At the Institute’s first planning retreat in Spring 2009, USC faculty from throughout the university prioritized five core global health themes:
Working groups, each consisting of faculty from multiple schools, have been formed around each theme in order to identify specific multi-disciplinary projects to pursue. Each group has two co-chairs that serve as the Steering Committee for the Institute. The focus and aims for each group are:
Countries, regardless of income level, share the problem of an increasing burden of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Environmental changes, along with sedentary lifestyles, poor nutrition, tobacco consumption, and aging are just some of the contributing risk factors that must be addressed. The Chronic Disease Working Group has initially prioritized projects targeting the growing global obesity epidemic and improving cancer prevention, screening and treatment among women in low-resource communities.
Ed Avol, Keck School of Medicine
Mark Bernstein, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Widespread industrialization, human transportation, movement of goods, and increasing urbanization have led to the emergence of global environmental problems, such as broadly reaching air pollution and climate change. These problems have wide-ranging consequences for human health and the environment. The environmental health working group is focusing on developing multi-national research protocols targeting issues relating to clean air, clean water, and the development of sustainable cities.
Globalization, Business, and Health
Michael Cousineau, Keck School of Medicine
Bob McCann, Marshall School of Business
Transnational corporations affect not only the health of their global workforce, but also the communities around them through their products and services, and have the potential to help reduce risks to health on a global scale. The Globalization, Business and Health working group aims to increase awareness within the business community about global health issues and seeks ways to engage businesses in global health solutions.
Health Communication, Entertainment and the Arts
Sandra Buffington, Annenberg School for Communication
Tom Valente, Keck School of Medicine
Advancing technology and innovative communication tools are quickly changing the way in which people worldwide access and share information. Through social networking, broadcast media, and the arts, both global health professionals and those affected by diseases have the potential to educate the public about health risks and the effects of diseases; resulting in reduced stigmas and policy and behavioral change. The Health Communication, Entertainment and the Arts group focuses on projects aimed at diffusing health messages to diverse international communities and empowering those affected to tell their stories.
Capacity Building and Training
Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Keck School of Medicine
Doe Mayer, School of Cinematic Arts
Collaborative initiatives for training and capacity building facilitate the transfer of knowledge within and between nations and enhance capacity to respond to global health challenges. The Capacity Building and Training working group focuses on developing effective educational programs onsite, online, and in-country aimed at increasing expertise in global health surveillance and research methodology, as well as on chronic diseases control, environmental health, and communications.