M-Heal, a student-run global health organization, worked in tandem with the University of Michigan chapter of Timmy Global Health, an Indianapolis-based non-profit, to organize their yearly Global Health Symposium at the Rackham Auditorium on Saturday. About 50 students and faculty attended the event.

All of the speakers gave presentations highlighting their career. Members of the organizing team then asked each of the speakers to further illuminate their experiences for the attendees. At the end of the event, they opened up the floor to the attendees to ask any questions.

Timothy Johnson, professor of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s studies, gave a presentation about the importance of proper female hygiene and safety in countries abroad.

“Women and children are the canaries of the mine shaft in terms of the health care system and if women or children aren’t getting the care that they need then the system is failing as they can often be early indicators of failing health systems,” Johnson said.

Chuck Dietzen, national founder of Timmy Global Health, talked about his approach to delivering health care from his experiences locally to his experiences abroad in places such as Nigeria.

“Global health to me is like, ‘How do I get the care to where the child is, or how do I get the child to where the care is?’” Dietzen said.

Engineering junior Emmett Springer, M-Heal treasurer, said members from both teams worked together to help make the event as informative as possible. 

“We wanted to get speakers from different backgrounds who would offer a variety of perspectives,” Springer said.

Engineering junior Sam Rondo said she enjoyed attending the event and found it useful for those interested in the field.

“I learned that it’s important to always keep the user in mind, when trying to create a biomedical device in any realm that you’re keeping the user’s needs in mind,” Rondeau said.

According to Springer, the global health industry is making strides in detecting, preventing and treating diseases around the world. 

“Global health is an important field already and I think it’s only going to continue to grow because our world is very connected now,” Springer said. “I think that there’s still huge disparities in countries abroad and it’s very important to think about health not just in one context but on a global scale.”

Reporter Shehrez Chaudhri can be reached at shehrez@umich.edu.

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