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UHC Visiting Scholar Promotes Global Advocacy, Opportunities For Capacity Building

Edmond Fernandes, MBBS, PGDip-PHSM, MD, UHC Visiting Scholar

November 2, 2017

Since 2015, the Urban Health Collaborative has been hosting visiting scholars and postdoctoral fellows from around the world to broaden our perspective and understanding, and to provide training opportunities for urban health researchers. This rotating diversity of experience and professional training inspires new approaches to urban health challenges and contributes to the exchange of ideas and growth of knowledge at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health.

The Drexel Urban Health Collaborative welcomed Edmond Fernandes, MBBS, PGDip-PHSM, MD to campus October 19 through November 8 as a visiting scholar.

Fernandes is the founder and chief executive officer of the Center for Health and Development (CHD) in Karnataka, India. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Nitte University Department of Public Health and a member of the Health Task Force, District Disaster Management Authority, Government of Karnataka.

“The Urban Health Collaborative is futuristic, necessary and real,” said Fernandes.

Fernandes, whose work focuses on urban health and public policy, said his visit to the UHC is thanks to the “visionary leadership” of Dornsife Dean Ana Diez Roux and the U.S. Department of State, which helped sponsor his visit to the U.S. as a Legislative Fellow. He envisions his visit as an opportunity to encourage the exchange of public health policy lessons and ideas between the U.S. and India, as well as between Drexel University and his nonprofit institution.

“I see solid scope for capacity building in different areas, building breakthrough commitment to enhance regional cooperation between academia and field-based organizations,” Fernandes said. “There’s an opportunity to translate advanced public health research into policy decisions, not just in one country but across the globe.”

Fernandes’s visit to the Drexel consisted of meetings with Dean Diez Roux, members of and affiliated faculty within the Urban Health Collaborative, as well as several brown bag discussions and presentations.

In his role at CHD, Fernandes acts as a field partner, connecting academic institutions to government and nonprofit organizations. “We focus on capacity building, disaster management and road and traffic injuries,” Fernandes says, “but most importantly, we work closely as an advocate, addressing public health issues on the ground.”

At 27-years-old, Fernandes is an accomplished medical doctor, entrepreneur and author, having published his first book at the age of 21. His goal for his time in Philadelphia was to connect with health leaders in the region, and to champion dissemination of research findings from those in academia to policymakers and grassroots organizations at the national and global levels.