Posted by: Date: February 1, 2008 In: ,

Alum to address changing face of global health

Epidemiologist William Foege will speak on campus Feb. 22 at the Wang Center for International Programs’ symposium “Advances in Global Health by Non-Governmental Organizations.”The symposium will highlight the work of non-governmental organizations that are searching for global solutions to control disease. These organizations, many from the Pacific Northwest, are stepping up to meet a need where governments cannot or have not. A 1957 PLU graduate, Foege’s talk, titled “From Smallpox to HIV/AIDS: The Changing Face of Global Health,” is slated for Friday, Feb. 22 at 11:15 a.m. in Chris Knutzen Hall.

Foege is widely recognized as a leader in the successful eradication of smallpox in the 1970s. He has championed many issues, but child survival and development, injury prevention, population, preventive medicine and public health leadership are of special interest, particularly in the developing world.

A strong proponent of disease eradication and control, he has taken an active role in the eradication of Guinea worm disease, polio and measles and the elimination of river blindness. By writing and lecturing extensively, Foege has succeeded in broadening public awareness of these issues and bringing them to the forefront of domestic and international health policies.

A U.S. News and World Report article identified Foege as one of “America’s Best Leaders” in November.

He is currently a senior fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, advising the organization on strategies that could be usefully pursued in global health. In his career, Foege has served in a variety of executive positions at the Carter Center and as a senior investigator on child development at the Task Force for Child Survival and Development, which he helped form in 1984 to accelerate childhood immunization.

Foege is Emeritus Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health at the Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. In 1997, he was named a fellow of the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and he has served as the director of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Foege received his medical degree from the University of Washington and his master’s in public health from Harvard University.

Symposium presentations and seminars on campus Feb. 22 will feature representatives of non-governmental organizations and area leaders in science and business. They will discuss their involvement in finding and delivering solutions – from active on-site intervention and benchmark research to the formulation of public policy.

Currently, the Wang Center is hosting a film series about global health.

This is the third in a series of symposia sponsored by the Wang Center and PLU. It follows “China: Bridges for a New Century” in 2003, and “Pathways to Peace: Norway’s Approach to Democracy and Development” in 2005.

For more information contact or call 253-535-7577.

University Communications staff writer Megan Haley compiled this report. Comments, questions, ideas? Please contact her at ext. 8691 or at Photo by University Photographer Jordan Hartman.