Malika Fair (BFA Representative/Liaison), Arthur Kaufman (BFA Board Member), David Marsh, Dan Blumenthal, and Roger Strasser attended a terrific Network meeting of The Network: Towards Unity for Health held, this year in Limerick, Ireland. The Network is an NGO in official relations with WHO and while its membership is global, its secretariat is at FAIMER in Philadelphia. The goals and actions of The Network are highly aligned with BFA with a heavy emphasis on building relevance of academic health centers to the health and social needs of their communities and nations, social accountability and social justice. The meetings facilitate sharing of strategies in these areas between institutions and programs from different countries. The program is highly interactive, mostly consisting of small group seminars, workshops and interest sessions (Womens’ Health, Social Accountability, Regional discussions, etc).
Because of The Network’s relationship with WHO, its annual meetings are held in a different WHO region each year. Next year will be the 40th Anniversary of the organization and will be held in the Western Pacific region in September and the host institution will be Flinders University where the site will be its northern campus in Darwin. Themes will be social accountability, indigenous health and rural health. We are also going to add a focus on the health of Refugees.