The Sparkman Center for Global Health was established in 1979 with a congressional appropriation through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The vision was, and continues to be, alleviation of health problems in less developed countries by increasing public health capacity. This vision reflects the global nature of population-level health issues, the impact of health on human development, and the need for collaboration in resolving major health issues of our time.
The mission of the Sparkman Center is to contribute to solutions of health problems in developing countries through undergraduate and graduate-level public health education, research, and training programs. These programs are organized collaboratively with academic institutions; international agencies and health ministries within the host country. Additionally, the Center works to enhance the capacity of the UAB community to engage, prepare, and support current and future health professionals in a global health agenda.