About The Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy


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/global_health provides key references on global health; links to global healthcare associations and institutions; and summaries, photos and videos of all Center events and activities.


Beginning in 2007, the Center planned and convened 7 Annual Caring Community Conferences (CCC) (2007 through 2013), where healthcare and bioscience stakeholders and other community leaders discussed issues, assets and opportunities for improving individual health, public health and the economic health of northeast Florida. Following the September 26-28, 2007 Conference, the Center facilitated formation of the Healthcare and Bioscience Council of Northeast Florida (the Council) in 2008. The Council’s mission is to improve the individual and economic health of the region by implementing the 2007 CCC’s priority recommendations to improve patient care, enhance medical education and research, and foster growth in healthcare and bioscience industries.


On March 12, 2012 the Quadrennial Report of the Council identified progress in the priorities defined by the 2007 CCC. Particularly impressive was the development of multiple organizations and other entities focusing attention to and advocacy for the priorities identified in 2007. The Council after further evaluating this progress met July 2013 and determined the achievement could be sustained and advanced by these entities and that the Council could be reconstituted as an Advisory Group to focus on the more specific priorities for which the Center was formed in 2007.


The Center serves as a focal point for global health activities within the University and broader community.  Educational events, forums, seminars and conferences help 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 (CPW) 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 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 the Physician’s Leadership Advocacy 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. Five leadership courses have been held thus far, in 2007 and 2008 at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France; and in 2010, 2011 and 2013 at INSEAD, Singapore, where the next course will be in April 2013. 


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 Initiative” designed to enhance communication skills for medical and health 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 inaugural “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 Heath Jacksonville. The second faculty training Course 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 implemented the Patient Center Caring Communication Courses in their institutions and remote sites in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. 


The third faculty training Course occurred November 1, 2 and 3 and December 1 and 3, 2012 and included a new institution - Baptist Health and additional faculty for the Naval Hospital Jacksonville. The fourth faculty training Course occurred November 7, 8 and 9 and December 7 and 9, 2013 and included participating institutions – Baptist Health, Naval Hospital, Nemours Children’s Clinic and St. Vincent’s Health Care.  The 2013 training also included trainees from Mission Health in Asheville, NC.  A special feature of the 4th PCCCC featured participation by community leaders from the Center Leadership Group, the Riverside Hospital Foundation and other organizations and institutions.


The local faculty training program was made possible by generous grants from the Riverside Hospital Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, 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.