OSU Office of Global
Health Makes It Possible
“In the decade since the Office of Global Health (OGH) was
created by Dr. Sedmak, participation in the core Global
Health Elective Program has grown from 16 students the
first year to 70 last year,” says Diane Gorgas, MD. “And, our
College of Medicine students have become exceptional
ambassadors for Ohio State.”
Dr. Gorgas, who joined OGH last fall, was named director
in January, when Daniel Sedmak, MD ’80, retired from his
full-time role as executive director of the Health Sciences
Center for Global Health and OGH.
“We deliver one of the best pre-departure preparation programs in the nation
for medical students completing a rotation in a developing country,” notes Dr.
Gorgas, who also is an associate professor in the Department of Emergency
Medicine. The program content, which has been rolled into an Advanced
Competency Choice within the college’s new Lead.Serve.Inspire curriculum,
includes a longitudinal pathway to combine didactic global health learning with
the practice-based, clinical service away rotation, providing medical students a
level of expertise and knowledge that is unparalleled in the country, she explains.
Dr. Sedmak, whose career at OSU spans nearly 30 years in various capacities,
was called upon to establish OGH in response to medical students’ burgeoning
interest in global health.
“Students experience marked cultural differences and come away with an
understanding that providing care is about more than just physicians, nurses
and other professionals. Public health concerns, including access to clean water,
vaccinations, a blood supply, emergency vehicles and hospitals that are more
than clinics are deeply intertwined,” Dr. Sedmak says.
“I’ve never had a medical student on one of these rotations who does not come
back profoundly affected. They have a greater sense of awareness, compassion
and gratitude – this is probably the most important difference we can make in
global health,” he adds.
Core initiatives of the
OSU Office of Global
Global Health Elective Program:
Medical students learn about and
travel to developing countries
where they are educated about and
participate in diagnosis and treatment
of diseases and disorders, preventive
health care and public health unique
to the local culture (see pg. 4).
Support for global health student
organizations associated with
the College of Medicine, such as
PODEMOS (see pg. 5) and R4WH
(see pg. 14).
Partnership for Global Health:
The OSU Greif Neonatal Survival
Program, created through a $2.5
million gift from Greif Packaging
Charitable Trust, provides neonatal
care training for local healthcare
workers in Hinche, Haiti, southern
Kenya and throughout Ethiopia.
Currently being expanded to Tanzania,
Malawi and Rwanda, the program
improves the lives of mothers and
infants in low-income countries and
creates self-sustaining and scalable
healthcare training and delivery.
Health Sciences Center for Global
Health (Buckeyes Without Borders):
A cross-campus, collaborative
program among the Health Sciences
colleges, was initially funded in part by
a grant from the National Institutes of
Health’s Fogarty International Center
award, of which Dr. Sedmak, along
with Mary Ellen Wewers, PhD, MPH,
was principal investigator.
Specialization in Global Health:
A university-wide program to prepare
students and graduates to participate
in advancement of global health
through academic enrichment,
service-learning and research.
If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want
to go far, go together. – AFRICAN PROVERB
Stay connected: Visit medicine.osu.edu/alumni
Diane Gorgas, MD
The vision of the OSU Office of Global Health – to inspire future physicians
to become champions for global health and for improving the
quality of life for all – is fulfilled by its mission to provide
medical students with the opportunity to learn about
global health issues through didactic, self-study and
participatory learning. To learn more, visit medicine.