Des Moines University works with other institutionsand organizations that share the goal of improving patient and population health while expanding global health experiences for students.
Des Moines University is committed to expanding global health opportunities for students to expose them to other cultures while they hone their clinical skills. This commitment led to the creation of the Heartland Global Health Consortium (HGHC), a group of Iowa educational institutions with this mission: to establish and expand multidisciplinary educational, research and service opportunities to inspire and equip students to become leaders in global public health. The consortium’s activities include n annual global health conference, held in conjunction with the World Food Prize Symposium, to explore issues such as health care disparities, women’s and children’s health, climate change and more.
Created in 1986, the World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The World Food Prize Foundation, headquartered in Des Moines, offers several events and programs of interest to the DMU community. Several students and faculty, for example, have presented their research at the foundation’s annual Iowa Hunger Summit.
In 2006, World Health Organization leaders realized aging presents a global challenge. To encourage communities to prepare for that, the organization brought together 33 cities in 22 countries to determine key elements of urban environments that support active, healthy aging. These cities formed the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities. Des Moines became just the third Age-Friendly City in the United States in 2011. DMU is among the local organizations leading the effort in the areas of infrastructure, social capital and health services.
This campaign to promote peace within and among individuals, groups and nations was initiated by an “ordinary” person, retired psychologist Charlie Day, who has been signing letters, e-mail messages and other correspondence as “Peace, Charlie” since 1968. The campaign invites all to promote peace by signing their correspondence as “Peace, [your name].”
A highly selective, guided track empowers DMU students to explore research topics in global health at prestigious organizations. This Global Health Research Pathway enables students to work with researchers on activities such as conducting systematic reviews for creating evidence-based educational materials for worldwide distribution.
In 2008, the DMU Global Health Program developed a partnership with the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization (WHO), which includes summer internship opportunities for DMU students and research collaboration. Select students travel to WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, for eight to twelve weeks to work with high-level WHO staff on conducting systematic reviews and other research and creating evidence-based educational materials for worldwide distribution.
Based in Washington, D.C., as a regional office of the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is an international public health agency with more than 100 years of experience in working to improve health and living standards in the countries of the Americas. It also enjoys international recognition as part of the United Nations system. DMU students are selected annually to work at PAHO on summer research projects.
DMU is one of the few health care universities that offers select students unique opportunities to do internships and capstone projects at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), America’s health protection agency. Participating students spend eight weeks at CDC headquarters in Atlanta to work in various fields, including introduction to applied epidemiology, introduction to preventive medicine and public health.
DMU has hosted several students from partnering institutions over the years. Signed agreements between DMU and partnering institutions create clinical sites for DMU students and offer international medical students opportunities for rotations in Des Moines. One student from UADY, Merida, Mexico and twelve students from Makerere University in Uganda have traveled to Des Moines, IA to experience the culture and get a taste of life in Iowa as a medical student. While in Iowa, the students sat in on classes with other medical students at DMU, shadowed physicians in the DMU Tower clinic, spent time observing an E.R. doctor in Sioux City, IA and then had a three-week rotation at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.