Global Center names inaugural scholars class

by Jeff Robb, UNMC strategic communications | March 29, 2022

Image with caption: At right, David Brett-Major, MD, one of the newly named Global Center for Health Security scholars, talks with Lt. Gen. Robert Miller, surgeon general for the U.S. Air Force,  during a 2021 tour of UNMC's Davis Global Center.

At right, David Brett-Major, MD, one of the newly named Global Center for Health Security scholars, talks with Lt. Gen. Robert Miller, surgeon general for the U.S. Air Force, during a 2021 tour of UNMC's Davis Global Center.

The UNMC Global Center for Health Security has named its inaugural assembly of GCHS scholars, hailing the group as the pinnacle in health security expertise.

The new scholars program formalizes many relationships that center leaders and the 16 medical center experts have forged working in the field, including through the 2014 Ebola crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2017, UNMC established the Global Center for Health Security to oversee the med center’s biopreparedness efforts. Then in 2020, the med center expanded its facilities with the opening of the Davis Global Center, which houses the Training, Simulation and Quarantine Center and the National Quarantine Unit.

Dele Davies, MD, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the inauguration of the scholars represents a "pivotal moment" in the history of the GCHS and of UNMC.

"The accomplishments of this group of scholars throughout the pandemic are truly remarkable," he said. "Each of these individuals has shown how leadership through service and discovery is a hallmark of health security at UNMC. With their recognition as core members, the GCHS is now poised to accelerate its impact on health security for our nation and the world."

The backgrounds of the 16 scholars cross fields relating to health security, including clinical care, operational response, research, development and training. The experts also cross such specialties as infectious diseases, pathology, biocontainment, emergency medicine and occupational health.

See more about the Global Center for Health Security Scholars here.

In selecting the experts, the GCHS is recognizing both their scholarly contributions to health security at UNMC and their role in advancing the center’s mission.

Through the new program, the GCHS will champion the scholars’ work, and the scholars will help define and advance the center's strategic priorities. The organized approach will assist the center in identifying and overcoming health security challenges — including emerging infectious diseases and catastrophic public health emergencies — in the community, state, country and world.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to recognize the significant contributions of these individuals toward establishing UNMC as a global resource for health security, as well as the launch of a mechanism for furthering collaborations across the group," said Chris Kratochvil, MD, distinguished chair of the Global Center for Health Security and associate vice chancellor for clinical research at UNMC.

The Global Center for Health Security and university leaders, including Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, and Dr. Davies, recognized the scholars at a kick-off event March 23.

"The Global Center for Health Security is a prominent local and national resource through research and response efforts led by this amazing group of scholars," Dr. Gold said. "The scholar designation is fitting for this group of UNMC experts who are committed to helping Nebraska and the world prepare for the next global challenge.

"It was an honor to meet with them and express our thanks for their courage and commitment to our health security."

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