Janis Tupesis honored for work in emergency medicine and education

Janis Tupesis, the Global Health Institute’s graduate medical education liaison, received the 2018 Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from Global Emergency Medicine Academy (GEMA) of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).

The award is GEMA’s highest honor, given to an “individual whose work serves as a beacon for future emergency physicians and who has put the needs of patients over self.”

“I have been lucky enough to be at the intersection of education, administration and global health practice,” Tupesis says. “It means a lot to have had the ability to help move the agenda of emergency care forward in a global setting and to focus on how education plays a role in health systems development.”

GEMA presents the award annually to an individual who has improved the delivery of emergent/acute care the world-over through service, leadership, mentorship and academic endeavor. To be eligible for the award the individual needs to be an active SAEM member, GEMA member and have 10 years or more of global health experience.

Tupesis, an emergency physician and former UW-Madison Emergency Medicine residency director at the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, completed his residency training at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics and received his medical degree from UW-Madison.

Tupesis also works as a volunteer technical consultant at the World Health Organization’s Emergency, Trauma and Acute Care program and serves as the chairperson of the Graduate Medical Education Global Health committee at the UW-Madison Hospitals and Clinics.

During his career, Tupesis says he has focused on bilateral collaboration and partnerships, which he have led to the development of education training programs, curricula and international partnerships.

Currently, Tupesis is working to further develop graduate medical education programs in Liberia, Ethiopia and South Africa that integrate global health into their training. Tupesis emphasizes the significance of completing a residency rotation abroad and the different perspective it gives students.

To help medical students safely and effectively participate in international rotations, Tupesis helped develop “The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Health,” an online, open-access course. The three-part course gives students resources and information about what they should expect from a global health rotation, how to properly prepare for the trip and tools to prepare for their return.

Tupesis has also worked on projects focusing on the intersection of education, health systems and technology, such as creating an app designed to give doctors critical information when they need it. Thanks to a 2015 GHI Seed Grant, Tupesis and his colleagues in South Africa were able to develop the “Essential Medicine Guidance” app and introduce it in the Western Cape province in July 2016. After a month, emergency health care providers were using it regularly to access information such as what medicines are available and hospital’s clinical guidelines to manage specific conditions.

“Truthfully, the biggest achievement I have had is to have surrounded myself with family, friends and colleagues who have been so incredibly supportive of all of my projects, despite the huge commitment of time that is spent away from them,” Tupesis says. “Without them none of this would have been possible.”

By Izabela Zaluska / June 11, 2018

GHI Director Jonathan Patz explains why climate change is the most important public health challenge

Climate change isn’t just an environmental concern — it’s the most important public health challenge of our time, Global Health Institute Director Jonathan Patz says in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio.

There are many health issues sensitive to climate, anything from heat waves to ground level ozone to mosquito-borne diseases to air pollution, Patz says. Climate change can affect health both directly and indirectly, he adds.

In the U.S. the main threat from climate change depends on the region individuals live in, Patz says. For the Midwest, heat waves are a huge issue, and for coastal areas the concern shifts to the sea level rising and stronger storms.

The southern part of the U.S. is vulnerable to mosquito-borne diseases, which are climate sensitive, Patz says. Diseases from mosquito, tick and flea bites have tripled in the United States between 2004 and 2016, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“[It’s important to] be aware that climate change truly is a public health issue and something that affects our own health,” Patz says. “It’s not simply something that affects the polar bears and biodiversity. Too often people overlook the fact that indeed there are so many pathways in which climate can affect our health.”

Listen to the full interview here.

GHI Associate Director for Research Tony Goldberg’s TEDxUWMadison: Discovering Pathogens and the Pathways by Which They Emerge

In this talk, Goldberg talks about pathogens and the role they have in human evolution.

Goldberg is Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, John D. MacArthur Research Chair at UW-Madison, and Associate Director for Research at the UW-Madison Global Health Institute. He received his B.A. from Amherst College (1990, Biology and English), his Ph.D. from Harvard University (1996, Biological Anthropology), and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and MS in Epidemiology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2000).

Goldberg studies the ecology, epidemiology and evolution of infectious disease. His research combines field and laboratory studies to understand how disease-causing agents are transmitted among hosts, across complex landscapes, and over time. He combines these techniques with methods from the social sciences to understand the root drivers of disease emergence in real world settings. Goldberg strives to discover generalized mechanisms of pathogen transmission, emergence, and evolution. His overarching goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of animals and people while helping to conserve the rapidly changing ecosystems we share. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community