UKIC / Global Health Initiatives / Our Story

Our Story

Our Mission:   

To promote an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide.   

Our Values:   

  • Integrity 
  • Excellence 
  • Mutual respect and human dignity 
  • Diversity and inclusion  

Our Goals: 

  • Administration: Support and facilitate the academic, research, and service goals in Global Health across the University campus 
  • Information:  Provide pertinent information to the global health community of the University of Kentucky and prospective students and faculty 
  • Research:  Establish research priorities based on unique strengths of our university and identify potential funding opportunities 
  • Education:  Provide opportunities to learners of our university to engage in educational opportunities that focus on interprofessional education, service learning and social determinants of health 

Our History: 

Over 50 years ago, the College of Medicine, under the auspices of the first Department of Community Medicine in the United States, initiated a unique international rotation for medical students, introducing the concept of the study of community health problems and solutions through the concept of a community diagnosis project.  Other colleges developed global health experiences for their students in the following years, with the College of Public Health initiating a Global Health Certification program for professional and graduate students in 2010, and the College of Medicine creating a Global Health Track for medical students in 2011.   The Shoulder-to-Shoulder program, built on a community relationship in Santo Domingo, Ecuador, was begun in 2007, and has grown into a major interprofessional experience for students from many parts of the University since its inception, with participation by almost 1000 learners to date.   

In 2010, with the leadership of the Provost’s office, the Internationalization Task Force issued a White Paper on Internationalization, which explained the vision and rationale for the university, and explained how these concepts would benefit our students, the institution, the Commonwealth, and the nation.  Global education and experiences were included as an important part of the University’s Strategic Plan.   

The Global Health Initiatives program began in 2010, and the Provost appointed a Global Health Advisory Council with representatives from all of the health care colleges as well as other individuals.   

GHI Advisory Committee

The Global Health Advisory Committee (GHAC) is composed of a broad representation of faculty across the University community, with an aim of developing a Global Health strategic plan for the University, as well as coordinating educational opportunities and research initiatives. 

Beth Barnes, Ph.D.

College of Communication and Information

Maria Castro, MD

College of Medicine – DFCM

Olivia Ellis

UK International Center, Education Abroad

James Keck, MD, MPH

College of Public Health

Terry A Lennie, Ph.D., RN, FAHA, FAAN

College of Nursing

Sam Matheny, MD, MPH

Assistant Provost for Global Health Initiatives, College of Medicine

James C. Norton, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Interprofessional Health Education

Sue Roberts, Ph.D.

Associate Provost for Internationalization, UK International Center

Melody Ryan, Pharm.D., MPH,

College of Pharmacy

Sibu Saha MD, MBA

Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery

Sharon Stewart Ed.D

Interim Dean and Professor, College of Health Sciences

Tom Young, MD

College of Medicine - Pediatrics