Bidirectional Partnerships for Global Health Solutions

UIC School of Public Health students engaged in fieldwork in Cuba pose for a photo together.

Indonesia

Indonesia continues to experience a serious HIV epidemic that affects multiple vulnerable populations. The Fogarty Training Program in Advanced Research Methods and Translational Science is designed to help produce the science needed to guide Indonesia’s response to this national challenge.

Led by Judith Levy, PhD, associate professor emerita of health policy and administration, the program is a partnership between the faculties of UIC and the Atma Jaya Catholic University (AJCU) in Jakarta to train a cadre of highly prepared Indonesian investigators. These future leaders build research skills needed to conduct innovative studies that will advise Indonesia’s HIV social policy, intervention programming and social and medical services. The program supports AJCU young faculty members to obtain their PhDs at SPH and two post-doctoral fellowships in HIV methods training.

The program is dedicated to building the institutional research capacity of the AIDS Research Center (ARC) at AJCU, which was founded through funding from the NIH to Levy and Irwanto (a former Fogarty Indonesian SPH post-doc), to conduct and advance HIV research throughout the archipelago. In July 2020, in recognition of its success in meeting this mission, the Indonesian Ministry of Higher Education formally named ARC as “The AIDS Research Center of Excellence in Policy Study and Social Innovation” for Indonesia.

The Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) that Levy directed from 2000 – 2018 supported and graduated researchers (seven MS and 22 PhD degrees) who have contributed more than 260 HIV publications.

Cuba

In spring of 2015, SPH signed a memorandum of understanding with Escuela Nationale de Salud Pública (ENSAP) to build a robust academic program and partnership between our two countries and institutions. Since 2015, we have hosted two faculty colleagues from Cuba, and several SPH faculty and students have met with ENSAP colleagues in Cuba to discuss research endeavors, explore opportunities for educational exchange and build collaboration, particularly in maternal and child health. In 2017, seven master’s students completed a summer course that took place both on site at SPH and in Cuba.

Mexico

In the summer of 2013, SPH began a student exchange collaboration with El Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP) (National Institute of Public Health) in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The Institute is accredited by the U.S. Council on Education for Public Health, a member of the Association of Schools of Public Health and one of just two member institutions that offer professional and academic degrees to the Spanish-speaking public health community. A goal of the program is to increase the racial/ethnic and economic diversity of inbound and outbound graduate public health students who participate in educational and practice programs in Mexico and the United States. From 2013-2019, SPH’s Global Health Program has sent eight students to Mexico and has hosted 14 from INSP.