YEREVAN, Armenia – On May 17th, 2016, the American University of Armenia (AUA) School of Public Health (SPH) hosted the “Global Health Symposium: Lessons from Oncology” in collaboration with the Global Health Initiative of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Armenian Association of Hematology and Oncology, City of Smile, and IDeA Foundation. Varduhi Petrosyan, MSc, PhD, Dean of AUA’s School of Public Health made the opening remarks and chaired the symposium. The keynote speakers were:
Irini Albanti, DrPh (cand), MPH, MA, Director of the Global Health Initiative at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, and Instructor of Practice at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Karen Francis, MBA, Project Director, Global Academic Programs, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Jorge Fernandez, LICSW, Clinical Social Worker, Division of Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology, and member of the Global Health Initiative at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Leslie Lehmann, MD, Clinical Director of Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Center and Medical/Faculty Director of the Global Health Initiative at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School
Kathleen Houlahan, MSN, MHA, RN, Nurse Director and member of the Global Health Initiative at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Oliver Bogler, PhD, Senior Vice President, Global Academic Affairs, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Professor of Neuro-Oncology, and Director of the Brain Research Institute.
The presentations covered many important topics in the field, including choosing global health as a profession, cooperating globally to conquer cancer, creating psychosocial programs globally treating kids in low and middle income countries, and the role of nursing in pediatric oncology in low-resource settings. Dr. Bogler gave a special talk on “How I Survived Cancer”.
Irini Albanti, Gevorg Tamamyan, and Varduhi Petrosyan came up with the idea to organize the symposium, which brought together about 70 health providers, cancer survivors, public health students and professionals. Irini Albanti emphasized: “Opening the dialogue on global pediatric oncology is a unique opportunity to engage MPH students in the role they can play to strengthen public health systems globally and improve the lives of children with cancer and blood disorders in countries with limited resources. As public health professionals, we recognize that we need to share our knowledge from other countries and apply evidence-based interventions to explore ways to advance local pediatric oncology infrastructure.”
The AUA School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.