Health Systems Management and International Health and Development Join Forces
As part of an initiative to further globalize the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the departments of Health Systems Management and International Health and Development will unite to become Global Health Systems and Development. The new department will officially launch in July 2011.
“Tulane has long been known for addressing health concerns that affect the world’s populations,” said Dean Pierre Buekens. “The new reality is that issues are no longer uniquely domestic or exclusively international. Recognizing this fact, we are combining two successful programs that will now benefit from the resources and knowledge base of each. Both students and faculty will enjoy a wider range of opportunities as the school continues to demonstrate our commitment to global health.”
Globalization first came into educational vogue years ago as business schools recognized the need to train students for careers in the emerging global marketplace. Similarly, in the past decade, schools of public health and medicine launched centers and institutes specifically focused on global health. Schools, however, have found that it’s not enough to establish a stand-alone center – globalization has to pervade the institution, an effort Tulane has been vigorously pursuing.
A Focus on Health Systems
At their core, International Health and Development and Health Systems Management have both traditionally focused on the issue of health systems. International Health concentrated on measurement and evaluation as a way to reinforce health systems at the country and regional level, while Health Systems prepared students to work at the hospital or institution level. The divisions among these approaches, however, are disappearing as health systems managers have become increasingly interested in working more broadly and international health professionals have gotten involved in programs on a more local level.
The Deans’ Office announced the combined department shortly after Jane Bertrand, chair of the Department of Health Systems Management, stepped in as acting chair for the Department of International Health and Development. Bertrand previously held the chair position in international health from 1995-99. With vast experience that includes both disciplines, she is uniquely qualified to helm the combined department.
Bertrand views the new department as a means of building on existing strengths and offering even greater opportunities to students. For example, students with an interest in working In developing countries will be able to gain a strong set of management skills. Those interested in a career based in the U.S. will benefit from the more “global perspective” that will become part of most coursework in the new department.
Current students will not see any changes to existing programs, or to the requirements necessary for graduation. When Global Health Systems and Development officially launches in July 2011, it will continue to offer all of the same degrees currently available: the Master of Health Administration, the Master of Public Health, the Doctor of Philosophy, and the Doctor of Science (in the executive format).
The new department is expected to have sections (or focus areas of interest) that will allow students to select the set of issues and courses of greatest interest to them. Each section will have a corresponding set of faculty (with both U.S. and international interests) to provide students with guidance in course selection and mentoring toward career goals.
These combining departments are not the only departments who are making major efforts to globalize. In July 2011, Community Health Sciences will become Global Community Health and Behavior Sciences and Environmental Health Sciences will become Global Environmental Health Sciences.