RIT hosts Innovations in Global Health Conference

one student stands and two students sit around prototype of simple sink

Elizabeth Lamark

Hannah Giancola, center, a fourth-year industrial design major, constructs a sink for use in a physician’s office in Uganda that lacks indoor plumbing, and resulted from the T-Minus challenge in cooperation with the Ugandan Water Project.

The Global Health Association @ RIT will host its first regional conference on Innovations in Global Health to showcase humanitarian efforts on campus and to connect with other researchers in the area.

“We believe if the full force of the brain power that exists within the RIT community was unleashed on the health-related challenges of the world, we could make a significant impact in the lives of many people around the globe,” said John Oliphant, associate professor in RIT’s physician assistant program and faculty advisor of the Global Health Association @ RIT.

The Innovations in Global Health conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 23, in the Louise Slaughter Hall/CIMS conference center and will center on biomedical solutions, design and technology and social determinants of health. Keynote speaker Kathleen Sienko, associate professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at University of Michigan, will focus on design, development and evaluation of medical devices with input from the intended users.

Sienko will also give a short presentation about her global health research at 4:15 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Physician Assistant Teaching Lab in the Clinical Health Science Center in Slaughter Hall, room 1530. The open talk will be followed by a networking event, sponsored by the College of Health Sciences and Technology.

The Innovations in Global Health conference gives RIT researchers a platform for showcasing their work. Their projects address issues like infant mortality in Honduras, childhood anemia in Ghana and sexual victimization in refugee camps, and find solutions for sustainable sanitation, clean drinking water and access to prosthetics in developing countries, among other topics.

Featured speakers from the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins University, University of Rochester and the nonprofit humanitarian organization Roads to Health will talk about global deaf health, the use of social media in communicating women’s health issues and creating sustainable health programs in developing countries.

RIT students will share their research during poster presentations and exhibits. Faculty and students from interior design, industrial design and biomedical engineering will display innovative global health solutions, such as a sink designed for a physician’s office in Uganda that lacked indoor plumbing. The innovative sink was part of the T-Minus challenge in cooperation with the Ugandan Water Project.

In a separate display, a 3D printer will create a prosthetic hand throughout the day, Oliphant said. And several humanitarian groups will discuss volunteer opportunities with Ugandan Water Project, Water for South Sudan and Global Medical Brigades.

The Global Health Association @ RIT brings people together from diverse backgrounds to identify the challenges faced by people throughout the world.

“Our goal as an organization is to serve as a catalyst and disseminate information about innovative and sustainable solutions that are being developed and implemented by members of the RIT community and our like-minded colleagues and partners,” Oliphant said.

For more information, go to rit.edu/GlobalHealthConference, or contact John.Oliphant@rit.edu.

Topics
access technology
community outreach
global engagement
health
innovation
research

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