The vision of the Global Health Program (GHP) of West Virginia University (formerly the International Health Program) is based on the belief that the world is a global community striving for improved health care for all of its members. The GHP supports a sense of connectedness that is built upon similarities countries share in health care needs and challenges. The GHP is committed to fostering collaboration between WVU and countries abroad in education, service, and research, and sharing the lessons learned in each location.
The mission of the GHP is to foster learning, collaboration, and service in the global health community. The GHP provides opportunities to WVU faculty and students in global health environments in order to expand their knowledge of health care delivery systems, public health programs, and medical education systems in developing countries. The GHP strives to expand collaborative interdisciplinary research and share experiences of the US and countries abroad to promote health worldwide. While providing service to residents in developing countries, WVU participants in GHP affiliated sites abroad also gain a cultural awareness and a spirit of cooperation with other countries.
We have formal student/faculty exchange agreements with institutions in Barbuda, Brazil, China, Fiji, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Italy, Oman, Paraguay, and Sierra Leone. Each year we send between 20 - 25 medical students to these various institutions with WVU faculty and staff serving as preceptors.
The mission of the GHP also includes providing a fully accredited Clinical Tropical Medicine and Traveler's Health Course to health care professionals. The course is offered every summer to applicants throughout the United States and abroad. The "Clinical Tropical Medicine and Traveler's Health Course" is held at WVU and is one of the ten United States institutions accredited by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). This course began in 1996 and is offered to all health care professionals. Participants from all over the United States and outside the United States come to WVU to take this course. Physicians and nurses completing this course are then eligible to sit for a certifying exam conducted by the ASTMH. Upon passing the certifying exam, they will receive a Certificate of Knowledge in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Traveler's Health. Further information concerning the course is available at our website.
Specific objectives of the GHP include:
- To interest health profession students in primary care and public health.
- To investigate the application of global systems to West Virginia's delivery system and public health programs, including prevention of acute and chronic diseases.
- To provide patient care and the training of educators and clinicians abroad who will serve as trainers for others in their country as well as learning from clinical experience abroad to aid in health care and prevention programs in the US.
- To develop clinical, curriculum development and distance learning, and computer/communication skills that can be shared by foreign countries and US medical schools.
- To provide opportunities for research activities and funding by national and international agencies including USAID, WHO, and private agencies.
- To apply research findings to public health and health care delivery programs.