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Department of Global Health receives funding for complex humanitarian emergencies

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The Hubert Department of Global Health at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health received a five-year $500,000 award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish the Emory Center for Public Health Training in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies.

The CDC issued the award to support development of a Center for complex humanitarian emergencies that focuses primarily on three components:

  • The development or maintenance of a graduate certificate in humanitarian emergencies
  • The development of a US-based fellowship program for international candidates from countries affected by complex humanitarian emergencies
  • The establishment of a program to support an international summer practicum experience for graduate students in the US

"We are extremely honored to receive this award to further our work in complex humanitarian emergencies", says Carlos Del Rio, MD, professor and chair of the Hubert Department of Global Health at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. "The development of the Center coupled with our partnership with the CDC and our existing work in this area, will help further enhance the opportunities for our trainees to learn ways to address the challenges of complex humanitarian emergencies from a public health perspective.  We are also able to emphasize our responsibility to the affected communities."

In 2009, The Rollins School of Public Health, in partnership with CDC's International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch, developed a Graduate Certificate in Global Complex Humanitarian Emergencies.  The certificate combines the teaching and research strengths of Emory University with the applied technical skills of the CDC's International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch. A total of 16 CDC scientists from that branch are also adjunct faculty at the Rollins School of Public Health. For this certificate program, five new courses were developed in this area of specialty.  Since its inception a total of 75 students have been conferred certificates in complex humanitarian emergencies at graduation. 

"There is a growing interest among Rollins students to work in the field of humanitarian relief," explains Theresa Nash, MA, director of the Complex Humanitarian Emergencies Program at Rollins. "Thankfully, through this partnership with the CDC's International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch, we are able to provide this highly specialized skills set to our student body; a win-win for all involved."

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