Why Tulane SPHTM?
LOCAL ● INTERNATIONAL ● GLOBAL
You’ll see it everywhere at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine: Tulane is Global Health. Being global, however, does not require a passport to go with your diploma. Nor does it mean that we aren’t leaders in traditional international health. Rather, our definition of global encompasses domestic and international health because we believe that everyone deserves good health.
We frequently say Local is Global and it’s true. When you work in maternal and child health at a New Orleans-based women’s clinic, you are practicing global health. When you study the built environment in an urban neighborhood to find ways to encourage healthy behaviors, you are practicing global health. When you are serving an administrative residency at a major healthcare facility, you are practicing global health. Global health does not stop at customs on the way into the U.S. The skills you learn at a women’s clinic, at a playground, or in a hospital are global health skills that translate across the globe. Whether you one day work outside of the U.S. or your career stays domestically based, you are making a difference in global public health.
Tulane has a very long history in what’s traditionally been known as international health. This brand of public health largely takes place in the resource-poor regions of the world. Public health workers in these areas address a wide range of health concerns from prevention of malaria or HIV/AIDS to nutritional needs in famine- or drought-stricken areas to family planning programs. These professionals focus their efforts on program design and evaluation and measurement to successfully develop and stabilize health systems in areas of great need. While many of the concerns in these areas are defined by socio-economic status or national boundaries, the men and women in these positions are definitely practicing global health – ensuring that good health is accessible to everyone. Our historic leadership in this area continues today with faculty implementing successful programs around the world and conducting research on these efforts. Many of our alumni are employed in this needed area – so many that in a recent survey a new student remarked that “It never fails that the [international development] team is headed by a Tulane graduate.”
Having touched on local and international health, you might think there’s nothing else left to say. But it’s important to consider the broad, far-reaching programs that touch on local and domestic health issues as well as worldwide, cross-border issues. Think of infectious diseases like West Nile or influenza that have been on the rise in the past few years. Or chronic health concerns like cardiovascular disease, cancer, or renal disease. As more of the world becomes industrialized, we are more often sharing both chronic and infectious diseases. Travel, poor diet, and increased stress are risk factors everywhere and solutions that work in one part of the world might be useful or can be modified to work in another area of the world. Global health attempts to take what works in one environment and adapt it for another, increasing efficiency and building upon evidence-based public health practices.
Global Public Health at Tulane
Local, international, and global work together at Tulane, preparing students for their chosen field and also for the workplace they will find when they walk off the stage with their diploma. The world is getting smaller and at Tulane we are ready for it.
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