Sparkman Center Annual International Public Health Summer Institute (2001-2010)
The Summer Institute (SI) course offered a unique opportunity for qualified public health professionals from developing countries to enhance their public health skills through an intensive short-course focused on concrete skill-building in areas of public health leadership and management, computing, epidemiologic research methods and topic-area expertise. The Summer Institute was primarily targeted to mid-level and senior public health professionals whose ability to impact their country’s public health policies was substantial, but whose opportunities for upgrading skills were limited by either language or time barriers.
The 3-week intensive course consisted of didactic lectures, interactive exercises, and hands-on applications for public health professionals who wish to enhance their ability to provide public health leadership in resource-constrained settings.An optional 4th week allowed participants to engage in one of four options: (1) an intensive scientific writing seminar designed to enhance proficiency in writing for peer-reviewed scientific journals; (2) a data analysis workshop designed for participants who would like extended exposure to basic data analysis using Epi-Info and related statistical software packages; (3) an interactive case challenge workshop in which participants will be presented a complex global health issue and be asked to apply their skills to formulate analysis and recommendations to a group; or (4) an opportunity to work individually with UAB faculty on a mutually-agreed-upon project.
Over its 10 year history, the Summer Institute course trained 360 people from 29 countries and brought together over 30 distinguished faculty from UAB and elsewhere to share their expertise and experience as leaders in public health research and practice. There was a rich diversity among Institute participants, whose expertise and experience created unique opportunity for enrichment and knowledge in addition to collaboration.