In Monday’s Seattle Times, Sandi Doughton reports that “something huge” is happening here.
(Yes, it’s huge here — which is why we’re holding a forum on it tomorrow night at Seattle Town Hall. See that box over to the right there, with the Space Needle? Please come and join the discussion)
The Times article is focused on one of the manifestations of the local hugeness of global health: The UW’s newest academic creation, the Department of Global Health.
Since being launched a scant four years ago, the department has grown to more than 50 faculty and 350 students. More than 900 applicants compete annually for 35 graduate slots and less than two dozen health-statistics fellowships.
And while state budget woes have forced cuts in other departments, funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has allowed Global Health to rapidly expand its course offerings.
“There is something huge happening here,” Judy Wasserheit, the UW department’s vice-chair, told the Times.
Indeed. And as Sandi reports, the UW is not alone. More than 70 American and Canadian universities now offer some kind of global health program. Here’s a list of some of them. Michael Merson, director of Duke University’s Global Health Institute, claimed that all this represents the “birth of a new academic field.”
I’m not so sure about that last part. Continue reading