Friday kicked off Creighton’s sixth annual “Global Health Conference Midwest.” The conference, which took place in the Mike & Josie Harper Center, was completely organized by Creighton graduate and undergraduate students.
GHCM was open to all undergraduate and graduate students, healthcare professionals and community members with an interest in public and global health, and focused on this year’s theme: “Global Health Delivery: Exploring Sustainable Models.”
Advertised as “an opportunity for professionals, faculty and students to connect, collaborate, engage and learn about pertinent and emerging topics in global health,” the annual conference is an interdisciplinary and interprofessional effort to address health disparities of marginalized populations around the world.
The mission of the conference is to raise awareness of global issues through education, advocacy and service and to involve people of all communities in wider global issues.
The two-day event involved three keynote speakers, including Kee B. Park, who is a faculty member of the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change at Harvard Medical School.
His keynote, “Are National Surgical Plans the Answer to Achieving Universal Surgical Care?” addressed the access, research, policy and implementation of surgical systems across the globe.
The other keynote speech included, “HIV, Human Rights and Victims Voices,” by Sarah Bosha as well as “The Exquisite Risk of Global Engagement,” by Tracy Spitznagle.
“The keynote speaker that impacted me most was Sarah Bosha, an assistant teaching professor at the Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame. Hers was the most impactful for me because it analyzed global health from a legal lens,” said Anna Schroer, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences and Research Symposium Co-coordinator for GHCM this year.
Schroer continued, “as someone that is going into a career in law it was an interesting legal and ethical assessment of the civil suit led by survivors of former President Yahya Jammeh’s fake HIV cure in The Gambia.”
“Understanding the community and global health impacts of the topic that Ms. Bosha discussed is important because it reveals the vulnerabilities of people that can be exploited when their health is on the line,” Schroer said, summing up the meaning she found from this speech, which very precisely coincides with the purpose of the conference as a whole.
Speakers were not the only impressive portion of the conference. Saturday brought new opportunities, including the Research Symposium.
The five categories of research that were displayed at Saturday’s Research Symposium were: education, community initiatives, global initiatives, advocacy, and health policy and research.
The winners were selected by the judges based on relevance, potential impact on global health, educational value, originality and clarity. Winners included Carli Zegers of University of Nebraska Medical Center, Courtney Schwebach of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Ethan Homedi of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Danielle Savino of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Hannah Meissner of Creighton Medical School, respectively by category.
Community organizations were also given the opportunity to present at the Community Fair, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, Open Door Mission, OneWorld, Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance, Magis Clinic and 19 more.
The rest of the conference involved a documentary viewing, break-out sessions, panel discussions and an awards ceremony.