Within its efforts to practice its mission of being a key public health advocator in the Middle East and North Africa, and establish itself as a reference for public health knowledge and practice in this region, the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) took international collaboration to another level, as it hosted in its headquarters in Beirut a delegation from the University of Michigan (UOM) to explore opportunities of partnerships, while holding a series of meetings, presentations, and discussions in the United States with students and representatives from UOM Michigan State University (MSU), as well as the National Arab American Medical Association and AUB Alumni in Michigan State.
A delegation from The UOM' Office of Global Public Health visited AUB campus in Beirut and held a series of meetings to discuss ways to work together on a variety of issues. The group assisted in a number of presentations and meetings, including a high level meeting with AUB president Fadlo Khuri and FHS Dean Iman Nuwayhid, during which they were introduced to the work and projects lead by FHS, as well as the Faculty's different academic departments and programs. During its presence in Beirut, the delegation also visited a refugee camp, with the aim to better understand the different aspects around this pressing issue.
Following this honorable visit, Dr. Nuwayhid together with FHS international consultant Dr. Adnan Hammad visited the United States as they further discussed collaborations with UOM and MSU. Dean Nuwayhid also held a talk about uncertainty and conflict in public health, and met with students pursuing a global public health education.
Dean Nuwayhid discussed the global public health perspectives, challenges and opportunities in the MENA region with cross campus faculty and students during the “Michigan State University' Global Engagement Speaker Series", in a seminar on 'the Political Determinants of Health in the Arab World".
During his visit to Michigan, Dean Nuwayhid also seized the opportunity to meet with AUB alumni while also attending an official gathering for the National Arab American Medical Association.
“Strengthening international collaboration among academic institutions and building sustainable partnerships with our peers on the global level has always been one of our key goals in this Faculty", stated Dr. Nuwayhid. “These initiatives are a key part of our commitment to bridging knowledge gaps in public health and raising the voice of the people of this region through stressing their main health concerns in order to impact the global health discourse", added Dean Nuwayhid.
On another note, FHS and the Escuela de Agricultura dela Region Tropical Humeda (EARTH) University in Costa Rica have also reached a milestone in their mutual agreement towards launching the Global Master's Program (GMP) in Health and Sustainable Development with further. The GMP is the first Master's degree of its kind that addresses global health and sustainable development in an integrated manner, giving the two fields' equal weight. The degree program thus fills a key gap in higher education and is particularly timely given the recent global commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
“These meetings and partnerships are very rewarding and beneficial for all sides and global public health as a whole", said Dean Nuwayhid. “They constitute a cornerstone for future collaborations".
As one of the oldest and most prominent schools of public health in the region, FHS aims since its inception to shape the public health discourse by preparing professionals to be agents of change, and producing research that impacts practice and policy, and thus the health of populations. Around 25% of students enrolled are international, allowing the Faculty to be very interactive academically and culturally.