss the Mexico attempt to promote better access.

2/24:What is health and what is care? A new paradigm.

  • Pat Manocchia, Owner and President,LA PALESTRA
    This session’s discussion will focus on the definition of health and the idea of “prevention” as it relates to both health and care. There will be an in depth presentation and discussion of the LA PALESTRA model exploring the concept of integration as it relates to outcomes.

3/3:The Scandinavian Model

  • Jan Frich,Professor in Health Management, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo Faculty of Medicine; Yale GHLI Visiting Scholar & The Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice
    This session will give an account of Scandinavian health care systems, which is characterized by universal access and a strong primary health care system, underpinned by a welfare state model. Particular attention will be given to the Norwegian health care system, and some current policy issues will be highlighted.


Non-Communicable Diseases

3/24: Future Health Issues: Non-Communicable Diseases   

  • Rachel Nugent, Senior Research Scientist & Associate Professor, University of Washington, Department of Global Health
    Health conditions in developing countries are becoming more like those in developed countries, with non-communicable diseases predominating and infectious diseases declining.  Driven by changes in lifestyle related to nutrition, physical activity and smoking, the surging burden of NCDs in poor countries portends painful choices.  This lecture will provide an overview of NCDs within a global context, with particular emphasis on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Additionally, the lecture will emphasize the economic implications of NCDs in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), and will discuss the outcomes of the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs that is taking place in September this year.

3/31: Title: "NCDs and the post-2015 Human Development Agenda"

  • Sir George Alleyne, OCC, M.D., F.R.C.P., F.A.C.P. (Hon), DSc (Hon)
    Director Emeritus of the PanAmerican Health Organization
    Abstract: TBA

4/7: Respiratory NCDs in Uganda: Burden and Risk Factors

  • Bruce Kirenga MD, Respiratory Physician at Mulago Hospital, Uganda
    Dr. Kirenga’s talk will focus on the effects of indoor air pollution on the health and well-being of individuals. He will speak about his work as a respiratory physician in Uganda, but also share about other related work.

4/14: Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (YP-CDN)

  • Sunny Kishore, MD, PhD Candidate, Weil Cornell Medical College, Director, Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (YP-CDN)
    Mr. Kishore’s talk will focus on the rising issue of chronic diseases worldwide as a public health problem. His talk will discuss the shifting paradigm from infectious diseases to chronic diseases in middle income countries like India and Brazil. Finally, he will highlight the history of the development of the Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network and related leadership opportunities available.
4/21: Nutrition and Cancer Prevention 
  • Susan Mayne, PhD, YSPH, C.-E.A. Winslow Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); Associate Director, Population Sciences at Yale Cancer Center; Department Chair, Chronic Disease Epidemiology
    Professor Mayne's primary research is in nutritional epidemiology of chronic diseases. She has a background in nutritional biochemistry, epidemiology, and clinical trials, and has an interest in biomarkers of nutritional status. She has an interest in dietary factors in the etiology of several major cancers. Her work involves both observational studies and intervention trials, with a particular emphasis on carotenoids. She also studies other lifestyle factors (e.g., tobacco, alcohol, tanning) and their interaction with genetics in cancer risk.
4/28: (Rescheduled from 2/3/14) Leadership Towards Eradication: The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)
  • Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, the President’s Malaria Initiative
    PMI is a collaborative U.S. Government effort, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the Department of State, the White House, and others. As coordinator, Rear Admiral Ziemer reports to the USAID administrator and has direct authority over both PMI and USAID malaria programs. The PMI strategy is targeted to achieve Africa-wide impact by halving the burden of malaria in 70 percent of at-risk populations in sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 450 million people, thereby removing malaria as a major public health problem and promoting economic growth and development throughout the region.