Partnership, Reciprocity, and Impact

Geisel medical student Prajesh Gongal ’21 (right) shares health information with a member of the Bhutanese and Nepali community of greater Manchester, New Hampshire—as part of a joint program between Geisel’s Center for Health Equity and the Maintaining Independence Adult Day Services.

“We’re focused on building long-lasting relationships with medically underserved communities in this country and abroad,” explains Lisa V. Adams, MD, director of the Center for Health Equity, associate dean for global health at Geisel, and director of global initiatives for Dartmouth College. “We often have as much to learn from our partners as they do from us. That’s why they co-lead all of our initiatives, whether that be direct patient care, education and training, quality improvement work, or clinical research.”

Reciprocity and partnership are core values for the Center for Health Equity, offering key lessons to students and guiding all of the Center’s programs—such as facilitating care for underserved dairy farm workers in northern New England, assisting with emergency preparedness in Peru, and training the national healthcare workforce in Rwanda.

Through nearly a dozen domestic and international partnerships and close collaboration with Dartmouth’s Dickey Center for International Understanding, the Center for Health Equity facilitates cross-campus global health projects and provides real-world learning opportunities for students. Such experiences help students develop the interpersonal skills needed to work well with diverse teams and gain a deep understanding of the complex social, political, economic, and behavioral factors that affect health.

“Through our health equity programs, our students learn to be good listeners and good partners, and that leads to far greater impacts on the way they practice medicine and on the communities they serve.”   

—Lisa V. Adams, MD, Associate Dean for Global Health