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, environmental influences on health, agro-ecological innovation, community studies, and research into the political, economic and social determinants of health. Together we are developing both a BA and BS in Global and Community Health. The Institute for Social Transformation is honored to serve as an incubator for this effort by working to advance research initiatives that bring together faculty from all five divisions of the university.
With a series of new faculty hires made this year, we are 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. What brings our faculty and students together is a concern with how pathologies of power become embodied in illness and a commitment to building community partnerships to help meet urgent needs, including by addressing neglected diseases in vulnerable communities.
We join what Paul Farmer has called the ‘Mountains Beyond Mountains’ struggle for global health with concern for the ‘Valleys Beyond Valleys’ of health inequalities in our local communities. 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 we are working to build into 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 Mykell Discipulo at firstname.lastname@example.org