A center to promote public health and equal access to health care worldwide announced the appointment of its first directors April 15, as the Georgetown University Medical Center continues to expand its divisions focused on global health.

The Center for Global Health Practice and Impact will aid countries in improving public health while providing Georgetown students opportunities for health research and practice, according to the center’s website. In particular, it will focus on supporting regions facing HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases.

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER | Dr. Deus Bazira, above, will create and co-direct Georgetown’s new Center for Global Health Practice and Impact, alongside Dr. Mark Dybul.

Dr. Deus Bazira and Head of the Center for Global Health and Quality Dr. Mark Dybul will serve as co-directors of the center, which will expand Dybul’s past work in global health with Georgetown. Bazira is new to Georgetown, having departed from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where he led a program focused on global health and biosecurity.  

Bazira chose to join Georgetown to lead the center because of the university’s potential to advance the program and its historical connection to social justice, according to Bazira.

“Every person regardless of their individual context and circumstance should enjoy good health and that all of us should work towards creating conditions that make global health equity a reality for all populations,” Bazira wrote. “Georgetown is best positioned to support our center make valuable, lasting and impactful contribution towards achievement of health equity as a noble goal.”

The center, which will work with interdisciplinary schools, faculty and students, will focus its work in supporting marginalized groups, according to Dr. Edward Healton, executive dean of the Georgetown School of Medicine.

“The Center’s programs focus on increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of public health interventions that seek to alleviate major causes of illness for millions of people around the world,” Healton wrote in an email to The Hoya.

The center, which advances GUMC’s work in global health, will involve Georgetown students and faculty from across a broad range of backgrounds in its work, according to an April 15 news release. Georgetown’s location in Washington, D.C., provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with those studying areas like public policy or business.

“We bring unique experiences and extensive networks in different countries that will allow broader GU community to get more involved in field level work to support the above mission of achieving global health equity,” Bazira wrote in an email to The Hoya.

These opportunities will include research positions and internships for Georgetown students and students of other academic institutions in countries where the center works. On campus, the center will make its research accessible to students, according to Bazira.

“Every project we design will as much as possible provide opportunities for learning and research to students at GU with interest in global health,” Bazira wrote. “The data we will generate will be available to students for their individual or team research projects.

The School of Nursing and Health Studies’ department of international health will utilize the research produced by the center in its own work, according to NHS Dean Dr. Patricia Cloonan.

“The capacity that this new center will bring to Georgetown’s work in global health, such as our school’s Department of International Health and other university-wide programs, is exciting,” Cloonan wrote in an email to The Hoya. “We look forward to working together with center leadership to [identify] areas of intersection for our faculty and students.”

The center’s opening is a part of a larger Georgetown Global Health Initiative that saw the creation of the Center for Global Health Science and Security, a biosafety and biosecurity program, in May 2018.

The center will continue to develop the mission of the former Center for Global Health and Quality, which launched in 2017 to support countries facing health epidemics in building their own sustainable systems. This expansion will increase the capabilities of both the new center and the Center for Global Health and Quality, according to Healton.

“The work is complementary and collaborative, and Center brings great depth and reach,” Healton wrote.

CORRECTION: This article was updated on April 27 to correct the name of the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact.

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