MedPeds Global Community Health Track

The UIC MedPeds Global Community Health Track is a unique opportunity for resident physicians to expand their perspective on disparity both locally and globally.  Through an interdepartmental collaboration, we take an in-depth look, through a longitudinal track, at issues surrounding community health and health disparities.  The track includes didactic lectures, journal clubs, scholarly projects, and international or community elective experience.  We offer mentorship, support, and guidance in the broad discipline of global health for our resident scholars to develop a focus topic project that culminates into their international/ community elective.

Learn more about us via the following links:
The UIC Global Community Health blog
UIC Center for Global Health

MedPeds Global Health Philosophy

We believe in training our residents to use a collaboartive effort and public health approach to participate in sustainable and evidence-based global health projects.  Health disparities exist everywhere – from the corners of Chicago to the valleys of Africa.  This longitudinal curriculum will push our residents to practice medicine from more of a public health and global perspective.  Through collaboration with health professionals from other departments and fields, residents will develop skill sets enabling them to become patient advocates and health care proponents no matter where and in what setting they practice.  We value medical projects, either abroad or locally, that are sustainable and can truly benefit the community.  Therefore, our track is based off the Global Community Health Collaborative (GCHC) Model, working along side Peace Corps volunteers to use community-based participatory research to identify the needs of the selected regions.


Using a public health education curriculum and sustainable international site visits to enrich MedPeds residents’ knowledge of health determinants and health disparities, allowing them to address health disparities both locally and internationally with a more global view of health care.


Upon completion of the Global Community Health Track, residents will be able to:

  1. Understand the major health determinants and factors of health disparities in the United States and other countries.
  2. Organize and effectively collaborate with an interdisciplinary team (e.g., allied health personnel, community leaders, other medical specialists) to deliver culturally-sensitive care and/or develop systems of care that address specific health disparities.
  3. Be able to assess the needs, strengths, and existing disparities of underserved communities in order to develop health outreach and clinical interventions that address specific issues through a systematic approach.
  4. Advocate for the health of patients, families, and communities within structured national health systems and in collaboration with governmental and nongovernmental organizations, when appropriate.
  5. Design and incorporate continuous quality improvement to health care projects at various settings.

Global Community Health Collaborative (GCHC) Model

An innovative model, created by Chicago-based NGO Peace Care, that utilizes a community-based participatory research (CBPR) framework to develop sustainable translation of evidence-based global health interventions and trainings through a unique community-university-Peace Corps partnership.  The potential for significant impact comes from the ability to transfer the training capacity of the academic center, in collaboration with local physicians and existing health care workers (and volunteers), to improve health care capacity in low- and middle-income countries.

  • Community-based.  Our assessments and projects are developed with the involvement of local community members and local Peace Corps volunteers.  Our projects aim to use existing health systems to improve health care delivery at the most grassroots level.
  • Effective.  Using resources from academic centers in the United States, resident physicians are expected to perform evidence-based analysis to determine the most cost-effective and useful projects/curriculums for the communities.
  • Sustainable.  By incorporating “Training the Trainer” curriculums, are projects are designed to empower local community health care providers to carry out intervention.  We will also conduct continuous quality improvement assessments at each phase of the project.

There are six phases of this model:

Phase 1: Partnership Formation
Phase 2: Assessment
Phase 3: Intervention Development
Phase 4: Project Implementation
Phase 5: Evaluation
Phase 6: Dissemination

Click here to learn more about the GCHC model.

Components of GCHT

Didactics, Journal Clubs, Scholarly/research project, International or community experience


Section I. Health and Development: An Overview

  • Health and development
  • Health determinants
  • Economics and health: globalization, urbanization, poverty
  • Measuring health and disease
  • Population characteristics, growth, and health
  • Environment, occupation, and health

Section II. Communicable and Parasitic Diseases

  • Global burden of communicable diseases and global health successes
  • Global burden of parasitic diseases and global health success

Section III. Non-communicable Diseases and Injuries

  • Global burden of non-communicables and global health successes
  • Nurtition and nutritional disorders
  • Injuries: intentional and unintentional

Section IV. Priorities, Programs, Players

  • Health systems organization
  • Health systems resources and resource constraints
  • Primary health care: concepts, methods, trends
  • Global health “players” and their programs
  • Concept of the medical home and how it can apply globally

Section V. Vulnerable and High Priority Populations

  • Maternal and reproductive health
  • Child health
  • Natural and humanitarian emergencies

Section VI. Working in Global Health

  • Planning an overseas field placement or career
  • Ethics, professionalism, and human rights
  • Working in a cross-cultural context
  • Travel medicine
  • Advocacy
  • Local disparities

Monthly lectures held in cooperation with the UIC Center for Global Health

After our project in the Dominican Republic completed, the Med Peds Residency Global Health Track began to search for a new potential global health site. Through the UIC Center for Global Health, Peru was recommended as a potential site due to the following:

  • The need for improved access to healthcare in various regions in this country
  • We had a potential partnership in the area of Iquitos, Peru through work being done by the Peruvian American Medical Society: Selva in Action chapter

In April 2016, our UIC team traveled to Peru to perform our initial site visit.  We finalized our partnerships in Iquitos, Peru in April of 2017.  Our goal is to work alongside Selva in Action to improve health services through the implementation of the COPE quality improvement program.  Recently we performed a needs assessment by interviewing more than 100 community members in order to identify local health priorities during our March 2018 trip.  We identified malaria, clean water sources, diarrheal illnesses, and women’s health as important topics to the communities.  In 2019 we gathered more information through quality improvement surveys of both community members and medical expedition staff.  Women’s health continued to be an important topic identified, and we are now in the process of invention planning in this area.

April 2016 Peru trip report

April 2017 Peru Trip Report

April 2019 Peru Trip Report

UIC MedPeds, in collaboration with UIC Dept of Family Medicine, Dept of Medicine, Northwestern University, Peace Corps Dominican Republic, and Clinica de Familia La Romana, is involved in the Peace Care project in Guaymate, Dominican Republic.

Through recommendations of Peace Corps Dominican Republic, the municipal of Guaymate, located in eastern DR was chosen as the collaborative community.  The site was chosen with the following considerations:

  • The municipal and its surrounding bateyes have a need for improved health care capacity
  • The local community desired a collaborative relationship
  • A Peace Corps Volunteer who has expressed interest in working with Peace Care is currently in place in Guaymate and is well-integrated within the community
  • Clinica de Familia in La Romana is a primary care clinic actively involved in Guaymate and the bateye communities, and its staff has experience working with U.S. academic centers and is well-versed in conducting research
  • Guaymate is a rural municipal with a population os 17,000.  Over 40% of the population is from the 30+ bateyes – housing communities for sugar cane field workers – located around Guaymate

Learn more about our trips:

A team from UIC traveled to Guaymate in March, 2013 to jumpstart the project and to formalize our partnerships.  A Community Advisory Board was formed to assessment the health needs of the community.  A second site visit was conducted in Sept, 2013.  Focused group discussions were done in the community and the surrounding bateyes to learn of the health problems in the region.  In March, 2014, we returned to Guaymate to train the hospital staff on doing quality improvement measures.  Our project was completed in March 2015.

March, 2013 – Trip Report
September, 2013 – Trip Report
March, 2014 – Trip Report
September, 2014 – Trip Report
March, 2015 – Trip Report