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Three staff members of the UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health have been chosen to serve on committees within the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH).

Meredith Gartin, PhD was selected to serve a second term on the Education and Curriculum committee; Katie Adams, MPH will serve on the Advocacy & Communications committee; and Anna Helova, DrPH will serve on the Global Operations Committee.

The CUGH is an organization of 170+ academic institutions and organizations from around the world engaged in addressing global health challenges, including institutions in North and South America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the South Pacific. Serving on a CUGH Committee means working collaboratively with other committee members from this international consortium of global health leaders and scholars. While each committee works on different projects depending on the focus of that committee, they are all working towards a central mission of supporting academic institutions and partners to improve the wellbeing of people and the planet through education, research, service and advocacy.

UAB is an institutional member of CUGH, meaning that every student, staff and faculty member can join CUGH free of charge. By representing UAB and the UAB School of Public Health through CUGH Committees, these three UAB representatives will be able to fully integrate the activities at the Sparkman Center with this internationally represented organization. Furthermore, global health is an interdisciplinary and collaborative field and CUGH allows members to put into practice those principles with other global health practitioners and scholars. By serving on these committees, the Sparkman Center is also supporting their mission: to make substantive and sustainable contributions to the achievement of health equity and social justice in resource-limited settings around the globe by working collaboratively to increase public health knowledge and capacity. Additionally, each of the three staff members are serving on committees directly related to the work they do with the Sparkman Center and the UAB School of Public Health.

Dr. Meredith Gartin will serve a second term on the CUGH Subcommittee on Master’s and Undergraduate Degrees in Global Health. The committee is focused on standardizing the educational competencies needed for all global health curriculums taught at institutions of higher learning. This effort directly connects to the undergraduate and graduate global health courses that Dr. Gartin teaches, as well her experience as the head of curriculum for the graduate certificate in global health. “I am honored to be re-elected to this sub-committee,” said Dr. Gartin. “Having served on the subcommittee for masters and undergraduate degrees in global health for the past three years, I have been able to contribute to standardizing key global health competencies for university-level curriculum. Because of my collaboration with the education committee at CUGH, I am able to go into my classrooms at UAB with the confidence that I am providing the most relevant and top evidence-based scholarship in global health and that the students are receiving the highest quality global health education available.”

Dr. Anna Helova, Program Director in the Sparkman Center, will serve on the Global Health Operations Committee, which focuses on identifying and developing guiding principles to enhance university administrations’ procedural and financial alignment with programmatic priorities in global health, education, research and service activities. “The Sparkman Center is founded on the principles of fiscal responsibility and appropriate use of resources, collaborative organizational culture and interdisciplinarity,” said Dr. Helova. “The Operations Committee applies these foundations on a global scale. In my 20+ years in global health practice, I often encounter how inefficient procedures, bureaucracy and misalignment of funding and programmatic goals create barriers to achieving the ultimate goal of the Global Health discipline, i.e., improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide.”

Katie Adams, MPH will serve on the Advocacy & Communications Committee, which directly relates to the communication work she does for the Sparkman Center across the website, social media channels and monthly newsletter. “One of our values in the Sparkman Center is Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, which we define as ‘celebrating diversity of societies, cultures and individuals across the globe while promoting social justice and human rights’ and while working in global health, I’ve seen how legacies of racism, sexism and other forms of oppression have made it harder for people and communities across the world to pursue healthy lives,” said Katie. “I know that global health advocacy is one form of direct action I can take as a step toward dismantling inequitable systems. I am excited to develop my skills in global health advocacy and to embody the Sparkman Center’s values through working with CUGH’s Advocacy & Communications Committee.”

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