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The Global Health Initiative

Global Health Initiative student participating in hand-washing activity with Indian children

Our Mission

The Global Health Initiative (GHI) offers interdisciplinary opportunities for meaningful research, innovative education and experiential service to improve public health. Using theoretical and applied approaches, we tackle hard problems while fostering sustainable and equitable global partnerships.

UMD student singing and clapping with school children in Sierra Leone

Vision and Goals

We aim to lead and support members of the University of Maryland community in pursuit of educational, research and real-world experiences to advance public health around the globe.

In the coming decade, the GHI will be recognized as a leading global health center, housed in a public university, promoting partnerships to address critical public health issues and advance innovative education and research. Members of the UMD community and beyond will come to the GHI for skill- and connection-building opportunities and training. The GHI distinguishes itself in its core values of promoting cultural competence and collaborative problem-solving.

Global Health Initiative Student Profiles

Almost every single part of my resume has something that was given to me as an opportunity by Public Health Beyond Borders.

Adriana Koilpillai Profile Picture
Walter PFP N2
“Public Health Beyond Borders combines science perfectly with community work and populations and people and health.”

Student Profile: Lydia Walter

Lydia Walter has been a part of Public Health Beyond Borders for the past two years, serving as the project leader for India and will serve as president for the 2024-2025 school year. Public Health Beyond Borders has traveled to Varanasi, India during the past two winter breaks, where she helped deliver stress management, team building and first aid workshops based on community needs assessments. As a result of these workshops delivered to the community, Walter and her team were able to create research posters and present findings. She is currently working on a publication related to her work in Varanasi.

Read Lydia's Profile
Desai PFP
“There isn't a single major you can point out that wouldn’t benefit from a public health perspective.”

Student Profile: Om Desai

Om Desai in his sophomore year served as the local project team leader. Junior year, he will be the vice president of Public Health Beyond Borders (PHBB). One of his focuses as vice president will be maintaining consistency with club members to keep people interested and engaged with PHBB activities. Last year as local project team leader, Desai and his team focused on Prince George and Calvert Counties in implementing public health teachings in the public school curriculum. They taught workshops on maintaining healthy relationships, anti-bullying and general wellness which included exercising and healthy eating. This was done in a lower income elementary and middle school as well as a community center, where the largest health disparities exist.

Read Om's Profile

GHI News

Plant emerging from the soil, space view of Earth, a child writing letters from the alphabet on a paper.
University of Maryland Awards 11 Grants to SPH Faculty to Address Humanity’s Grand Challenges
View Article University of Maryland Awards 11 Grants to SPH Faculty to Address Humanity’s Grand Challenges
School of Public Health Dean Boris Lushniak (right) along with Dean Craig Beyrouty of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (left), signed a memorandum of understanding with Vice Chancellor Laban Ayiro of Daystar University in Kenya (center).
Maryland Signs Partnership with Kenya’s Daystar University
View Article Maryland Signs Partnership with Kenya’s Daystar University
Diverse group of UMD students standing outside in a community in Sierra Leone
Maryland Becomes “Peace Corps Prep” Partner Institution
View Article Maryland Becomes “Peace Corps Prep” Partner Institution

UMD Today News

students package food at Terps Against Hunger event

What It Takes: Terps Against Hunger

3 Million Meals. Hundreds of Volunteers. One Giant Truck. A UMD Student Group Has a Recipe for Fighting D.C.-Area Food Insecurity.
View Article What It Takes: Terps Against Hunger
hands hold Narcan nasal spray

Op/ed: Make All Overdose Reversal Agents Available in Maryland

Health Equity Expert Calls for ‘Hyperlocal’ Approach to Fight Elevated Fentanyl Deaths in Black Communities
View Article Op/ed: Make All Overdose Reversal Agents Available in Maryland
illustration of people sitting on chairs and couches and talking

Creating a “Healing, Engaging Conversation”

Partnership Between UMD Researchers and Nonprofit Group Addresses Latino Community's Mental Health Needs
View Article Creating a “Healing, Engaging Conversation”