The Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy (the Center) at the University of North Florida was founded in February 2007 with the mission of promoting global understanding and collaborative action to improve health and medical care. Center initiatives promote 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, forums, research and education. The Center’s principal work is to convene public and private sector experts to collaboratively address current issues in global health and medical diplomacy. Center-sponsored conferences, committees and public forums provide an opportunity for leading experts (regional, national and international) to discuss issues in an open environment that facilitates evidence-based dialogue. The Center website www.unf.edu/brooks/center provides key references on global health; links to global healthcare associations and institutions; and summaries, photos and videos of all Center events and activities. The Center planned and convened the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Caring Community Conferences, where healthcare and bioscience stakeholders discuss issues, assets and opportunities in individual health, public health and the economic health of northeast Florida. Following the 2007 Conference, the Center facilitated formation of the Healthcare and Bioscience Council of Northeast Florida (the Council) whose members were announced in April 2008. The Council’s mission is to improve the individual and economic health of the region by implementing the community’s recommendations to improve patient care, enhance medical education and research, and foster growth in healthcare and bioscience industries. The Center Director currently serves as Council Chair. The Center serves as a focal point for global health activities within the University and broader community. Educational events, public forums, seminars and conferences help to increase visibility and awareness of local, national and global health issues. The Center is also the first global health organization to include a focus on Medical Diplomacy, in which medical and healthcare assets are utilized globally through government, private, and volunteer efforts to encourage positive relations between communities and nations. The Center holds a position of leadership in many global health initiatives, including the World Medical Association (WMA) Caring Physicians of the World Initiative, which works to improve the effectiveness of medical professionals around the world. The Caring Physicians of the World (published in English and Spanish) and The Caring Physicians of Indonesia (published in Indonesian) are both products of the Caring Physicians of the World Initiative. The Center also collaborates with the WMA, the international business school INSEAD, and Pfizer, Inc. to offer a Physician’s Leadership Course. The course is designed to enhance physicians’ skills and knowledge so that they can effectively advocate for patient care, public health and the medical profession. The six-day intensive curriculum focuses on proficiency in decision-making, participation in public debate and preparation to serve as spokespersons on key healthcare policy issues. Three leadership courses have been held thus far, in 2007 and 2008 at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France; and in 2010 at INSEAD, Singapore, where the next course will be in November 2011. In 2010, the Center was instrumental in the formation of the Quality Collaborative of Northeast Florida which supports the community’s desire to improve health and medical care by sharing best practices for quality improvement. The Center and the Collaborative worked together to develop and implement the “Patient Centered Caring Communication Course” designed to enhance communication skills for medical professionals in the region. Caring communication from physician to patient has been shown to improve clinical outcomes; enhance patient, family, physician and staff satisfaction; and reduce medical liability actions. The “Patient Centered Caring Communication Course” for northeast Florida faculty in training was held September 27 & 28 and October 26 and 27, 2010 for the three regional institutions, Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Nemours Children’s Clinic and UF/Shands Jacksonville. These institutions completed their first 4-hour course on October 28, 2010. All three institutions should complete physician training by December 2011. The second round of faculty training occurred January 18, 19, and 20 and February 23 and 24, 2012 and included three new participating institutions - Brooks College of Health, Duval County Health Department, and St. Vincent's Health Care. The new faculty implemeneted the Patient Center Caring Communication Courses in their institutions and remote sites in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The local faculty training program has been made possible by grants from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Riverside Hospital Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Center, participating institutions, and the Quality Collaborative. Plans for additional institutions and allied health staff are underway.
Well established as the neutral convener of health and medical care institutions and organizations in northeast Florida, the Center facilitates collaborative efforts to improve health and medical care. In all initiatives, the Center seeks better health and medical solutions through caring, ethics and science.
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