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AJPM Editor-in-Chief Travels to India

September 2, 2014


Map source, pre-modifications:  Wikimedia Commons

In July 2014, four University of Michigan representatives traveled to India, with the purpose of forming new relationships and research partnerships with Indian public health professionals and also strengthening an established relationship with the Public Health Foundation of India.

The four travelers were Dr. Martin Philbert, dean of the School of Public Health and professor of toxicology; Dr. Matthew Boulton, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, senior associate dean for Global Public Health, and professor of epidemiology; Dr. Rajiv Saran, professor of internal medicine and associate director of Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center; and Brad Carlson, data manager for the International Collaborations for Infectious Disease Research and Public Health Workforce Capacity projects.


School of Public Health in Chandigarh
SPH staff with Dr. Boulton (2nd from left), Dean Philbert (4th from left), and Dr. Saran (5th from left)
Photo credit: PGIMER staff with Dean Philbert’s Camera

During the trip, new relationships were formed with the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh in northern India and the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER) in Pondicherry in the southeast of India, and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with each institute.


Dr. T.S. Ravikumar, Director of JIPMER, (left) and Dean Philbert (right) sign the MOU
Photo credit: Brad Carlson

The University of Michigan faculty and staff was also able to participate in PGIMER’s founder’s day celebration and JIPMER’s Golden Jubilee during the course of their visit.


Rice Flour Art in JIPMER
Photo credit: Martin Philbert

The U-M School of Public Health has an established relationship with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), with a signed MOU, and a portion of the trip was devoted to developing that relationship.  The group visited the Public Health Foundation of India in New Dehli and the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) Dehli, where Dr. Boulton had the opportunity to give a talk to IIPH staff on immunization coverage data. Traveling south to Hyderabad, they visited the Indian Institute of Public Health Hyderabad, meeting with the director, GVS Murthy, and IIPH faculty.


Public Health Foundation of India
From left to right: Dean Philbert; Professor K. Srinath Reddy, president of PHFI and associate editor of AJPM; Matthew Boulton; Brad Carlson
Photo credit:  PHFI staff with Dean Philbert’s camera

The India trip was a wonderful experience for the University of Michigan public health experts, as well as a good reminder of the challenges, beyond health issues, being faced in India on a daily basis due to a rapidly growing population.


Photo credit: Martin Philbert


Street food in Hyderabad
Photo credit: Brad Carlson

The most important part of the trip was forming relationships with Indian public health experts.  Brad Carlson was most inspired by the passion of Indian physicians and other health professionals, and he stated that their dedication does not waver in spite of pressing public health issues, such as high infant mortality, and a lack of resources.

With the signing of MOUs with PGIMER and JIPMER and an established relationship with PHFI, the  University of Michigan School of Public Health can look forward to exciting future projects and collaborations with new colleagues in India.

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