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Global Health Training Collaborations: Lessons Learned and Best Practices

Kathy Z. ChangDepartment of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico;
Engeye, Inc., Albany, New York;

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Kristina GraceyEngeye, Inc., Albany, New York;
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Barre, Massachusetts;

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Brooke LamparelloEngeye, Inc., Albany, New York;
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York

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Bridget NandawulaEngeye, Inc., Albany, New York;

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Nancy PandhiDepartment of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico;

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ABSTRACT.

Interest in global health training experiences among trainees from higher income countries has grown. The Working Group on Ethics Guidelines for Global Health Training (WEIGHT) clarified best practices in 2010 based on expert consensus. These guidelines address both balancing priorities in international partnerships and local sustainability concerns related to short-term experiences. However, the guidelines can be difficult to implement in actual practice. Because our organization predated the availability of these consensus guidelines, we reviewed our current set of practices for hosting service–learning programs at our rural Ugandan clinic for adherence to the WEIGHT guidelines. The discrete activities and standardized processes developed over 10 years of hosting experiences were grouped into broader hosting categories, with consensus among the hosting and sending volunteer coordinators of our non-governmental organization partnership. These practices were then mapped to the WEIGHT guidelines. We found our implementation strategies map these guidelines into a clear checklist of actions that can be used by coordinators involved in global health training programs. We include some of the historical reasons that led to our current processes, which may help other partnerships identify similar practice gaps. We anticipate that this action-oriented checklist with historical context will help accomplish the difficult implementation of best practices in global health training collaborations.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Kathy Z. Chang, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, 2400 Tucker Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. E-mail: kzchang@salud.unm.edu

Disclosure: K. Z. C., K. G., and B. L. are involved as volunteers with the non-profit organization whose examples are described herein. They have not received any financial compensation for this activity or for their involvement with this article. B. N. was salaried staff at Engeye Health Clinic and is involved with the Board of Directors for Engeye Health Projects LTD for Uganda. She has not received any additional financial compensation for her work on the article. N. P. has not received any financial compensation for her involvement as coauthor and her work on this article.

Authors’ addresses: Kathy Z. Chang, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, and Engeye, Inc., Albany, NY, E-mail: kzchang@salud.unm.edu. Kristina Gracey, Engeye, Inc., Albany, NY, and Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Barre, MA, E-mail: kristina.gracey@umassmemorial.org. Brooke Lamparello, Engeye, Inc., Albany, NY, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY, E-mail: lamparb@amc.edu. Bridget Nandawula, Engeye, Inc., Albany, NY, E-mail: bridget.nandawula@engeye.org. Nancy Pandhi, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, E-mail: npandhi@salud.unm.edu.

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