What is the role of technology and innovation in global health today? Which regions and what fields are most in need of innovation and capacity building? What is the role of Western global health organizations? And how does our work in GlobeMed fit into it all?
These are the questions asked and answered at the 2014 GlobeMed Hilltop Conference at Columbia. The year’s theme, Branching Out: Applying STEM Innovation to Global Health, sought to bridge current scientific innovations with the most pressing international need today: health. GlobeMed members from around the country united to explore the impact of bioimaging through cell phones, the complicated question of GMOs, and the place of our Chapters in our partner communities—to name only a few of the weekend’s highlights.
Hilltop 2014 was inspiring and eye-opening for both new and old GlobeMed members. Students and professionals combined efforts to understand the progress being made in public health today, and GlobeMed’s contribution to that progress. Keynote speakers Euan Mcleod and Michael Spencer joined the conversation by providing insight on their STEM-oriented public health work, through developments in portable microscopy technologies, and GMO usage. Jennifer Lishanky, a representative of BuildOn, spoke as an advocate of grassroots mobilization and the importance of sustainable models in the establishment of public health infrastructure. Directors of Unite for Sight and of global health education at Mt. Sinai provided insight on the role of clinical work in the larger picture of global health.
Also built into the weekend agenda were group discussions, or “Think Tanks,” during which GlobeMed members of all chapters exchanged ideas regarding assigned global health topics. The discussions expanded our understandings of those topics, and made us excited to tackle the problems yet to be solved.
Hilltop at Columbia left us inspired by the progress being made in the global health fields, and proud of our contribution to public health thus far through GlobeMed. What will our next meaningful steps be toward promoting global health and social justice?