BACKGROUND: The Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) was founded in 2006 with a goal to foster interdisciplinary global health education and research across Duke University and Duke Medical Center. Critical to achieving this goal is the need to develop and sustain strong international partnerships. OBJECTIVE: To host a conference with multiple international partners and strengthen existing relationships. METHODS: After a deliberate year-long planning process, DGHI convened a Partnership Conference with its international partners on the Duke University campus in conjunction with its 10th Anniversary Celebration. The Partnership Conference sought to promote an exchange of novel ideas in support of global health education and research, explore new collaborations in South-South relationships, and identify and facilitate pursuit of new educational and research opportunities. FINDINGS: A total of 25 partners from 10 countries and 46 DGHI faculty members participated in the 3-day event in October 2016. Activities included workshops on preselected research topics, educational symposia on novel teaching methods and harnessing technological advances, introduction of the Health Humanities Laboratory to prepare students and trainees for fieldwork, and discussions of research infrastructure and training needs. Surveys from visiting partners revealed a high degree of satisfaction. Proposed action items include methods to realize improved communications, enhancement of mutual education opportunities, support and mentoring to build local research capacity, and more exchange of faculty and students between partnering institutions. CONCLUSIONS: With careful planning from all parties, a multilateral partnership conference including both university and medical center faculty can be a productive forum for exchange on global health education and research. Sustaining such partnerships is vital to the success of global health scholarship.
Bartlett, JA; Cao, S; Mmbaga, B; Qian, X; Merson, M; Kramer, R
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