The University of Michigan Board of Regents recognized 14 faculty members as the first UM Professors of Global Public Health for their work to improve public health around the world.

The board approved the three-year professorships, which began Jan. 1, at its meeting last December. Faculty members were recognized for their extensive public health work across the globe, which consisted of transformative public health projects.  

Dr. Matthew Boulton, senior associate dean at the School of Public Health and one of the newly appointed professors, explained the professors were evaluated based on their research and initiatives around the world.

“This professorship is really an attempt to acknowledge both internally and externally the work of some of our particularly active professors who have been making contributions to global health research, education, teaching and practice for many years now,” he said.

Ana Baylin, new associate professor of Global Public Health in the Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, pointed to her current research on social public health as an example of such contributions.

“I’m using intervention at the social level to try to change work environments to make them healthier,” she said.

The professors were also recognized for their educational contributions throughout the world. Scott Greer, new associate professor of Global Public Health in the Departments of Health Management and Policy, described the work he does throughout Europe.

“The politics of health are fascinating and often poorly understood, which makes it a pleasure to teach the topic at UM and to groups of practitioners around Europe,” Greer said.

Boulton noted the global initiatives enacted by the Public Health School have rarely been acknowledged in the past.

“I think it’s somewhat under-recognized how long the School of Public Health has been involved in global public health,” Boulton said. “It’s safe to say that the school has been involved in global public health for about 50 years now.”

Greer agreed the new positions help highlight the global contributions of the Public Health School.

“The Global Health professorships are a way to show the world not just what we do individually, but also how broad and important is our contribution to global health research, teaching and practice,” he said.

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