Ignite Magazine

Traversing Terrains to Transform Global Health

by John T. Langell, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
President, Northeast Ohio Medical University

The changing health care landscape, as difficult as it may seem, is nothing compared to the terrains encountered by many in low-resourced countries around the world.

While both provide challenges for the provider and the patient, we have found solutions to the former — by adding leadership and business training as a third discipline to medicine’s basic and clinical sciences. For the latter, we have to learn from the people experiencing these challenges, in their own environments. And while traditional medical education is important to realizing that aim, it isn’t always enough to meet current and future challenges.

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NEOMED president John Langell Over the last few years, NEOMED has added a number of programs that enhance the education of future physicians and other health professionals. Among them is a program in global health.

Why do we care about global health?

Global health experiences give our students the opportunity to work with patients from different cultures, learn about different health systems and problem solve in low-resourced health care environments.

These are not medical missions or charity trips. We hope our students return from working with local partners in countries like Nepal, India or Kenya as systems thinkers who start to understand the context of health and disease, and the cultural, social and economic systems that impact the science of medicine.

Several articles in this issue take you across health-related terrains around the world and provide insight on the complexities experienced by the people who must maneuver them. The stories are shared through the lens of faculty, students and alumni.

See how frugal innovation can solve or mitigate global health issues.

Learn more about the state of maternal and infant mortality, and global approaches to improving the health of mothers and their children.

Explore best practice interventions for health professionals with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Discover the importance of trust and cultural competency in emergency disaster response, as well as in everyday care for refugee populations.

We care about global health because it not only allows us to help others around the world, it gives us a better understanding of different cultures including members of our local communities who often hail from under-resourced countries.

Understanding global health leads to better health, everywhere.

Two medicine student explain their invention to a judge.

Scaling solutions

Frugal innovation offers low-cost, high-impact solutions to global health challenges.

A village in a remote countryside.

The deadly nature of childbirth

NEOMED students and faculty join global efforts to improve the health and well-being of mothers and infants.

A doctor in a white coat stands in the atrium at NEOMED.

The Global War on Trauma

Sharing best practices to help communities around the world cope with mental health issues resulting from combat.

A physician in military dress cares for a young patient.

The rising trust that lifts Navy medical ships

Building trust and relationships helps ensure success of disaster relief efforts.

A doctor in a white coat chats with a patient and her mother in an examination room.

Caring for refugees

A NEOMED alumna uses cultural humility to provide the best care for her patients from around the world.

A man in a gray coat stands in an atrium.

Remembering an innovator and friend

J. Ronald Mikolich, M.D., was a well-respected educator, an inspiring mentor, an outstanding cardiologist and more.

A medicine student holds his first-place prize.

Humanities in medicine

The best of this year’s William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition.

A collage of medicine students with their parents and family members.

I belong here

The experience of first-generation medicine students.

A portrait of a physician in a white coat.

Message in a box

Eric Espinal, M.D.’s invention protects him and his colleagues from COVID while treating patients.

A chef in a kitchen.

Tastes like home

Chili just like mom used to make.


About the banner image: J. Leigh Garcia, assistant professor of print media and photography at Kent State University School of Art, was commissioned to interpret the topic of global health.