Global Health

Rush University promotes involvement in voluntary global health initiatives that allow our students, residents, fellows, faculty and staff to bring their skills to populations in need and grow as health care professionals.

Dominican Republic and Haiti

In 2005, a group of volunteers in various clinical specialties formed a partnership with the community of Peralta, Dominican Republic. In 2010, a similar partnership was formed in several communities in urban and suburban Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The mission is to provide manpower, supplies, medications, training and encouragement to communities with the goal of helping these communities become empowered and positioned to offer independent and sustainable care.Currently there are 10-12 trips a year, providing services in primary care, general surgery, orthopedics, urology, urogynecology and ENT/plastics. Teams are comprised of attending staff, residents, medical students, pharmacists, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, psychotherapists, nurses and support staff. In addition to clinical work, Rush volunteers have also been involved in development of water purification and distribution in Peralta and Jerusalem, Haiti, revenue from which supports operations in the partner clinics.

The program has grown over the past eight years to include more than 100 participants annually and is funded primarily through outside philanthropic support. In 2013, the Department of Medicine appointed a Section of Global Health, through which this program continues to be administered and developed, with formal institutional support and structure. The section also offers global health fellowships and a global health internal medicine residency track. The relationship between the Rush volunteers and the local communities is supported by Community Empowerment. This organization fundamentally provides valuable insight into the cultural aspects and relationship development that are critical to the success of the program. Please visit the Global Health Trips page for more information about eligibility, application process and travel information.

Global health travel scholarships may be available for Haiti and Dominican Republic trips on a first-come, first-served basis. Students, residents and nurses participating in these trips and/or those enrolled in the M4 curricular course are eligible, contingent on the availability of funds.

Global Health Week

Each year, Rush University students, faculty, residents, fellows and staff gather on campus for a week to share their efforts in global health.

The Office of Global Health and Faculty Affairs is holding the Sixth Annual Global Health Symposium from Feb. 12-15, 2018 on the topic of “Refugee Medicine, Home and Abroad.” As our nation continues to face a crisis of identity regarding who and what we are, the topic of refugee medicine is timely and relevant. Please join us as we welcome guest speakers and engage in upacking this topic.  Scholarship in global health at Rush will be highlighted via oral abstracts and poster sessions. 

MED 747 Global and Community Health

The purpose of this elective is to provide students the opportunity to read and discuss in the area of primary health care, as defined by the World Health Organization (1978). Students obtain a framework for addressing common diseases in an underserved community setting from a clinical, epidemiologic and public health perspective. In addition, students spend two to four weeks in a developing-country setting under the supervision of Rush faculty. The course will focus on the social determinants of population health, including the impact of environment, poverty, social structure and culture on health status and care. The course includes overviews on the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, control and prevention of selected diseases of importance in underserved settings. Students will use this knowledge to develop a plan for working in disadvantaged communities providing primary health care, either locally or internationally. Students must have a faculty sponsor at Rush, as well as a physician at the site responsible for supervision of the student’s work. They must complete the online curriculum and self-study prerequisites prior to departure and submit a completed project within one week of the completion of the elective. For more information about the course curriculum, contact us.