On September 18 2018 and on behalf of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), Dean Iman Nuwayhid received the “Global Health Leadership Award" at the 8th Arab Health Summit held by the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) in Washington D.C. (September 16-19).
The award was given at the “Seeds of Opportunity Fundraising Gala" to acknowledge the role of FHS in advancing public health education, research, practice, and policy in the Arab region and beyond. More than 150 academic and business leaders from the Arab-American community and across the US attended the celebratory evening.
The event was part of a 4-day scientific conference that served as a platform for discussions around health rights, public health research, capacity building and community engagement as it relates to health and mental health issues among Arab American communities and immigrants, refugees, and vulnerable populations in the US and Arab world. Sawsan Abdulrahim, Fouad Fouad, Samer Jabbour Joumana Kalot, Martine Najem, and Iman Nuwayhid from FHS presented their respective research and activities on research capacity, health in conflicts (Lancet-AUB Commission), and public health practice particularly the work of the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP). In addition, Dean Nuwayhid delivered the opening keynote speech in which he urged a new public health approach. “The model of public health that we know and is most established globally does not provide the tools we need to engage with public health issues in the context of uncertainty, political instability, and corrupt or failing governments and states," said Nuwayhid. He also noted that for national and regional efforts to improve health to be sustained, public health professionals should address the political determinants of health, issues of inclusion (social identity), in addition to the social determinants.
Founded by a group of dedicated volunteers in 1971, ACCESS was created to assist the Arab immigrant population adapt to life in the United States. Among its activities, ACCESS establishes a scientific biennial forum that serves as a major platform for academic and public health leaders, health and mental health professionals along with policymakers to share best practices and strategic solutions to improve health on a global scale and build research capacity.