Welcome to the Iowa Global Health Network

The Iowa Global Health Network (IGHN) was established in 2020. While the network is young, expertise in global health at the University of Iowa is well established.

Our interdisciplinary membership draws from a wealth of experience and expertise that can inform research and practice related to global health. To offer just a few examples: IGHN members have methodological expertise to provide the holistic perspective of anthropology to the field of global health, cultural and historical health expertise to explore the energy and creativity with which African and Southeast Asian cultures invest in coping with disease and illness, rural health expertise to explore agricultural health hazards encountered by vulnerable migrant farmworkers, and community and behavioral health expertise to study HIV stigma among male adolescents in Kenya and intimate partner violence in India. Research by faculty within the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases brings together immunologists, vaccinologists and computational biologists/biostatisticians to attack the problem of vaccine-intractable infections through statistical modeling. Our policy experts offer bodies of work related the changing political context of global health, such as the gendered politics of nutritional health in India and policy environments relevant to adolescent health and wellbeing in the Arab world.

In essence, it is simply not possible to articulate the depth and breadth of global health expertise embedded within the University of Iowa in this short welcome message.

Over time, events have periodically reminded us that we are all part of a global health continuum, connected by real-world health challenges. These potentially lofty concepts have been actualized recently by our ubiquitous and global experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the pandemic has been pervasive, permeating the lives of nearly everyone across the planet, other existential health threats such as climate change and nuclear war also continue to loom in the background. At the same time, the urgency of assuring health equity for vulnerable populations rises to our collective conscience.

The University of Iowa Global Health Network provides a platform for nurturing scholarly cross-sector relationships among staff and faculty, while deconstructing academic silos.

Finally, IGHN aspires to champion transformative work that brings together a diverse group of members and disciplines - to support a healthier world through research, education, community engagement and global partnerships.

Membership is open and we look forward to meeting you.

Claudia Corwin, Director, Iowa Global Health Network

Recent Events: the Iowa Global Health Network continues to work in the spirit of cross cultural and international collaboration -  despite the pandemic. Enabled by Aaron Kline, Director of the Research Development for  the Office of the Vice President for Research, IGHN held a highly successful speed networking event between a diverse group of University of Iowa faculty and staff and health professions faculty at the American University of Beirut (AUB).  This successful event propelled further collaboration between the University of Iowa and AUB. Through the leadership of Dean Russell Ganim,  a formal MOU between the University and AUB was established to promote collaboration on program development, education and research between the two institutions. Both institutions look forward to a sustained partnership.  IGHN will be planning other speed networking events with other groups both within and outside the university community. 

The Iowa Global Health Network Executive Committee planned a community-based spring time film event, in collaboration with FilmScene of Iowa City. The Iowa Global Health Network sponsored the opening event for the FilmScene Science on The Screen series.  It focused on the topic of global water scarcity and climate change, including a pre-film panel discussion, film, and post film reception to follow.  

In keeping with the impact-type films FilmScene favors for this community-based event, we showed Mad Max: Fury Road.  The film was meant to spark interest and conversation – however the discussion did not necessarily need to be an analysis of the movie, but rather a discussion of the central theme of water scarcity and global climate change. The concepts of social vulnerability and environmental justice bubble just a bit further below the surface, however are still very present within this film.

This event was open to the public as well as the university community and fostered a conversation about a topic of international health interest. More exciting details about the film and adjacent planning will be announced in the not too far future.  

The Future: As the pandemic waxes and wanes, we hope to bring the IGHN community together for a variety of structured programs and more casual social events where relationships can form and ideas can flow.