March 19, 1999

World Health Week brings students global perspective

World Health Week brings students global perspective

"Three Paths to World Health" will be the topic of the keynote address on Tuesday, March 30 for Vanderbilt University School of Medicine's World Health Week.

The lecture series runs Monday, March 22 through Tuesday, March 30.

The keynote speaker is Dr. David Fraser, executive director of the International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN), an independent, non-profit organization that helps clinicians and other scientists obtain the knowledge and tools to improve the health of people in the developing world. INCLEN was created in 1980 as a project of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Fraser, who was a physician with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and served as president of Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pa., has been an expert on world health for years. He studied Lassa Fever in West Africa and led the investigation of the first outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease in 1976.

World Health Week kicks off on Monday, March 22 with a lecture on refugee care in Nashville. The speakers will be Dr. David Gregory, associate professor of Medicine, and Steven Meinbresse, program director of family and community programs for the Tennessee Department of Human Services.

An international fine arts concert, featuring international performances by medical students, will be held on Wednesday, March 24.

Dr. Paul E. Farmer, assistant professor and director of the Program of Infectious Disease and Social Change at Harvard Medical School, will speak on Thursday, March 25. His speech is entitled "Infections and Inequalities: Critical Perspectives on International Health."

On Monday, March 29, Dr. Allan Connolly, director of the National Board of Physicians for Global Survival, will speak on "The Health Impact of the United Nations' Sanctions on the People of Iraq."

All speeches will be held at noon in 208 Light Hall.

The week's events are planned and organized by Vanderbilt medical students. The medical school instituted Vanderbilt's World Health Week lecture Series in 1986.

Students, faculty and the public are welcome to attend any or all sessions.

The purpose of World Health Week is to provide exposure to international health issues to students, faculty and the general public. It is also intended as a means of demonstrating to students the opportunities that are available for using a medical degree in an international setting.

"It is intended to provide us with role models – those working outside the local community in the worldwide arena," said Yasmine Ali, a second-year medical student who is coordinating the lecture series with fellow students Sarah Bixby, Angela Singleton and Andrea Cruz.

World Health Week is sponsored by the Committee on International Medical Education and in part by Abbott Laboratories.