Monday, November 10, 2008

Transdisciplinarity makes International Health Special

I have not posted for a while due to unbelievable amount of travel since mid September. But now I'm back, and lots to report on...

As a lifelong international MCH professional, as a faculty member, and as citizen of the world, I am so excited about chairing IH Section these next 2 years. To me, what is so special about international health is that it is a transdisciplinary field. The term “transdisciplinary” may be new to some of you, so here’s the definition, developed by Piaget (yes, the same Piaget), translated by yours truly: “concerning interdisciplinary discourse, we hope to see a higher level emerge, “transdisciplinarity,” which would not settle for interactions or reciprocities between specializations, but which would internalize such interaction within an overall construct, and break down the walls between disciplines.”

While APHA International Health Section members present themselves with interests such as “community-based health” or “MCH” or “health systems,” as international health workers we all recognize that enabling health for all will demand comprehensive, multi-level, and transdisciplinary thinking.

My goals for the IH Section over the next few years are 1) to enhance our student-professional networking, 2) to continue to strengthen our voice in APHA advocacy for support and funding for our important work, and 3) to work with the committees and members to develop a simple but effective strategic plan to help ensure continuity of effort.

Please consider joining the APHA IH Section at: http://www.apha.org/about/membership/ and don't forget to indicate IH as your primary or secondary Section!!

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