Feinberg’s Robert J. Havey, MD Institute for Global Health hosted the 10th annual Global Health Day symposium on December 3, featuring keynote speakers, online poster presentations, and question-and-answer sessions.
Held virtually this year, the symposium brought together global health investigators, educators and students to celebrate and learn about global health research, education and outreach efforts being done at Northwestern and beyond.
This year’s symposium also coincided with the recent renaming of the institute in honor of Robert Havey ’80 MD, ’83 ’84 GME, deputy director of the institute and clinical professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. This year also marked the establishment of the Ryan Family Center for Global Primary Care, with both being made possible by a historic gift from Northwestern trustees and alumni Patrick G. Ryan and Shirley W. Ryan.
“Each year on Global Health Day, we are able to highlight the incredible work and research of our faculty, students and partners,” said Havey, who is also the founder of the Global Health Initiative Fund, which provides clinical, educational and research support to improve health in low- and middle-income countries.
Robert Murphy, MD, ’81 GME, executive director of the institute and the John Philip Phair Professor of Infectious Diseases, along with Kate Klein, MA, MPH, administrative director of the institute, welcomed attendees to this year’s symposium.
Attendees were able to attend 49 online poster presentations and breakout rooms for Feinberg students and faculty, community members and partners to share global health research and outreach efforts.
This year’s keynote speakers delivered presentations about their work in improving global health followed by question-and-answer sessions.
One session highlighted the Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies (NEST360°) initiative, an international effort led by international global health to reduce neonatal mortality and improve neonatal survival and care in sub-Saharan Africa.
Maria Oden, PhD, director of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen at Rice University, and Queen Dube, MD, chief of health services for the Ministry of Health in Malawi, are co-principal investigators of NEST360°; Northwestern is one of 13 different global institutions involved in the program.
Dube discussed NEST360 and its commitment to delivering innovative and affordable technologies for newborn care; developing education ecosystems for biomedical technicians and students to support newborn care; and implementing evidence-based policy and resources to help countries reach newborn survival targets and sustain newborn care.
Delivering effective care through this systematic approach, according to Dube, has and will continue to save newborn lives.
“We need to move from one device at a time, one training at a time, one hospital at a time and one discipline at a time because these babies cannot be waiting for us. The time to do it in a holistic manner is now,” Dube said.
Louis Pizarro, MD, MSc, MBA, scientific advisor for the Paris School of International Affairs, discussed equitable access for innovation in the global health sector. Pizarro is also a team lead at Unitaid, a global health agency that supports innovative technologies, initiatives and partnerships that improve healthcare in low- and middle-income countries.
According to Pizarro, Unitaid uniquely positions itself in global health product development by closing the gap between late-stage development of health products and their widespread adoption. Pizarro said this is often a difficult process for low and middle-income countries that face financial and logistical barriers to accessing treatments for major diseases.
“Our aim is to maximize the effectiveness of the global health response by catalyzing equitable access to better health products; it’s about innovation, it’s about access and it’s also about scalability,” Pizarro said.
Murphy gave closing remarks at the symposium, thanking this year’s presenters and attendees.
“We’re extremely impressed, especially under the given circumstances with the virtual nature of this event, with all the research and work being done at Northwestern,” Murphy said.
Poster Presentation Winners
- Hannah Matthews — “Improving Uncontrolled Hypertension in Bateys (sugar workers’ towns) of the Dominican Republic Through Home Visits by a Physician and Community Health Workers: A Retrospective Observational Study”
- Katherine Ott, MD, resident in the Department of Surgery — “Newborns of Mothers Diagnosed with COVID-19 During Pregnancy Lack Cellular Immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 Virus”
- Chilochibi Chiziba, research assistant for Malaria and COVID-19 Modeling at Northwestern — “Exploration Of Urban Malaria Positivity Rates in Nigeria: Findings and Prospects of Urban Malaria Models in Nigeria In Nigeria”
- Ramon Lorenzo-Redondo, PhD, research assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases — “Multiple Expansions of Unique SARS-CoV-2 Lineages in Nigeria”
- Daphne Cornish, second-year student in the Driskill Graduate Program in Life Sciences (DGP) — “CPSF6 Modulates Antiviral Response to HIV-1 Infection via the Interferon Pathway”
- Estefany Guzman, second-year DGP student — “Molecular Epidemiology of Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Viral Diversity’s Influence on Clinical Outcomes of Hospitalized Adult Populations and Host-Pathogen Interactions”
- Precious Akanyirige, fourth-year medical student — “Health System Responsiveness and Experiential Quality in Chronic Cardiovascular Disease in a Tertiary Care Clinic in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania”
- Sebastian Rodriguez, fourth-year graduate student in Northwestern’s Department of Statistics — “Quantifying Trends in Malaria Incidence Using Routine Case Data in Burkina Faso in the Presence of Improved Reporting and Treatment-Seeking”