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George W. Bush Institute To Include Global Health Focus; University Of California System Launches Global Health Institute

Former President George W. Bush will deliver a speech on Thursday marking the launch of the “George W. Bush Institute as a forum for study and advocacy in four main areas: education, global health, human freedom and economic growth,” the New York Times writes.

During a speech at Southern Methodist University, “Mr. Bush will announce the appointment of the first five of two dozen scholars to be affiliated with the institute, which has already scheduled a half-dozen conferences for next year, according to organizers. The former first lady, Laura Bush, will also speak at Thursday’s event to discuss how women’s issues will be injected into all the institute’s program areas … The institute will be housed along with [Bush’s] presidential library and museum in a building on the S.M.U. campus to be completed by 2013.”

The newspaper continues, “‘The president has been working with these ideas for a long time now,’ said James K. Glassman, a former top State Department official now serving as the institute’s founding executive director. ‘He wanted to do something very different from other former presidents, and that is to create a research institute that’s independent, nonpartisan and scholarly and that will have an impact on the real world'” (Baker, 11/11).

University of California Creates Global Health Institute

The University of California launched a Global Health Institute this week that “initially will offer a one-year master’s degree and enroll its first students in the fall of 2011,” the Sacramento Bee reports. The institute received a nearly $4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Calvan, 11/12).

“The institute will focus the combined expertise of the university’s 10 campuses on solving increasingly complex global health problems and meeting the health-care needs of the world’s most vulnerable populations,” according to a University of California-Davis press release. Claire Pomeroy, UC Davis vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine, said in a written statement: “Our vision of health recognizes the interconnectedness of people, animals and the environment and aims to identify and address the fundamental causes of poor health to improve the well-being of all” (11/9).

“The Institute is expected to lead eventually to the establishment of the first systemwide professional school – the UC School of Global Health … Eventually it also will offer two-year masters and Ph.D. programs granted by the UC campus on which students conduct their work,” according to a University of California-Riverside press release. Researchers will study health issues of women, migrating people as well as nutrition, water, animals and the environment (11/9).

Haile Debas, executive director of UCSF Global Health Sciences and former UCSF Chancellor, and Tom Coates, the Michael and Sue Steinberg Professor of Global AIDS Research at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, will co-lead the institute, according to a UCSF press release (11/9).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.