Global Health

Global Health - Global Health Banner Image

Meeting Global Health Challenges

The Global Health Concentration is intended for students interested in exploring how globalization is affecting the determinants of health, the health status of the population, and the capacity of nation states to deal with the determinants of health and disease. Global health recognizes that many of the solutions to today’s public health challenges are beyond the capacity of national institutions. The challenges have to be addressed through international collaboration and negotiation as well as through grassroots action.

The goal of the Global Health Concentration is to prepare students for positions that involve public health decision-making and research in a changing world. It encourages students in the Global Health Concentration to become “global system thinkers.”

In this concentration, students are provided the opportunity to relate their knowledge of public health to the larger trends and issues that affect all societies. This concentration explores the transnational interactions of peoples, cultures, economies and policies; the globalizing influences of communication media, multinational corporations, the United Nations, as well as other multilateral institutions, local governments, and private philanthropy; the technological and environmental changes and their effect on disease epidemiology and the susceptibility of populations; the growing impact of non-governmental organizations and local grassroots movements; and the search for world order, law, and human rights.

After enrollment in a degree program, students in any department, and at any campus may elect to add the Global Health Concentration to their course of study. Students elect the Global Health Concentration by completing the required request form that must be signed by the student’s academic advisor and a member of the Global Health Concentration faculty who agrees to serve on the student’s advisory committee.

Click here to learn about the Student Society for Global Health

Click here to learn about Global Health Initiatives at UTHealth

Course of Study

The Global Health Concentration will require the completion of 12 credit hours: four credits of required courses (PH 5610 and PH 5612) and eight credits of electives with global health content. Some of the concentration courses may also count as degree program major, minor, or breadth requirements. Global Health Concentration students in degree programs requiring a practicum must have an experience that is relevant to global health. Students in the concentration completing a thesis or dissertation must select a topic relevant to global health. The faculty member representing the Global Health Concentration will determine if the student has met the requirements of the concentration. Completion of the concentration is noted on the student’s transcript.

MPH students in the Global Health Concentration who choose the Capstone Course instead of a thesis as their culminating experience need to complete an extended practicum in a global health setting. Students will tailor their MPH practicum to be a cross-cultural field experience. The Global Health Concentration faculty advisor helps make the decision about what is a “cross-cultural field experience.” An acceptable written report and a public report will be presented to the Global Health Concentration faculty advisor. The public presentation will be made in a global health meeting (including the Global Health Seminar, other UTHealth School of Public Health forums, or at a national meeting). See the Global Health Concentration Instruction Sheet for Students Electing the MPH Capstone Course as a Culminating Experience.

Global Health Competencies and Sub-Competencies

The accepted competencies for the MPH degree program will form the foundation of the Global Health Concentration.  The following competencies are specific to Global Health and are in addition to the general MPH competencies. Students who graduate with a Concentration in Global Health Studies degree will be demonstrate the ability to:

A. Evaluate the integrity and comparability of different data sources, identify information gaps, and determine the appropriate uses and limitations of available information.

1. selects and defines variables relevant to global and domestic public health problems 2. identifies main sources of reliable data, understands the validity and limitations of the data 3. recognizes the limitation of available data and demonstrates ability to fill the data gaps with other assessment methods

B. Integrate, explain and present complex health conditions, including emerging diseases, in relation to their global context.

1. applies data collection processes, information technology applications, and computer systems to select and process needed information 2. makes relevant inferences from quantitative and qualitative data 3. effectively presents the information collected

C. Analyze health and development policy processes and outcomes at national and international levels and recognize the role of national and international bodies in shaping those processes.

1. identifies the main international organizations (public and private) involved in shaping public health policies and is familiar with their policies and programs 2. understands the interaction between domestic (government and other interest groups) and international health policy-making bodies 3. recognizes the contributions of history, international and domestic policies, and decision-makers in different public health scenarios

D. Appraise and contrast the impact of context and culture in identifying, preventing and treating different health conditions.

1. understands the contribution of environmental and cultural factors in the epidemiology of different health conditions 2. identifies the role of cultural, social and behavioral factors in determining the delivery of health services 3. identifies the role of cultural, social and behavioral factors in the development of health promotion and prevention programs

E. Apply ethical principles to the collection of data, the use of information, and to the development of partnerships, programs and policies for culturally diverse communities and minority populations

1. understands the guiding principles of ethical decision-making and applies them to research, interpersonal relationships, and in organization and program management 2. recognizes the importance of submitting research proposals to appropriate ethics committees, obtaining authorization prior to data collection, and ensuring that consent forms are presented in a culturally sensitive manner, are comprehensive and understood by all study participants 3. utilizes appropriate methods for interacting sensitively, effectively, and professionally with persons from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, educational, racial, ethnic and professional backgrounds, and persons of all ages and lifestyle preferences 4. Designs culturally appropriate interventions to enhance the health status of a community.

F. Analyze health systems, recognize the contributions of the different interest groups in their design and evolution, appraise how they have been affected by shifts in the domestic and global context, and recognize how all those factors may influence their future.

1. understands the structure of health systems and how they interact with public health 2. recognizes the role of the interests groups in shaping the organization of the health system and its overall performance 3. describes the basic indicators used in the description and analysis of health systems and understands the complexities involved in comparing the performance of health systems across countries.

G. Apply development theories and public health concepts to policy development and analysis.

1. describes at least 3 theories central to multicultural research (e.g., post-colonial studies, feminism, globalization) 2. integrates sustainability concepts and strategies in program design and in policy and program evaluation. 3. when developing programs and policies takes into consideration the global and local context, and relevant historical, social and culture factors that may affect their impact.

The Global Health Concentration will require the completion of 12 credit hours: four credits of required courses (PH 5610 and PH 5612) and eight credits of electives with global health content. Some of the concentration courses may also count as degree program major, minor, or breadth requirements.

Required Courses, Global Health Concentration

PH 5610 Global Health Overview
Homedes and the Faculty in Global Health Concentration, 3 credits, a
This course presents an overview of the issues affecting the living conditions and the health status of low-income country residents, and the local and global responses to these problems. Throughout the semester, students will develop an understanding of global and international health through the discussion of sub-themes, including the different meanings of globalization; population and demographics; assessment, health indicators, and epidemiology; immunizations; communicable and emerging diseases; war, conflict, refugees, migration, and displacement; health systems; cultural differentiation; maternal and child health; food security and nutrition; trade agreements, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals; environmental health and pollution; urban health and the development of mega-cities; and economic development.
This course is required for students enrolled in the Global Health Concentration.

PH 5612 Global Health Seminar
The Faculty in Global Health Concentration, 1 credit, a, b
This weekly seminar is presented by faculty, students, and Visiting Professors, and varies in subject matter, depending on current events as well as the special expertise and experience of presenters.
This course is required for students enrolled in the Global Health Concentration.

Elective Courses, Global Health Concentration

Electives for the Global Health Concentration include, but are not limited to, the list below. Courses must be approved by the student’s Global Health Concentration faculty advisor.

Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences
PH 1250 Current Methods for the Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections
PH 1350 Ethnicity, Race, Class & Gender: A Multicultural Public Health Perspective
PH 1410 Addiction and Society
PH 1424 Social Justice and Public Health
PH 1498 Food Policy (Special Topics course)

Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences
PH 2132
Infection Control and Biosafety
PH 2280 Environmental Microbiology
PHM 2290 Immunology
PH 2615 Epidemiology II
PH 2730 Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases
PHW 2775 Epidemiologic Methods in Racial and Ethnic Disparities
PHM 2800 Tropical Infectious Diseases
PHM/PHD 2846 Rapid Assessment Methods in Public Health
PH 2498 Global Occupational Health (Special Topics course)
PH 2498 Infection Control and Biosafety (Special Topics course)
PH 2998 Disease Detectives: International Epidemic Investigations (Special Topics course)

Management, Policy and Community Health
PHW 3660 Demographic Data Methods for Public Health Practitioners
PHD 3812 Comparative Healthcare Systems: Policy Challenges and Economic Perspectives
PHM/PHD 3922 Economic and Social Determinants of Health
PHD 3926 Health Survey Research Design
PH 3998 Public Health and Human Rights (Special Topics course)

PH 5098
The History and Culture of Disease and Healing (Special Topics course; only available in Houston)
PH 5613
Critical Cinema for Public Health
The Faculty in Global Health Concentration, 2 credits, a
This course presents a series of documentaries and Big Screen movies revolving around public health topics. The range of topics will include health disparities; health systems; culture, behavior, and health; environmental health themes; globalization; addictions; mental health; food production; research ethics and methods; violence; and surveillance and control of epidemics. All movie presentations will be followed by a class discussion.

Concentration Coordinator and Staff

HomdesNuria Homedes, M.D., Dr.PH.
Associate Professor, Management, Policy & Community Health
El Paso Regional Campus

Sharon S. Cummings, MPH
Program Manager, Office of Academic Affairs and Student Services

Global Health Faculty

Our global health faculty have international work experience in over 40 countries across the globe, and they span across all departments and campuses of the School of Public Health.

H. Shelton Brown III, PhD
Melissa Harrell, PhD
Nalini Ranjit, PhD
Andrew Springer, DrPH
Anna Wilkinson, PhD

Susan Fisher-Hoch, MD
Joseph McCormick, MD
Belinda Reininger, DrPH

Folefac Atem, PhD

El Paso
Nuria Homedes, MD, DrPH
Kristina Mena, PhD

Cesar A. Arias, MD, MSc, PhD, FIDSA 
Eric Brown, PhD
Cynthia Chappell, PhD
R. Sue Day, PhD
George Delclos, MD, MPH, PhD 
Rigoberto Delgado, PhD
Herbert DuPont, MD
Maria E. Fernandez, PhD
Craig Hanis, PhD
Lu-Yu Hwang, MD
Dejian Lai, PhD
Sheryl McCurdy, PhD
Theresa J. Ochoa, MD
Mohammad Rahbar, PhD
Nahid Rianon, MD, DrPH – UTHealth McGovern Medical School
Pauline Rosenau, PhD
Beatrice Selwyn, ScD
Shreela Sharma, PhD, RD, LD
J. Michael Swint, PhD
J. Michael Wilkerson, PhD, MPH
Kai Zhang, PhD

San Antonio 
David Gimeno, PhD
John Herbold, DVM, PhD
Paula Stigler Granados, PhD

To view faculty research interests and CVs, please access the Faculty Directory.

Members of the Global Health Faculty have worked in the following countries:

Costa Rica
El Salvador
The Philippines

(Click on any link to find more about the country’s statistics)

Student Society for Global Health

Click here to learn about the Student Society for Global Health
Check out our Facebook page by searching “SPH Student Society for Global Health”

UTSPH Scholarships

Palmer Beasley M.D. Travel Award in International Research
For continuing SPH students working on important public health issues in a developing country of Asia, Africa or Latin America. Funds can also be used to support travel costs of graduate students, post-doctoral students or junior faculty from developing countries to come to the U.S. to work with SPH faculty. Application forms for this annual scholarship are available in February and applications are due in March. For the application form, see the UTSPH Scholarships website.

Directory of International Grants and Fellowships in the Health Sciences

Fogarty International Center
Advancing Science for Global Health
Directory of Non-NIH Funding Opportunities for predoctoral/graduate students, postdoctoral students, faculty, health professionals, institutions, and travel.
This directory of Non-NIH Funding Opportunities includes a variety of international grants and fellowships in biomedical and behavioral research for graduate students, postdoctoral students, faculty, and for travel. Its goal is to provide information about additional funding opportunities available to those in the field of global health research. The directory is maintained by the Fogarty International Center, the international component of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

International Practicum/Job Resources

International Union for Health Promotion and Education Student and Early Career Network
International Development Jobs and Consulting
Practical Action
Global Health Hub
American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition

Please refer to the UTHealth SPH Practicum site for requirements regarding the practicum experience and for more available opportunities

Other Fellowship/Internships

Albert Schweitzer Fellowship:
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF)‘s mission is to develop Leaders in Service: individuals who are dedicated and skilled in meeting the health needs of underserved communities, and whose example influences and inspires others.

ASPPH Fellowship Programs:
ASPPH fellowships provide recent graduates of ASPPH members with public health training experiences based at federal agencies, state/local health departments, and on Capitol Hill. The duration of the fellowships ranges from 12-24 months depending on the program.

Foundation for Sustainable Development

Global Health Fellows Program:
The GHFP’s vision is to develop a sustainable pool of diverse technical experts committed to strengthening USAID’s health leadership and to support effective systems that enable professional development and organizational performance.

Global Health Corps:
Global Health Corps aims to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build a movement for health equity.

The Unreasonable Institute:
“We attract the world s most brilliant and promising entrepreneurs who are dedicated to having a globally significant social or environmental impact with their ventures. Through an intensive application process, these early-stage entrepreneurs are chosen to become Unreasonable Fellows and attend the Unreasonable Institute. Additionally, we attract serial entrepreneurs, globally recognized thought leaders and innovators, and leading investors to mentor our Fellows. These Unreasonable Mentors become the crux of our model throughout the Institute.”

Kopernik Fellows:
A Kopernik fellowship provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurial individuals of the highest caliber and potential to work with our partner NGOs and assist with the implementation and monitoring of projects disseminating appropriate technology.

The weblog of APHA’s International Health Section:
Regularly updated list of internships and fellowships from various organizations throughout the world.

Afya Bora Fellowship in Global Health Leadership
The Afya Bora Fellowship in Global Health Leadership works to fill an identified gap in training for African and U.S. health professionals.

Please refer to the UTHealth SPH Practicum site for requirements regarding the practicum experience and for more available opportunities

Volunteering Opportunities

Global Impact Corps: Global Health Volunteer Abroad Opportunity
Presented by Unite For Sight

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Coordinating Center for Global Health
Annual Global Health Symposium
Reciprocity and Training in Global Health Education
October 13, 2018
Galveston, TX

Canadian Society for International Health
Canadian Conference on Global Health
November 19-21, 2018
Toronto, Canada

Houston Global Health Collaborative
Annual Impact Global Health Conference
Spring 2019
Rice BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC), 6500 Main Street, Houston TX 77005
This is a gathering of interdisciplinary health professionals in the greater Houston and Gulf Coast areas who are concerned about, and working in, the exciting field of Global Health. Students and professionals come from multiple institutions throughout the Houston and Gulf Coast areas, and practice disciplines ranging from public health and medicine, to nursing, dentistry and pharmacy. The goal is to bring all parties together to network and share information, in order to increase collaboration and maximize efforts and information sharing about Global Health.

Consortium of Universities for Global Health
Annual CUGH Conference
March 8-10, 2019, Chicago, IL

Global Health & Innovation Conference
Presented by Unite for Sight
April 13-14, 2019
Yale University
New Haven, CT