April 6, 2015
A delegation from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique (EHESP), the French national school of public health, visited the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health on March 20, to recognize and solidify a longstanding collaboration between the two schools.
A Memorandum of Understanding signed by UNC and EHESP representatives during the visit solidified a partnership between the two schools that was initiated in 2007 by Thomas Ricketts, PhD, professor of health policy and management at the Gillings School. The collaboration has involved Gillings School faculty members Suzanne Babich, DrPH, clinical professor of health policy and management and of nutrition; Sandra Greene, DrPH, Professor of the Practice of health policy and interim chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management; and James Porto, PhD, clinical assistant professor and director of executive programs in health policy and management. The partnership aims strategically to strengthen and complement each school’s educational opportunities and research capabilities.
“We are honored to partner with UNC and are convinced that the students and faculty of both our institutions will value the opportunities to collaborate in training and research in public health, particularly in areas related to health management,” said Dean Laurent Chambaud, who led the EHESP delegation on the UNC visit. “I am impressed by the high level of expertise that is concentrated in Chapel Hill. The health systems of France and North Carolina certainly can learn from each other.”
Chambaud was accompanied by Régine Ducos, director of international relations at EHESP, and Claire Aubin, counselor for labor, health and social welfare at the Embassy of France.
Initial collaborations between EHESP and UNC included efforts by Gillings School faculty members in the delivery and curriculum design of EHESP’s international Master of Public Health (MPH). Interactions surrounding the program’s development provided opportunities for faculty and staff members to identify mutual goals and shared research interests and laid the foundation for future collaboration. Graduate students from both schools also have spent time on the partner’s campus for research projects. The two schools are exploring the possibility of offering a Global Executive Master of Health Administration (MHA) centered in France, adapting the Gillings School’s Executive Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree.
“The future of our partnership with EHESP includes a number of exciting initiatives,” Greene said. “We plan to continue collaborating on their successful global Master of Public Health program, engage in joint research projects with EHESP faculty members, facilitate student exchanges and explore the opportunity to offer our executive MHA degree program through their school.”
Global partnerships, such as the one with EHESP, are a central component of UNC’s efforts to infuse a global dimension throughout the University’s teaching, research and service activities, to deepen and broaden UNC’s global reach, and to enhance the university’s global visibility.