Post date: Fri, 11/18/2016 - 16:23

November 15, 2016 | By Noelle Sullivan, PhD

In the same week the US presidential election dominated headlines, at the International Association for Volunteer Effort conference in Mexico City, Shalil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, addressed the crowd, saying, “in the ecosystem of social good, there is room for every type of approach. As long as we share some common values and are working towards positive social good.” Volunteerism is important and, properly channeled, can be beneficial.

Frequently, we consider poor and vulnerable populations so needy they’re thankful for any help they can get. However, in the realm of international medical volunteering, there are nuances and complexities overlooked when we make room for “every type of approach” without taking seriously the tremendous responsibility that should accompany the desire to help. Unskilled volunteers should do unskilled labor, not professional work that, done wrong, could cause harm.


Post date: Fri, 11/18/2016 - 16:21

First Ph.D. program in U.S. trains scientists to see, fix chinks in health care system

November 16, 2016 | By Marla Paul

Why do physicians accidentally jab themselves in the hand with an EpiPen (epinephrine injection) when they are trying to give another person an injection while holding their breath? 

How does directing a “Martian” to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich improve health care communications?  

The answers are part of the curriculum for the first Ph.D. in health care quality and patient safety program in the country — at Northwestern Medicine — which aims to prevent the annual 440,000 deaths from medical errors in the United States. 

Post date: Fri, 08/12/2016 - 11:58

First effort to use mobile phones to change diabetes risk behaviors across vast, diverse country.

CHICAGO --- A study that sent twice-weekly text messages to a million people in India advising them to exercise, eat less fat, and eat more fruits and vegetables increased these health behaviors known to prevent diabetes, reports new research from Northwestern Medicine and Arogya World, a global health non-profit organization.

This effort is the first to use the power and reach of mobile phones to change diabetes risk behaviors in a large number of people from different parts of a vast country like India. It has implications for diabetes prevention in low and middle-income countries.

Post date: Wed, 08/10/2016 - 11:33

When Marissa Boeck, MD, MPH, chose to spend a year doing research during her general surgery residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, she chose to work under the mentorship of Mamta Swaroop, MD, assistant professor of Surgery in the Division of Trauma and Critical Care, working on furthering the development of Bolivia’s trauma and emergency response system.

Boeck helped develop a hospital-based trauma registry for injury surveillance, to serve as a foundation for future injury prevention strategies and to improve the safety and quality of healthcare delivered. Boeck said she hopes the project, part of the Northwestern Trauma and Surgical Initiative, will strengthen Bolivia’s existing emergency response and trauma system.

Post date: Wed, 08/10/2016 - 11:23

Chicago is no stranger to hosting world-class events and festivals. What many participants and fans don’t think about as they enjoy themselves is the world-class team behind the scenes that is prepared for any type of unexpected situation such as extreme weather or other safety threats.  

George Chiampas, DO, FACEP, CAQSM, assistant professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Orthopaedic Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, is involved with international organizations that focus on medical coverage for mass participation events, specifically marathons.

Dr. Chiampas is the medical director for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and his preparedness plan has been used as a model for other large-scale events around Chicago. His best practices are infused with international learnings from organizations such as the International Institute for Race Medicine and the Abbott World Marathon Majors.

Post date: Tue, 08/02/2016 - 11:49

Global health volunteerism is a big business driven by trained professionals, aspiring doctors and do-gooders without any medical training. Researchers estimate volunteers from the United States alone account for roughly $1 billion worth of unpaid labour.  In sub-Saharan Africa, the World Health Organization says volunteers provide 40 percent of the health services in that region. There are rarely out of pocket expenses related to the care, so what is the cost to the patient? In many cases, volunteers lack proper training and fail to set up provisions for long-term or post-operative care. A survey by the Center for Medical Missions found one in five of its volunteer doctors had been sued over work they had done in the field. And almost all of the respondents thought they would be involved in negligent suits within the next five years. On Monday, at 19:30 GMT, we’ll examine the ethics of global health volunteerism and look at what some countries, including Kenya and Tanzania, are doing to protect their people.

From Al Jazeera

Post date: Thu, 07/14/2016 - 13:54

David Shapiro, a third-year Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine student, worked with Northwestern law and business students to address issues facing slum communities in Lagos, Nigeria, and traveled there this spring to implement a sustainable project as part of the multidisciplinary course Health and Human Rights.

Post date: Fri, 06/03/2016 - 12:04

Medical students—and even undergrads—who volunteer abroad are often tasked with procedures they aren’t qualified to perform.

In 2008, NFL player Tim Tebow traveled to a Philippines orphanage run by his father Bob’s ministry. But while he was there he did more than regular missionary work—by the end of his trip, he was sporting rubber gloves and a mask while assisting with circumcisions, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Post date: Tue, 04/19/2016 - 15:11

Whether young people care about their health and pay attention to public health campaigns is at the heart of a health communication study being carried out by Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), in collaboration with other researchers in Qatar and the U.S.

The study, ‘Qatari adolescents: How do they use digital technologies for health information and health monitoring?,’ which received a $300,000 grant from the Qatar National Research Fund in March examines how Qatari youth from 13 to 18 years of age acquire and evaluate information about health issues of all kinds. The study probes into what is known about young people’s specific health concerns and conditions, as well as how they use technology to acquire and share such information.

Post date: Fri, 04/01/2016 - 10:47

Isaac Adewole, MBBS, adjunct professor of Medicine and a native of Nigeria, has been sworn in as the African country’s minister of health.

Formerly vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan, the first medical school in Nigeria, Dr. Adewole has collaborated with faculty in Feinberg’s Center for Global Health on several studies supported by the National Institutes of Health. Since 2010, he has been a principal investigator of the Medical Education Partnership Initiative, a consortium that includes Feinberg that was developed to transform medical education at the six leading medical schools in Nigeria.

Dr. Adewole has served as a physician and professor of obstetrics and gynecology for several decades in Nigeria. Through his research, he investigates methods for increasing cervical cancer screenings, decreasing unwanted pregnancies and eliminating pediatric HIV in his country.

In a recent interview, Dr. Adewole described his pathway to minister of health and some of the plans he hopes to implement through his new leadership role.