Global Health

Koplan et al, 2009, defines global health as the "A field of study, research, and practice that places a priority of achieving equity in health for all people.  Global health involves multiple disciplines within and beyond the health sciences, is a synthesis of population-base prevention with individual level clinical care, promotes interdisciplinary collaboration, and emphasizes transnational health issues and determinants." The Global Health concentration is built on the Global and Urban Health Equity (GLUE) certificate program which is a 2 year long comprehensive curriculum based on the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Interprofessional competencies, and developed by the Wayne State University Global Health Alliance (WSUGHA). GLUE comprises monthly didactics, (local and/or international) community engagement, and mentored team-based capstone projects that are community-driven, ethical, equitable, and built on long-term partnership & sustainability. Local partnerships are with First Aid First, Freedom House Detroit, Samaritas Transitional Housing, and the Global Health Research Collaborative. International partnerships are with Child Family Health International (Virtual opportunities in Bolivia, Uganda, Ghana, Mexico, and Ecuador) and Child Health Education Initiative (CHEI), India.  See more at  

The Global Health Concentration is a more intensive experience with includes pre-requisites in the first 2 years which include community engagement, healing between the lines, and World Health Students Organization (WHSO) educational experiences as well as some online global health modules, and the WHSO-WSUGHA Global Practitioner Series. Students may also audit GLUE didactic sessions.  

Scholars will be expected to disseminate their scholarship/service/advocacy outputs and are encouraged to be creative and innovative in their work and dissemination.  

Scholars will have opportunities to distinguish themselves through global health advocacy and leadership.  

Global Health Information Session Recording from 1/19
Passcode: ^CMpY$9n

Area Directors

Ijeoma Opara, M.D.

Dr. Nnodim Opara received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSUSOM) and is a graduate of Detroit Medical Center (DMC)/WSUSOM Internal Medicine-Pediatrics combined residency program, after which she served as Chief Medical Resident. Currently, she is a double-board certified Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at WSUSOM, Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency, and attending physician with Wayne State University Physician Group.

She is the founding director of an innovative initiative and curriculum "Health Equity and Justice in Medicine" for internal medicine, internal medicine-pediatrics, and pediatrics residents which combines critical reflection, community engagement, scholarship, and advocacy to address social and structural determinants of health and health disparities. She is Chair of the SEMCME committee on social determinants of health education and the Detroit Medical Center Graduate Medical Education Center for Quality Improvement, social determinant of health section.

She is also co-founding director of Wayne State University Global Health Alliance, a multidisciplinary organization created to unify university and regional global health practitioners and create a collaborative community of best practice in global and urban health. She co-created and co-directs the Global Urban Health & Equity curriculum (GLUE), an innovative interprofessional comprehensive certificate and competency-based global health curriculum. She provides clinical care to a chiefly underserved population, supervises resident clinics, and teaches inpatient and ambulatory medicine. Certified in Clinical Teaching by the Stanford Clinical Teaching Program and an inaugural fellow of the Academic Leadership Academy of Wayne State University, she is passionate about medical education, mentoring a number of residents and medical students in wellness, work-life integration, academic, and career development. Her areas of academic interests are in health equity, justice, social and structural determinants of health, global health, and interprofessional education.

A lead investigator in multiple interdisciplinary multi-center local and international research projects, she focuses on understanding how resilience can be leveraged as an asset to improve community health outcomes and convergence implementation science in effective professional development in structural and social determinants of health, health equity, and social justice of health professional trainees. A certified facilitator in cultural competency (cultural humility and microaggressions) and certified in Global Leadership by the American College of Academic International Medicine, she imbues every endeavor with her philosophy of ethical, culturally humble, patient-centered, evidence-based, high value, compassionate care and prioritizes attention to social determinants of health, disparities, and equity as part of a comprehensive approach to patients.

She has a long history of leadership in service to the African immigrant and African American communities and co-founded Africans in Medicine, whose mission is to unite African medical professionals to further the health interests of Africans living on the continent and in the Diaspora. Committed to activism and advocacy, she serves as a member of the Wayne County Medical Society public health committee and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health's Network of Academic Advisers to improve policy development and US support for global health and international development. She also partners with multiple community based organizations to uplift the health of disenfranchised She is recipient of "Most Engaged Physician" award given by the Detroit Medical Center in recognition of her excellent track record in community service, collaboration with colleagues, and advocacy. She has also received "Faculty of the Year" award, given by the internal medicine-pediatrics residents to the faculty member who best embodies the aspects of great clinician educator, including mentorship, teaching, and humanism in medicine. Her hobbies include music, dance, theater, and writing. She is wife to Nkemjika and a proud mother of 3 beautiful girls: Ugochinyere (6 years old) and Oruebubechi (4 years old), and Chimamanda (2 years old). 

Kristiana Kaufmann, M.D.