Regenstrief researcher gives keynote address at Dell Medical School
Debra K. Litzelman, M.D., a research scientist and an associate director with the Regenstrief Institute, shared her experience applying global strategies to local health issues with an audience at the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin.
She gave the keynote speech at the 2019 Global to Local Conference in Austin, TX. The focus of the conference was to explore how health care solutions from around the world could be deployed in the local community.
During her presentation, she spoke about her experience with AMPATH. Regenstrief scientists have been involved with AMPATH since 2004. AMPATH is the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare, a long-lasting partnership among Moi University, the Moi Teaching Hospital, the Kenyan Ministry of Health, and the Moi Consortium, led by Indiana University. It works to build holistic, sustainable health in Kenya and around the world. Dr. Litzelman explained how she translated what worked in Kenya into concepts that can be applied in local programs in any area. She specifically talked about the WeCare program, which she leads. The program works to address problems that contribute to infant mortality in Indiana.
A panel also discussed health issues facing the Austin, TX community, including racial disparities in healthcare and high rates of infectious diseases, and possible solutions to those problems. The event created engaging discussion.
Dr. Litzelman believes there is an increasing need for faster application of healthcare solutions. “I feel the urgency for engaging in implementation science research so evidence-based practices can be quickly customized to local needs and environments to positively impact patients’ health and well-being,” she said. “I felt this urgency in Austin; we’ve seen it in Kenya. Regenstrief is in a central position to advance this translational and applied community-based research as well as to train the research workforce to carry it out.”
The Dell Medical School is working to replicate the AMPATH program in Mexico, and they are focusing on programs to help underserved populations in their own community. The former president and chief executive officer of Regenstrief, Bill Tierney, M.D., is the chair of the Department of Population Health at the Dell Medical School.