Our Global Community

Launched in 2006, Emory's Global Health Institute (GHI) is moving full throttle to take on some of the world’s biggest health challenges, especially in partnership with developing countries.

Emory Healthcare & MedShare - Redistributing Unused Medical Supplies

MedShare Emory HealthcareEmory Healthcare has worked hard to reduce, reuse, and recycle, including working with MedShare International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the environment and health care through redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment to underserved health care facilities in more than 75 developing countries. Since 2007, Emory Healthcare has collected more than 160,000 pounds of supplies for MedShare, including 21,446 pounds in 2009 alone.

One Saturday each month, Emory Healthcare employees gather at Atlanta's MedShare national headquarters and Southeastern distribution center in nearby Decatur, Ga., to sort supplies like gloves, gowns, surgical instruments, and anesthesia devices and ready them for shipment to needy countries around the world. These are supplies remaining from bulk packaging that remain in sterile packaging but cannot be restocked, per guidelines in this country. This work helps ensure not only that these supplies go where they can be put to good use but that they stay out of local landfills.

Emory Healthcare in Kenya - Providing Free Health Screenings

Emory in KenyaTwo years ago, Emory Healthcare opened its heart and medical resources to Isabelah Robi, a Kenyan woman whose first worry, when her breast cancer was detected, was what would happen to the 600 students she had "adopted" in her remote Kenyan village. Although she long since returned to her home after clinicians at Emory Winship Cancer Institute treated her cancer, they continue to this day to provide her with drugs for hormone therapy.

This year, when Emory Winship pharmacist Mike Bloomfield made his own annual personal trek to Kenya, three Emory Winship oncology nurses accompanied him. The team completed physical exams on all 600 students under Robi's care, their 30 teachers, and dozens of villagers. They also saw how, under the direction of Robi, the school's aggressive feeding program had nursed children from severe malnutrition to health. But the best sight of all, said Bloomfield, "was to see how a life saved by the care and generosity of Emory Winship helped save the lives of hundreds of children."

Decreasing Maternal Deaths in the Dominican Republic

Reducing Maternal Deaths in the Dominican RepublicWhy were new mothers dying in the Dominican Republic—15 times more often than in the United States—despite a large network of public hospitals where most pregnant women went to give birth? Emory nursing faculty member Jenny Foster, a midwife with a doctorate in medical anthropology, was a member of the team of nurse-midwives asked to try to change those dismal statistics.

After intensive interviews at the large Dominican hospital requesting help, team members told the nurses what they themselves already knew: they were stretched too thin, with inadequate resources for follow-up after mothers delivered. In full collaboration with the Dominican nurses and the community, Foster and her colleagues came up with a three-pronged plan. First, the local nurses would receive additional training in available technology; second, they would train volunteers in the community to be doulas, available to help women after childbirth. And third, Foster would work with health care providers, women, and others, including men who had watched their wives die after childbirth, to determine if women understood dangerous symptoms during pregnancy and how well nurses were communicating with patients. The community was involved in every aspect of the research. Last year, the hospital reported no maternal deaths.

The Emory Vaccine Center - Preventing the Spread in India

Emory Vaccine Center in India

The Emory Vaccine Center, directed by Rafi Ahmed, has partnerships around the globe, including with the Australian Centre for Vaccine Development at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and with the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi, the latter to develop vaccines against diseases that disproportionately affect India and other parts of the developing world.