|Photo: Ann Johansson|
UCLA’s reach in education, research and clinical care extends around the globe.
The vision statement of UCLA Health clearly describes our goal: To heal humankind, one patient at a time, by improving health, alleviating suffering and delivering acts of kindness. To heal humankind. That is a tall order, but it is a charge that we take seriously. For UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, community engagement is global. Just as we are committed to improving health outcomes for our local communities, we recognize that the expertise of our faculty and the talent and energy of our students can powerfully affect the direction of healthcare in far-away places. This is not just an aspiration; it is our responsibility.
The UCLA Center for World Health has taken the reins in this endeavor, expanding international educational opportunities for medical students and residents, collaborating with global partners on strategic research and capacity-building programs and working with all stakeholders to improve health in some 65 countries around the world.
The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is committed to supporting the center’s global efforts. We have pledged resources to grow and extend collaborations around the world, working with universities, ministries of health and other partners to promote innovative approaches to healthcare. Members of our faculty are key participants in these efforts. For example, two UCLA physicians, Dr. Lee Miller and Dr. Daniel DeUgarte (MD ’97, RES ’05), have established partnerships with faculty leadership at a medical school in Mozambique, where our students go to train and conduct research.
Trainees and nurses from Mozambique also come to UCLA. Other faculty members have engaged in clinical-care delivery and training in Brazil, Ethiopia, Armenia and Tanzania, to name a few examples. These efforts extend into our classrooms. Last year, more than 25 percent of our first-year students took the Global Health Selective, and more of our residency programs now are offering international electives.
As a result of these efforts, greater numbers of students are participating in research and clinical electives in global health settings, traveling to such countries as China, India, Peru, Nicaragua, Haiti, Botswana, Vietnam and Thailand. One of our most successful collaborations is with Partners in Hope, a rural HIV/AIDS center in the Southeast African country of Malawi, where an estimated one-in-eight people is infected. Each year, residents and medical students endure a flight of more than 20 hours to travel to Malawi to spend several weeks working at the clinic, training and providing clinical care to the patients in that country. (This publication wrote an article several years ago about our work in Malawi and other countries; you can read that story and slideshow here.)
We know that we can’t solve all the world’s problems, but we can work with people around the world to develop the skills they need to solve problems where they live and, in so doing, to help to heal humankind.
I WANT TO WELCOME DR. KELSEY MARTIN as interim dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Martin has been a valuable member of our UCLA family since 1999, serving as a senior administrator, researcher and teacher. As interim dean, she will provide strategic vision and develop and manage policy, programs and resource allocation. Welcome, Dr. Martin.
John C. Mazziotta, MD (RES ’81, FEL ’83), PhD
Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences
Dean, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
CEO, UCLA Health