[Illinois] Illinois Global Health Initiative - Dr. Ratzan Seminar

By Scott C. Ratzan

Vice President, Global Health, Johnson & Johnson

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The Global Health Initiative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a campus-wide coalition of students and faculty which aims to:

Coalesce a research community around global health issues on the Urbana-Champaign campus
Create capacity for future interdisciplinary research on global health issues
Promote first-hand exposure to global health issues for graduate students and faculty
Promote progress toward a Global Health Center on the Urbana-Champaign campus
The Initiative pursues these goals through programs that foster interdisciplinary discussion and awareness of global health issues. This includes seminars on campus delivered by global health experts in academia, industry and government. Additionally, we organized an international global health experience with 19 graduate students, MD/PhD students and faculty in January 2012 travelling to Cape Coast, Ghana to observe in health care facilities, discover public health challenges, learn about Ghanaian culture and network with Ghana's research universities. The Initiative strives toward establishing future programs which will provide more international exposure to students and faculty and new curricula in global health issues.

The home of the Global Health Initiative is http://globalhealth.illinois.edu. This website is a resource for news and information about global health research and programs on campus as well as the central hub for a network of faculty and students interested in global health at Illinois.


Scott C. Ratzan, MD, MPA is Vice President, Global Health, Johnson & Johnson and Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives.

Dr. Ratzan is co-chair of the United Nations Secretary General's Innovation Working Group on Women and Children's Health. He presented the "Framework for Action for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases" at the UN General Assembly interactive hearing in June, 2011 as Chair of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations NCD Taskforce. He currently serves on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on health and well-being.

Dr. Ratzan's continues research in health literacy, as he is the co-author of the definition that serves as the basis for US efforts in this area. He currently is a member of the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Health Literacy. In 2010, he testified before the US Congressional Committee on Achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals: Progress through Partnerships. In 2009, he was selected by Research!America as an Ambassador for global health research.

Dr. Ratzan initially joined Johnson & Johnson in 2002 as Vice President for European Government Affairs and Policy based in Brussels. From 2005-2008 he served as the industry representative on the European Union High Level Pharmaceutical Forum Working Group on Information to Patients. Prior to joining J&J, he was Senior Technical Adviser in the Bureau of Global Health at the US Agency for International Development, (USAID), where he developed the global health communication strategy for US funded efforts. He spent a decade in Boston (1988-1998) in academia as founder and Director of the Emerson-Tufts Program in Health Communication, a joint master's degree program between Emerson College and Tufts University School of Medicine. In 1998, he moved to Washington where he worked at the Academy for Educational Development on domestic and global health policy and innovation. He currently maintains faculty appointments at Tufts University School of Medicine and George Washington University Medical Center, and the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School.

His books include the Mad Cow Crisis: Health and the Public Good, Attaining Global Health: Challenges and Opportunities, and AIDS: Effective Health Communication for the 90s. He also has delivered many presentations including the Leiter lecture on Quality Health Communication for the National Library of Medicine and an address on risk communication for the National Cancer Institute that was selected in Vital Speeches of the Day. Dr. Ratzan has appeared on Good Morning America and Nightline as well as published articles in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Financial Times and in academic journals including JAMA and The Lancet. Dr. Ratzan also has drafted "Maxims for Effective Communication on Health and Risk Issues" that was published as part of a World Health Organization Consultation in 1998.

He received his MD from the University of Southern California; MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; and MA (communication) from Emerson College.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Scott C. Ratzan (2012), "[Illinois] Illinois Global Health Initiative - Dr. Ratzan Seminar ," http://nanohub.org/resources/13777.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign