Press Release for Tuesday, February 13, 2007

UNF Initiates Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

University of North Florida President John A. Delaney announced today the formation of the Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy with Dr. Yank D. Coble as director and Distinguished Professor. Coble is past president of the World Medical Association, American Medical Association and Florida Medical Association. The Center’s mission is to foster global understanding and collective action for improving health and medical care.

“Due to the Center’s location, UNF and Northeast Florida will become a virtual training laboratory to test health strategies, which address health concerns that are now global,” said Delaney. “Dr. Coble’s reputation as an accomplished medical diplomat and scientist on the state, national and international level, along with his broad community leadership will serve as the catalyst in creating and maintaining a positive environment for accomplishing the program’s mission.”

The Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy will serve as a working laboratory to identify opportunities, issues and solutions to rising health care challenges. Through a network of local, national and international partnerships, medical and health professionals as well as community leaders will collaborate on action steps for testing applicability in practice.

The Brooks College of Health will collaborate with the Center’s strategic work, utilizing its significant resources by involving faculty, students and staff. “We are pleased to have Dr. Coble, with his extensive knowledge and contacts, available to initiate additional learning opportunities and research for our faculty and students. We anticipate being able to make a difference in health care outcomes in Northeast Florida,” said Dr. Pam Chally, dean of the Brooks College of Health.

Coble, a Ponte Vedra Beach resident and Jacksonville endocrinologist for more than 35 years, says the health and medical assets of the Jacksonville community are among the foremost in the nation. “The Northeast Florida community has extensive diverse and excellent health and medical care resources with unique institutions providing advanced systems of care, sophisticated biomedical research and superb medical education,” he said. “Biomedical health professionals and their institutions are ideally situated to optimize all aspects of health in our community by working together. The Center will hopefully provide a focus for this collaborative effort.”

Coble is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Florida and he is president emeritus of the American College of Physicians and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. He serves on the Board of Research!America, National Osteoporosis Foundation and the IOM Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research and Medicine.

He served on the board of directors of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the National Quality Forum, chair of the AMA Council on Scientific Affairs and Public Health and chair of the Physicians Consortium for Performance Improvement. Coble was a National Institutes of Health International Research awardee and served on the advisory board of the NIH and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality.

Locally, Coble served on the founding boards of the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. and Leadership Jacksonville as well as the boards of Community Hospice of Northeast Florida and the Jacksonville Arts Assembly. Additionally, he is emeritus director of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. Coble holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from UNF, an honorary Professor of Medicine at Shanghai University Medical School and a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Duke University.

Coble has several objectives for the Center, including promoting optimal health and medical education, supporting leadership development in the health and medical professions and integrating local, state, national and global participation in advisory committees, publications, research and education. The Center will convene a forum to discuss the assets and issues relating to the health of our community—individual health, public health and economic health—
in order to create a long-range plan to foster the development of the health care and biomedical economy of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida.

The Center will sponsor a series of forums to inform the public on critical global health issues and applicability to our own community and environment. The first public lecture, co-hosted by the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville’s Global Issues Forum, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26, at the University Center Banquet Hall on the UNF campus. The lecture features Project HOPE President and CEO Dr. John Howe III. Free tickets can be obtained online at Click on the Spring 2007 lecture series link.