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  • Assoc. Prof. Donna Denno contributed to this Special Supplement in the Journal of Adolescent Health, and her December 18 Op-ed in the Seattle Times further highlights the issue of adolesent health. From the WHO website:

    GENEVA 18 December 2014 - There is growing recognition of the importance of addressing the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents and young people. According to a WHO-led Special Supplement in the Journal of Adolescent Health – published online today – which marks the twentieth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, efforts must be intensified to ensure that the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents (10-19 years) and young people (10-24 years) are met and their rights fulfilled.

    From the World Health Organization website.

  • Jeri Sumitani, a staff member of UW's International Training & Education Center for Health (I-TECH), is a U.S.-trained physician assistant who volunteered to help with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. She is chronicling her experiences during her six-week stay in Sierra Leone on WebMD's Health News blog. Read about her experiences here.

  • Julia Bunting, Global Director of the Programmes and Technical at The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), London will be at the University of Washington Dec. 8 as part of the 5th Annual Maternal Health Lecture Series in Honor of Beth Peterman sponsored by the Global Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents, and Children (Global WACh), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Washington Global Health Alliance Discovery Series. Bunting has more than 24 years of experience working on maternal and reproductive health globally. 

    Here is a Q&A with her:

    Your lecture is titled "Lifecycles – a Perspective on Reproductive & Maternal Health." Can you give us a sneak peak into the perspective you plan to discuss at your lecture?

    JB: I will cover a number of lifecycles, including my own, from how I became interested in reproductive health at the tender age of 16. I’ll also will also look at patterns and trends in our field over the last 25 years.

    You’ve been working in reproductive health for some time. How do you stay motivated?

    JB: We are making progress. Lives are being saved and transformed, particularly as a result of the efforts of people working in country. I get to spend time connecting to programs when I meet with clients and colleagues in the field, and I can’t fail to be inspired. You can see the difference.

    What are the most important gains you’ve seen in reproductive and maternal health?

    JB: The issues are now on the agenda in a way that they haven’t really been before. Even when the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) were established, maternal health was seen as a low priority relative to others, and reproductive health wasn’t even there. We’ve seen massive changes and these issues are now front and center for many people.

    What makes International Planned Parenthood Federation's work unique? What do they bring to the global health arena?

    JB: IPPF is a global network of autonomous, nationally owned, civil society organizations. They are part of the communities they serve and are staffed and governed by people in those countries. If you want to make long term development gains and build sustainable futures you need to work with and for local organizations – this is not something that can be done by external agencies.

    Why do you think it’s important for MPH, lab science, or data-focused students to learn about these issues?

    JB: The obvious answer is that to prevent a maternal death requires not just supply-side or demand-side interventions but also an enabling environment. We need a fully functioning health system. The maternal mortality ratio is often seen as a marker for the strength of health systems. And beyond the health sector reproductive and maternal health are about issues of equity, rights, and empowerment. Anyone interested in improving health outcomes and/or equity and rights should be interested in the experiences of the reproductive and maternal health field.

    How does reproductive and maternal health fit into the larger global health field?

    JB: In reproductive and maternal health, we think about people. Women and young people in particular. We don’t just think about diseases. And that’s not to say that diseases or the work people do on diseases is not important. The focus of reproductive and maternal is about lifecycles and what the different opportunities and challenges that women deal with at different points in their life. Basically, it’s about how to provide services to people, as opposed to treating diseases.

    How is the Ebola crisis affecting maternal health?

    JB: What we’re hearing anecdotally in the field is that women in labor are afraid of hospitals, and they are also being turned away from hospitals because health care workers don’t think they can handle more patients and are particularly concerned about the risk of infection during delivery. The maternal health gains that have been made in countries affected by Ebola are at real risk.

    What role does advocacy play in global health, in addition to advocating for funding?

    JB: Awareness-raising – both of the issues and the magnitude of those issues. It’s important to communicate that improving reproductive and maternal health is something that we can do and indeed we are making significant progress. We can save these lives and improve health but we need to redouble our efforts. 

    To hear more from Julia Bunting, join us on Monday, December 8 at 5:00 p.m. in the Magnusen Health Sciences Building, Room T-435.

  • A shifting government structure, power outages, and even the threat of crocodiles didn’t deter the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) from implementing the electronic medical records system KenyaEMR at more than 340 clinics and district hospitals across Kenya.

    One of the largest EMR rollouts in Africa, this work was supported by the U.S. Health Resources and Services administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

    When PEPFAR care and treatment partners in Kenya identified lack of timely and complete patient data as a major barrier to effective HIV/AIDS patient management, I-TECH and in-country partners set out to design and develop KenyaEMR, expanding on the OpenMRS platform to build an EMR system to collect health data and improve patient care.

    These efforts were first led by I-TECH Kenya’s then-Country Director, Dr. Patrick Odawo, and were assumed by his successor, Dr. Willis Akhwale, supported by dedicated teams in Nairobi and at Seattle headquarters.

    Read more about the challenges along the way, implementation, and the future of EMR.

  • Kristie Ebi was among the first experts in the US on global climate change and health. Today she works with developing countries to lessen the impacts of climate change on their populations. She recently joined the School of Public Health to help it address one of its key emerging challenges, global environmental change and health. Despite the doom and gloom projected by many scientific models, Ebi has a positive message about saving lives and becoming a healthier planet.

    Read the interview.

    Kristie Ebi was among the first experts in the US on global climate change and health. Today she works with developing countries to lessen the impacts of climate change on their populations. She recently joined the School of Public Health to help it address one of its key emerging challenges, global environmental change and health. Despite the doom and gloom projected by many scientific models, Ebi has a positive message about saving lives and becoming a healthier planet. - See more at:
    Kristie Ebi was among the first experts in the US on global climate change and health. Today she works with developing countries to lessen the impacts of climate change on their populations. She recently joined the School of Public Health to help it address one of its key emerging challenges, global environmental change and health. Despite the doom and gloom projected by many scientific models, Ebi has a positive message about saving lives and becoming a healthier planet. - See more at:
  • The Department of Global Health at the University of Washington is now accepting applications for the following Distance Learning courses. Leadership & Management in Health focuses on the practical leadership and management skills required for working in complex local, regional, national, and global health environments. Participants will develop a clear sense of the issues associated with leading organizations and managing people in health and public health environments.

    "I have found that since I started this course I have a different outlook that has made me a better team player who depends on collaboration with teh stakeholders to get the jobs done." - Course participant from Trinidad and Tobago.

    Site Application Deadline: October 26, 2014

    For more information and to learn more about e-learning at the University of Washington, Department of Global Health, please visit

  • Most people had never heard of Ebola as recently as a few of months ago—now this deadly virus is leading every newscast. As West Africa fights the largest Ebola outbreak in history, Pacific Northwest researchers and organizations are working to aid its containment and curb its destructive potential. We hope you will join us for one or both of these upcoming events featuring local researchers and public health practitioners who are working on Ebola.



    Brownbag Panel Discussion: "Ebola, What's Next?"
    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    12:30 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.
    Magnuson Health Sciences Center, T-435 

    The UW School of Nursing and the Department of Global Health invite you to a brown bag panel discussion with global health experts:

    • James Pfeiffer, PhD, Health System Strengthening Expert
      Executive Director  – Health Alliance International
    • Karin Huster, RN, MPH, Consultant - Health in Emergencies
      Last Mile Health – Liberia
    • Anastasia Pantelias, MS, Senior Program Officer
      Amanda Lanzarone, MA, Associate Program Officer
      Ebola Response Team, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
    • Vijay Narayan, MPHc, Program Manager
      Health and Social Development Association – Sierra Leone

    For more info:

    Brought to you by the UW School of Nursing, Department of Global Health, Health Alliance International, and the Global Health Nurses Interest Group.

    Washington Global Health Alliance Discovery Series:
    “Contagion – Ebola Facts & Fiction Town Hall”

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014
    6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave.

    How contagious is Ebola? How do we stop its spread? Does it pose a genuine public health threat to Seattle and the rest of the world?

    Join us for an honest discussion about the disease, its effect on the continent of Africa and the US, and what we can do to help. Featured panelists include:

    • Jeffrey Duchin, MD, Chief of the Communicable Disease Epidemiology & Immunization Section
      Public Health-Seattle & King County
    • Joe DiCarlo, Vice President, Programs
      Medical Teams International
    • Ann Marie Kimball, MD, MPH, Professor Emerita, Epidemiology
      University of Washington
    • Karin Huster, RN, MPH, Consultant - Health in Emergencies
      Last Mile Health – Liberia

    Following the presentation there will be a post-event opportunity to meet with the speakers at a reception from 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased on Brown Paper Tickets. This event is expected to sell out, so do not delay.

    For more info: Cole Bazemore, Events Coordinator at the Global Health Resource Center at

    Brought to you by the CodeMed, Washington Global Health Alliance & the WGHA Discovery Series

  • October 7, 2014

    The Strategic Analysis, Research & Training Program (START), which started as a faculty and student led effort to provide strategic analysis to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2011, is expanding to become a Center in the Department of Global Health and will begin offering analysis to other organizations this fall. START has supported over two-dozen graduate students in Epidemiology, Global Health, Sociology, Business, Public Health and Nursing to provide analysis and the program has already completed over 75 different projects with the Gates Foundation.

    Under the direction of faculty co-leads Judd Walson (Global Health, Medicine, Pediatrics and Epidemiology) and Lisa Manhart (Epidemiology and Global Health), the program will expand to provide research and analysis to additional global health organizations as well as domestic-focused organizations.

    The addition of the Domestic component will allow START faculty and students to provide support to local health organizations, including Public Health - Seattle & King County.  The START Domestic Program is being led by Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett (Department of Health Services), who is also the Director of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice. The START Center will also continue their partnership with the Foster School of Business students through the Arthur W. Burke Center for Entrepreneurship to increase collaboration and further integrate business approaches into their analysis.

     “We are very excited about the University of Washington START Center. It’s a great way for students to engage in local and international projects in the global health community” said Saara Romu of the Gates Foundation.

    START has been helping the Gates Foundation answer questions surrounding diarrhea, pneumonia, the scale-up of oral rehydration salts, and scientific advances to fight tuberculosis. Many of their reports delve into the tradeoffs of focusing on one disease or intervention to achieve the biggest impact on health.

    "I just don't think that there are groups who do a better job than START,” said Grace John-Stewart, Professor in Global Health, “The products I have seen and the approach that was built is exceptional. I haven't seen anything quite like it.” John-Stewart partnered with START to learn from their approach to research and analysis as part of her work with the Global Center for Women, Adolescents and Children (Global WACh).

    In addition to their work with the Gates Foundation, START created a report in collaboration with Center for Strategic and International Studies last spring examining the sustainability of global health programs at universities. The report, “Sustainability and Growth of University Global Health Programs,” examined the rapid growth of global health programs at U.S. universities, and provided a framework for analyzing whether universities can continue to produce successful graduates given the job market and funding availability.

    Please join START for an Open House on Thursday, October 16 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. to debut their new space on campus at the Harris Hydraulics Building, and to commemorate their expansion into a center.

    For more information on the START program expansion, contact Emily Allen at

    Photo 1: START Faculty mentors, students and Department Chair Judith Wasserheit and School of Public Health Dean Howard Frumkin with Saara Romu of the Gates Foundation.

    Photo 2: START students work on projects in their new workspace at Harris Hydraulics Laboratory. Cheryl Dietrich (Epi – MPH student), Erica Lokken (Epi, MS), Kirkby Tickell (Epi, MPH), Jessica Long (Epi, PhD) and Emily Deichsel (Epi, PhD. Photo credit: Jeff Hodson.

  • SEATTLE, Sept. 30, 2014 — The International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) is pleased to announce an incredible milestone: to date, more than a quarter of a million people have been trained with I-TECH support. This total includes:

    • more than 100,000 nurses;
    • nearly 29,000 physicians; and
    • approximately 11,500 community-based health workers.

    These health care workers are tracked using the Training System Monitoring and Reporting Tool (TrainSMART), an I-TECH-designed web-based training data collection system that allows users to accurately track data about health training programs, trainers, and trainees, to better evaluate training programs, plan new programs, and report activities to stakeholders.

    “In many limited-resource countries, there aren’t enough health care workers to meet needs,” said Robert McLaughlin, Manager of Information Systems at I-TECH. “It’s critical to train new workers, and with the advent of new medicines, techniques, and technology, there is also the need for continuously updated skills and knowledge.

    “Tracking which training is being offered, and where training is needed most, can be difficult,” he continued. “TrainSMART was designed as a solution to these challenges.”

    TrainSMART tracks health care workers in nearly 72,000 facilities in more than 25 countries worldwide. Because TrainSMART is free, open-source software, it is appropriate for use in resource-limited settings and can be customized to meet specific needs.

    - From I-TECH's news site. Read the full article.

  • In Malawi, International Training & Education Center for Health (I-TECH) utilizes Community Mobilizers (CMs), who use interpersonal communication to create demand among males needing Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision services. In order to ease the mobility of CMs within their locales, I-TECH recently donated 10 bicycles to the program. The District Environmental Health Officer for Lilongwe, Mr. Mavuto Thomas, thanked I-TECH for the donation, saying this will greatly assist the CMs in their communities with mobility and information dissemination on the importance of male circumcision. Read more.

  • UW researchers contributed to a special supplement in the August issue of Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, about the work of the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a U.S.-funded program to strengthen health systems in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Sub-Saharan Africa suffers 25 percent of the global burden of disease but has only three percent of the world’s health care workers. This continental problem is not news to Africans but recent reports from the World Health Organization and others have brought this challenge to global attention. In 2010, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) launched MEPI in an effort to help address this crisis in regard to medicine. MEPI is funding 13 medical schools in 12 African countries to help increase the quality, quantity and retention of medical school graduates. The UW is partnering with the University of Nairobi.

    This supplement speaks to special circumstances of medical education in Africa and addresses many crosscutting topical, global themes in medical education. It includes 33 articles with 225 authors from all the 13 MEPI-sponsored medical schools and many partner schools in Africa and the United States.  

    The article,“Expanding Clinical Medical Training Opportunities at the University of Nairobi: Adapting a Regional Medical Education Model from the WWAMI Program at the University of Washington,” was written by Mara J. Child, James N. Kiarie, Suzanne M. Allen, Ruth Nduati, Judith N. Wasserheit, Minnie W. Kibore, Grace John-Stewart, Francis J. Njiri, Gabrielle O’Malley, Raphael Kinuthia,Tom E. Norris, and Carey Farquhar. 

  • Seattle, WA - Aug. 23, 2014  – One of the best ways to help a country is to do no harm while helping, argue a consortium of public health researchers, physicians, activists and funders in a comment published in the Aug. 23 edition of The Lancet.

    The consortium, led by Health Alliance International, a UW-related nongovernmental organization, are pushing for donors and ministries of health to make signing the NGO Code of Conduct for Health Systems Strengthening, a condition for receiving funding or working in their countries.

    The Code of Conduct, started by Health Alliance International, focuses on strengthening health systems within a country and sets ethical principles for groups to follow, including:

    • Engaging in hiring practices that ensure long-term health system sustainability.
    • Enacting employee compensation practices that strengthen the public sector.
    • Pledging to create and maintain human resources training and support systems.
    • Minimizing the NGO management burden for ministries of health.
    • Supporting ministries of health as they engage with communities.
    • Advocating for policies which promote and support the public sector.

    “When the Code was first released in 2008, our focus was to get other NGOs on board and committed to a set of best practices to support public-sector health systems,” said James Pfeiffer, the executive director of Health Alliance International.  “But over time we’ve realized that if we really want to make sure that NGOs aren’t harming public-sector health systems, we have to get donors on board.”

    The consortium includes representatives from Health Alliance International, the University of Washington, Health GAP, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the University of Colorado-Denver, and Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Dehli.

    “The end of AIDS cannot be achieved through a patchwork of uncoordinated NGO projects, private providers, and underfunded public health systems,” the article concludes.  “Conscientious donors, using the NGO Code of Conduct, can help strengthen local services and build the public national health systems capable of producing an AIDS-free generation.”

    Since 2008, 59 NGOs have signed the Code of Conduct, including Partners in Health, Oxfam, Health GAP, ActionAid, African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), and Physicians for Human Rights.

    The article can be accessed on The Lancet’s website.

    For a related podcast of James Pfeiffer speaking to Humanosphere, go here.

  • The Washington Global Health Alliance has compiled a list of the many efforts going on in the state around containing the Ebola outbreak. For more information, go to the WGHA website.

  • Congratulations to International Training & Education Center for Health (I-TECH) for a new article, published in PLOSONE: “Informing Comprehensive HIV Prevention: A Situational Analysis of the HIV Prevention and Care Context, North West Province South Africa,” authored by Sheri A. Lippman, Sarah Treves-Kagan, Jennifer M. Gilvydis, Evasen Naidoo, Gertrude Khumalo-Sakutukwa, Lynae Darbes, Elsie Raphela, Lebogang Ntswane, and Scott Barnhart.

    The team conducted more than 200 individual and group interviews and gleaned four principal social barriers to HIV prevention and care: HIV fatalism, traditional gender norms, HIV-related stigma, and challenges with communication around HIV. Understanding these social and structural barriers to care helped shape I-TECH South Africa’s comprehensive HIV prevention program.

    In addition, the situational analysis method used was an effective way to collect ample data to inform programming in a short period of time, build community support for the program, and establish excellent relationships with governmental stakeholders.  Click here for the full article.

  • International Training & Education Center for Health (I-TECH) recently partnered on the first randomized trial of educational outreach and continuous quality improvement (CQI) in Africa. The evidence in a new IDCAP Overview article published in PLOS ONE — “Improving Facility Performance in Infectious Disease Care in Uganda: a Mixed Design Study with Pre/Post and Cluster Randomized TrialComponents” — by Dr. Marcia Weaver et al. supports work that I-TECH is already doing in three ways:

    • The pre/post comparisons showed that high quality training, educational outreach, and CQI significantly improved the quality of care for emergencies, malaria, and pneumonia, and enrollment in HIV care.
    • IDCAP demonstrates I-TECH’s capacity to measure the effects of training and other interventions to improve care and treatment, such as case scenarios/clinical vignettes, clinical observation, facility performance measures, and population-based mortality.
    • The Overview article reports that efforts to improve data collection had an independent effect on the quality of care for two facility performance indicators. In other words, improving health information systems also serves as an intervention to improve the quality of care.

    “I am grateful for the curriculum development ‘dream team,’” said Dr. Weaver, “including Ann Miceli and Lisa Rayko Farrar from I-TECH, for outstanding implementation by the Infectious Diseases Institute and University Research Co, LLC, and to Accordia Global Health Foundation for project leadership and Sarah Burnett’s excellent data management and analysis.”

    Read more about the article in an AccordiaNews item.