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Johns Hopkins and Department of Defense Collaborate on a Global Health Course Offered This Summer for the First Time

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From August 6-30, the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus will host a “Global Health Strategies for Stability” (GHSS) course being offered by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine (CDHAM) of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute.

The course, which has a limited number of open spots remaining, is targeted to U.S. government personnel both civilian and military, foreign nationals working directly with U.S. personnel, non-governmental organization employees, and individuals in the public or private sectors who are engaged in global health activities.

The course was designed to provide those who are engaged in global health with a comprehensive awareness and a set of skills to understand and improve the health sector of a nation or region in the context of U.S. and partner nation national security.  Though the course is being planned and offered by the CDHAM, Commander Carlos Williams, MD, MBA, MPH, Director of Education and Civil-Military Medicine, CDHAM, emphasizes that having a “room full of military personnel only reflects a single perspective and does not meet the intent successful global engagements which are based on partnerships and understanding.

“We want to create an environment where students from all backgrounds learn and share from each other,” Williams said. “We want participants to experience varying perspectives. That’s what changes mindsets.”

During the course, students will learn how to recognize health destabilizers and develop, implement and evaluate programs that address and mitigate their effects.  Each week of the class will include four days of classroom learning, ending each day with applying the content of the day to their assigned study country.  Each week ends with a "Strategic Global Health Experience" that takes participants out of the classroom and into various locations to meet and experience interactions with members of institutions engaged in global health.

The course objectives are to strenghten civilian-military interactions and improve the delivery and quality of global health engagements by developing a cadre of professionals who function as effective mentors and health diplomats in a globalized health environment.

Johns Hopkins Professor and GHSS Course Director, Gilbert Burnham, MD, PH.D, MPH says "participants will learn not only the technical components of global health activities, but also build an understanding of the context, the culture and the environment which influence the impact of health programs in low and middle income countries.”

“What is unique about this program is that many people get their MPH degrees and never learn about or interact with the military,” said Diana Luan, PhD, MS, MPA, Program and Co-Course Director, USU/CDHAM. “But in many environments the civil-military partnership is critical to meeting health sector needs of a population."

The course is intended to be part of a larger family of courses, all focused on civil-military partnerships and enhancing the U.S. government’s capacity in all aspects of global health and medical civil-military support to engagements that provide stability. This is the first time this course is being offered, and it is currently being offered under funding from the Department of Defense.

Visit the CDHAM GHHS website for more information about the course and how to apply.

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