Global and Community Health
Global and Community Health (GCH) is a new program at UC Santa Cruz aimed at addressing challenges of ill-health both globally and locally. Interdisciplinary, and collaborative in design, the program builds on existing UCSC strengths in genomics, the biology of neglected diseases and cancers, environmental influences on health, agro-ecological innovation, community studies, and research into the political, economic and social determinants of health. Based on our collective research expertise, we have developed both a BA and BS in Global and Community Health (open for student registration in Fall, 2022), and we are now starting plans for allied Masters degrees.
The Institute for Social Transformation has been an important incubator for our work, including by hosting our webpages here in which we identify important areas of interdisciplinary research that bring together faculty from all five divisions of the university. With a series of new faculty hires, we are also expanding expertise clusters focused on the health of migrant communities, on food and social security amid environmental and economic insecurity, and on developing treatments and mitigation strategies for untreated diseases.
Beyond our shared research interests, what brings our faculty and students together is a concern with social justice and health. We investigate how pathologies of power become embodied in illness, and, reciprocally, we are committed to building partnerships to help mitigate health problems and meet urgent needs. This includes by addressing neglected diseases in vulnerable communities locally as well as globally. In these ways, we join the inspiration of Paul Farmer’s work on the ‘Mountains Beyond Mountains’ struggles for global health with concern for the ‘Valleys Beyond Valleys’ of health inequalities in California. From the wealth and technological innovations of Silicon Valley to the poverty and social struggles that continue in California’s Pajaro Valley and Central Valley, our research and teaching work will facilitate bridge-building between communities and new generations of researchers and students. By also thereby linking biomedical and social transformation at the community level, we seek to help make ‘global health’ a reality for all.
With this website we link to research being undertaken by our faculty as well as the undergraduate course opportunities which are part of the new BA and BS in Global and Community Health. We also are very pleased to highlight the work of undergraduate and graduate students at UCSC that is already contributing to the advancement of Global and Community Health.
For information on joining this collaborative effort, please contact Global and Community Health Executive Director, Matt Sparke at firstname.lastname@example.org.