Lima, Peru  --  The collaboration between the University of Washington and the University Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) became even stronger with the inauguration of a new center for interdisciplinary collaborations in global health at the UPCH campus. The KUSKA Center, named for the Quechua word “kuska” meaning “working together,” will serve as a catalyst for international collaborations that cross disciplines and institutions, with the objective of building teams working towards the same outcome – improved health and reduced inequalities. 

The KUSKA Center will house many of the research training activities sponsored by a grant recently funded by the NIH Fogarty International Center, entitled “Kuskaya – Innovations in Global Health.”  This five-year grant will fund groups of students from the UW and multiple Peruvian institutions to work in groups for 11 months in Peru to design, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches to improving health. 

“The KUSKA Center is a space that will provide an opportunity to work together - students and professors from UPCH and from outside of Peru - within the diverse areas that are encompassed by global health,” said Patty Garcia, Dean of the School of Public Health at UPCH.

The April 4 inauguration was attended by Department Chair King Holmes, Associate Chair for Education and Curriculum Stephen Gloyd and Professor Joseph Zunt. Dr. Zunt oversees many of the Departments training programs in Peru and played a pivotal role in facilitating the collaboration that created the KUSKA Center.

After the inauguration ceremony, Drs. Holmes and Gloyd provided remarks at a conference on innovations in global health research and innovation in global health education.

The KUSKA Center is funded through a grant provided by the University of Washington Center for AIDS Research and Department of Global Health, as well as the UPCH.