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39th class of the IMPH Programme

Twenty-Two Students from 17 Countries

Graduate 39th Class of the International Master’s in Public Health Programme

On September 15 the 39th graduating class of the International Master’s in Public Health (IMPH) programme was awarded diplomas from the Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. Joining the graduates at the convocation ceremony on the Ein Kerem medical campus were ambassadors and diplomats from Cameroon, Congo, Guatemala, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and the Philippines; officials from  Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; senior members of the administration of the Hebrew University and the Hadassah Medical Center; representatives of donors to the IMPH programme; and families and friends.

The 2013-14 class comprised 22 students from 17 countries: Cameroon, Canada, China, Congo, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, South Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda and the United States.

The programme’s generous donors were praised by Prof. Ora Paltiel, Director of the IMPH programme; University Vice-Rector Prof. Oren Shagrir; Prof. David Lichtstein, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine; and Prof. Yehudah Neumark, Head of the Braun School. The donors, who provide full scholarships to students from the developing world, include the Pears Foundation of Britain, which endows the largest number of scholarships and underpins the associated alumni network; the Bonita Trust; the Hebrew University; the University’s British, American and Canadian Friends organizations; as well as individual supporters. MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development, a founding co-sponsor of the IMPH programme, was congratulated on its decision to increase its support to three scholarships in the coming year and to five scholarships in the following year.

Vice-Rector Shagrir described the importance of overseas students at the University, and the inspirational success of the IMPH programme, which, with more than 800 graduates from 90 countries, is a model of how academic excellence combined with the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam – literally “repairing the world” – can have a major and beneficial international impact.

Dr. Anna Marzec-Boguslawska from Poland – a Class of 1999 alumna currently serving as Director of the National AIDS Center in Warsaw – delivered the keynote address, entitled Bringing it All Together: Building on the IMPH Experience for Effective Responses to Public Health Threats in an Ever-Changing World. Dr. Marzec-Boguslawska described her national and international career success and the importance of the IMPH programme in making it possible.

Ambassador Mattayna Cohen, Director of the MASHAV Training Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed the importance of sharing Israel’s technical expertise, especially in the areas of healthcare and agriculture. According to Cohen, more than 250,000 professionals and scientists from the developing world and beyond have benefitted from training programmes in Israel since the establishment of the State. Cohen also announced that MASHAV will enhance its support for the International MPH programme in the coming years.

Responding on behalf of the student body, Dr. Ehima Sosa Morales from Guatemela and Nathan Reynolds from the USA lauded the programme’s faculty and administrative staff for the outstanding academic and social experience they make possible, as well as the bond established with colleagues from around the world, which they predicted would last a lifetime.

Closing the ceremony, Prof. Yehuda Neumark, Head of the Braun School and former IMPH programme director, described the remarkable impact of just one IMPH graduate. A Mongolian IMPH alumna with a prosthetic foot, she successfully defied the profound cultural prejudices against people with physical disabilities in her country, and was now successfully organizing nationwide sporting activities for the disabled.

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