School celebrates 10-year collaboration with University of Chile School of Public Health
|January 23, 2008|
In 1998, a mid-winter trip to the southern hemisphere seemed like a hot idea to Shrikant Bangdiwala, PhD, research professor of biostatistics, and so he accepted an invitation to help organize and teach in a summer school at the University of Chile at Santiago.
January 2008 marks the tenth anniversary of the successful collaboration which began that year.
Jose Francisco Cumsille, alumnus of the DrPH program in biostatistics at UNC-Chapel Hill and a faculty member at the University of Chile, wanted to offer his colleagues a series of weeklong courses in Spanish to build capacity for public health research in Chile and Latin America. The courses would follow the style of summer schools offered in English in institutions worldwide.
A start-up gift from Quintiles Transnational Corp. allowed the plan to become reality, and Quintiles has continued its generous support of the collaborative program.
Bangdiwala coordinates the UNC collaboration for the International Summer School Program in Santiago, which has involved UNC faculty members Drs. Gerardo Heiss and Jay Kaufman (epidemiology) and Drs. Ed Davis, Gary Koch and Lisa LaVange (biostatistics).
Instructors for this year’s program, which ran Jan. 7-18, 2008, included Bangdiwala, Davis, Kaufman and LaVange. Davis and Bangdiwala have taught in the Summer School every year since its inception.
The course allows public health and private health care professionals to gather in an academic environment and develop a more in-depth understanding of health issues. UNC faculty help attendees learn how to stimulate collaborative research and increase the capacity for quality public health research.
The program has grown dramatically over the last 10 years. Now 20 or 25 courses are offered each January, serving about 600 public health professionals from many countries, including México, Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Colombia.
This year, in recognition of their “relevant academic and scientific merits and permanent collaboration with the [University of Chile] faculty,” Bangdiwala, Heiss, and Kaufman were awarded the title of Visiting Professor by the dean of the University of Chile at Santiago Faculty of Medicine, where the School of Public Health is housed.