Public invited to global health conference at DMU

August 20, 2008 —

(Des Moines, IA) – Des Moines University (DMU) is honored to host World Health Organization physician, Mario Merialdi, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., August 29 for the second annual ‘Global Health from the Heartland’ conference.

The conference begins at 11:30 a.m. and will feature Dr. Merialdi’s keynote presentation, “Research in Maternal and Perinatal Health: The Role of WHO” plus presentations on global communication, the public health perspective of global medical service and more. Beginning at 3 p.m., students and faculty will share stories about their trips to South Africa, Uganda and El Salvador with the DMU Global Health department. Students have the opportunity to do rotations, clerkships and medical service trips through Des Moines University.

“We are thrilled to host this conference for the second year and hope it inspires our students and faculty, as well as local physicians to get involved in global health care needs,” said Gov. Terry Branstad, president of Des Moines University (DMU).

The event is free, includes lunch and will be held on campus in the Olsen Medical Education Center, 3200 Grand Ave. To RSVP or find out about medical outreach opportunities, call 515.271.1425. Attendees MUST RSVP.

Yogesh Shah, M.D., associate dean for global health at DMU said, “No matter where we live, our well-being depends on how health issues are managed around the world. Any infectious disease is only a plane ride away.”

Dr. Merialdi is the coordinator for improving maternal and perinatal health in the department of reproductive health and research at the World Health Organization (WHO). He attended University of Parma Medical School in Italy and Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and is currently based in Geneva.

To learn more about DMU’s Global Health program, visit

Courtney Tompkins has been part of the DMU marketing team since Nov. 2005 and loves promoting a school she believes in so thoroughly. Proud daughter and patient of DMU alumni, Courtney knows, first-hand, that Des Moines University is doing a world of good. A fan of all outdoor festivals, fruity drinks and nearly all edibles, she has a hard time narrowing down her list of favorite places to go and things to do but lists the Iowa State Fair as an all-time fave. She loves her 8-minute commute to DMU from Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. She and husband Tyler are owned by three large dogs, Tonka, Tucker and Tank.