The Department of Global Health (DGH) has released its 2020 annual report. Themed “Transforming Health for a Better World,” the report acknowledges the significant impact of COVID-19 on both the department and the whole field of public health.

“I have never lived through a year as devastating, exhausting and filled with frightening uncertainty for my whole community, my country and the world. At the same time, this has been a time that has thrown into relief the strengths and contributions of so many in DGH and in Global Health more broadly,” writes department chair Judy Wasserheit in her opening letter.

Along with recognizing the challenges of the previous year, the report spotlights the discovery and creativity that emerged in response to the global pandemic. From defining the pathogenesis of SARS CoV-2 and the epidemiology of COVID-19, to sending out daily literature reviews, to developing, testing, and/or delivering tests, drugs, and vaccines, DGH faculty, staff and students played leading roles in every aspect of pandemic response, Wasserheit adds.

In the midst of a year upended and transformed by the COVID-19 global crisis, the department found innovative ways to drive forward its vision of achieving sustainable, quality health globally. The annual report highlights the research, focus areas, and people that defined and informed a year unlike any other.  

Highlights from the report include:

Research: Our research and capacity development programs and projects focus on developing, testing and delivering successful interventions that result in improved health, at scale, among vulnerable people and communities. The report offers a glimpse at achievements in the areas of pandemic preparedness, climate change and health, global mental health, implementation science, women, adolescent, and child health, and STIs/HIV/AIDS.  

Focus Areas: Social justice and equity are core values of the department. In 2020, we developed and began implementing an Action Plan to Address Racism and White Supremacy, developed jointly by the DGH leadership team and the DGH DEI Committee, with input from DGH students, faculty and staff. The report outlines our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

People: DGH students, faculty, and staff were the recipients of numerous university and industry awards and grants, recognizing their important contributions to the fields of global health, public health and medicine. In addition to celebrating these milestones and accomplishments, the report includes a snapshot of our department demographics and profiles.

Read the full report

By Amy Goldstein