Collaborations and partnerships to serve global goals
Opportunities for trainees, faculty, and staff to contribute
DGSOM’s Global Health Program aims to contribute to sustainable health initiatives and to address the health inequities facing the world today. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected each one of us, and resulted in incredible uncertainty – here in Los Angeles, across California, the U.S., and around the globe. But what this challenging time has proven is that community matters – and that we are at our best when we come together to improve health and reduce inequities. To maximize investment and impact, we are fortunate to collaborate with a large number of diverse partners to improve health across our city, state, country, and globe.
"Global health is not just traveling to other countries - it is a philosophy of medical practice in which health equity is central. My work in global health includes not only teaching physicians in Central America but also researching ways to improve care for limited English proficiency patients in Los Angeles. As a health care provider, there are infinite ways to be involved in global health regardless of which country or on what side of a border you are located."
- Breena R. Taira, MD, MPH, Emergency Medicine
GHP aims to provide opportunities for trainees, faculty, and staff to contribute to sustainable health initiatives and to address the health inequities facing the world today, but we cannot achieve these goals alone.
Multi-disciplinary partnerships across the UC system
Within the UCLA community and larger UC system, we are committed to creating sustainable, bilateral partnerships to advance health initiatives. DGSOM collaborates with UCLA Health’s International Services team to strengthen multidisciplinary connections between the hospital and medical school, and offer education and training programs to medical students, physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators from other countries. For example, physicians from other countries can engage in observership training through the International Physician Observership Program. We also work closely with UCLA’s International Institute to align DGSOM’s policies and processes with those across the rest of the school, prevent duplication of efforts, and identify areas for synergy in global health programming and research. Our focus on multi-disciplinary approaches also extends to the Center for Global and Immigrant Health within the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and other health sciences programs, where we seek to discover opportunities in which existing programs and research can be enhanced through integration.
Within the larger University of California school network, we participate in the system-wide global health initiative, known as the University of California Global Health Initiative, that brings together faculty from across schools and disciplines to design and discuss ways to collaborate for high-impact health initiatives around the globe.
Improving health across our city
We recognize the deep connections between lessons learned locally and globally and encourage students to explore local underserved health care experiences in the greater Los Angeles community. Many DGSOM faculty and staff engaged in global health are also committed to the care of underserved individuals locally, through work in county hospitals, community clinics, and other community-based health care initiatives.
Our program is proud to sponsor the annual Los Angeles Global Health Conference (LAGHC) in partnership with USC’s Institute on Inequalities in Global Health. LAGHC brings together leading health experts, students and trainees from every level, faculty from within and outside UCLA, as well as the public to discuss the most pressing health concerns facing Los Angeles and the globe today. Now more than ever, we are increasing our commitment to fostering new—and strengthening existing—partnerships with local organizations to help reduce health inequities right here in our backyard.
Students who join the Global Health Equity Pathway have the opportunity to engage longitudinally with local partners throughout their time at DGSOM, as they learn about and help address global health inequities here in Los Angeles. Students may participate in activities such as clinical observation, advocacy, client education, and/or capacity-building. Current local partners include:
The People Concern
The People Concern is a leading provider of, and advocate for, evidence-based solutions to the multi-faceted challenges inherent in homelessness and domestic violence. The People Concern provides a fully integrated system of care—including outreach, interim housing, mental and medical health care, substance abuse services, domestic violence services, life skills and wellness programs, and permanent supportive housing—tailored to the unique needs of homeless individuals, survivors of domestic violence, challenged youth, and others who have nowhere else to turn. Students work with field-based multidisciplinary teams including psychiatrists, clinicians, therapists, and social workers who provide comprehensive services to individuals experiencing homelessness. Students also assist with patient navigation and liaising with clients to provide additional healthcare-related services.
Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project
Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project is a project of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles. Over the past 15 years, the organization has become one of the leading immigration-focused public interest organizations in the country. Esperanza is made up of a team of passionate staff including attorneys, social workers, case managers, and volunteers who work together to advance the rights of immigrants—including adults and unaccompanied children seeking asylum—through education, legal representation, and advocacy. Students collaborate with staff to deliver presentations on various health topics for clients and, due to COVID-19 restrictions, engage in remote activities to assist clients with health navigation.
Partnering to advance health beyond our campus and city
UCLA is part of a community of over 170 academic institutions that share best practices in global health through the Consortium of Universities in Global Health (CUGH). DGSOM faculty, staff, and students who work in global health regularly attend CUGH’s annual meeting to network, stay up to date on the latest global health research, and share best practices in global health education.
Across the globe, we partner with institutions to contribute to sustainable health initiatives. These partnerships allow us to provide meaningful educational experiences for fourth-year students, residents, and fellows. Faculty play a number of roles in these partnerships, supporting clinical education, clinical service delivery, program implementation, and research. Currently, we have eight formalized partnership sites in seven countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America that serve as hosts for our UCLA trainees and where faculty are involved in collaborative projects. These partnerships, as well as all other global partnerships and programs, can be explored through our global project map.