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Boston University Launches $10M, 5-Year Global Health Center

Boston University (BU) on Monday launched a five-year, $10 million global health initiative that aims to “bolster research and education” and “build a nationwide consortium of universities devoted to improving health in the Third World,” the Boston Globe reports. The new Center for Global Health and Development will draw specialists from several different fields, including medicine, public health, engineering, social work and education “to grapple with diseases that cause millions of deaths each year in the developing world,” the newspaper writes.

Jonathon Simon, chairman of the International Health Department in BU’s School of Public Health, will head the center. Simon “was a lead researcher on a decade-long project that led to new global guidelines on how to treat pneumonia in children,” according to the Boston Globe. The center will merge BU’s International Health Department with its Global Health Initiative, “which works to broaden the reach of global health programs beyond medicine. Simon said the consolidation will strengthen the multidisciplinary approach to improving global health by tapping expertise throughout the university.”

Robert Brown, BU’s president, will announce the new center on Monday at a National Institutes of Health gathering of 58 North American universities with programs in health and development (Smith, 9/14).

First Meeting, New Survey For Global Health University Consortium

According to Inside Higher Ed, the NIH meeting is the “first … of a new consortium designed to encourage development of and collaboration among academic programs in the emerging field of global health.”

Also Monday, the Consortium of Universities for Global Health released a survey to coincide with the meeting, which “shows rapid acceleration in universities’ creation of global health programs and doubling of undergraduate and graduate enrollments in the programs since 2006,” Inside Higher Ed writes (Lederman, 9/14).

The survey, which was conducted at the consortium’s 37 member schools in July with funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, found that 5,012 students were enrolled in global-health courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in 2009, up from 2,393 students in 2006.

“Several global-health programs have also sprung up in recent years, according to the survey results. Only 18 of the 37 institutions surveyed had such programs in 2006,” the Chronicle of Higher Education reports (Aujla, 9/14). 

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