This spring marked the 10th anniversary of the Global Health Case Competition at Vanderbilt, cementing the event as both campus tradition and evidence of a sustained commitment to collaborative problem-solving in global health at the university. Since 2011, over 1000 student participants and volunteers have participated in the competition, coordinated by Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health’s Student Advisory Council.
Justin Banerdt, a fourth-year MD/MPH candidate, received the 2020 Excellence in Public Health Award from the United States Public Health Service Physician Professional Advisory Committee in recognition of his commitment to expanding access to care for underserved populations across resource-restricted settings worldwide.
Didi Odinkemelu has a deep passion for health systems strengthening, capacity building, and clinical care in low-resourced settings. During her time at Vanderbilt, she has been involved many of Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health’s (VIGH) programs including a Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) Research Immersion in Liberia, Integrated Science course in Nigeria and on the Navajo Reservation, VIGH Case Competition, and Global Health Symposium. Didi completed the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Global Health, illustrating her commitment to gaining the knowledge, skills, and competencies to be effective in the field of global health. This interest also motivated her to serve as the Global Student Surgery Alliance’s International Experience Coordinator and influenced her choice of a global anesthesiology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Each year, graduate students at Vanderbilt demonstrate that global health isn’t just the realm of doctors and nurses. The work of improving health access and outcomes at home and around the world takes passionate practitioners working together across fields. For this reason, Vanderbilt’s interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Global Health program attracts graduate students from across campus to engage in joint training and explore the ways in which their respective fields intersect with public health. This spring, seven graduating students will receive the Graduate Certificate, representing academic programs in international education, economic development, biomedical engineering, community research and action, and medicine. In addition to certifying coursework in Global Health, the Certificate demonstrates to peers, faculty, and future employers that students have a sustained commitment to solving community challenges with global relevance.