Building nursing capacity, strengthening health systems, and improving global health
The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) Office of Global Health (OGH) emerged from UMSON’s 2003-2006 Strategic Plan, which called on the School to “establish a global health initiative in education, research, and practice.” In January 2009 the OGH was officially established with Dr. Jeffrey Johnson as director to lead the School’s effort to integrating and fostering global health activities, developing meaningful opportunities for students and faculty, and building sustainable partnerships that focus on strengthening the critical role of nurses in the global health workforce. The Office of Global Health is deeply committed to serving local and global communities through the lens of social justice.
PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Mental Health Nursing (2002 – 2010)
In 2002, UMSON was named the first Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization Collaborating Center (PAHO/WHO CC) for Mental Health Nursing in the United States; one of only two in North, Central, and South America. The center functioned as an independent program within the Office of Global Health. Its primary responsibility was the completion of Terms of Reference developed every five years through consultation with PAHO/WHO, with the intention of furthering PAHO resolutions and promoting the WHO’s strategic directions while utilizing strengths of UMSON faculty and staff.
The center worked on a qualitative survey of the mental health nursing workforce in Latin America with the goal of better understanding the context, content, and conditions related to the practice of mental health nursing in Mexico, Central and South America, Canada, and the Caribbean. In August 2010, a final report was submitted to PAHO/WHO to assist their efforts in addressing the region’s mental health human resource needs.
In March 2010, the PAHO/WHO CC collaborated with the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, PAHO and the Violence Prevention Alliance of Jamaica to establish a multidisciplinary team to prevent workplace violence, share nursing expertise related to work and health research, and develop relevant trainings in health care settings.