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At KU Medical Center, we build partnerships and work to improve health beyond our state's borders. The university is a proud member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, an organization focused on improving the well-being of people and the planet. We invite you to explore the medical center's active efforts and opportunities to get involved. 


Global health is an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. Global health emphasizes transnational health issues, determinants, and solutions; involves many disciplines within and beyond the health sciences and promotes interdisciplinary collaboration; and is a synthesis of population-based prevention with individual-level clinical care.

- Koplan et al. Consortium of Universities for Global Health Executive Board: Towards a common definition of global health. Lancet. 2009; 1993-1995


Develop mutually beneficial partnerships globally that advance interprofessional education, research, clinical care and policy to achieve health equity worldwide.


Continuously cultivate transformative environments that promote innovative and sustainable solutions to complex global health issues.

  • Advocacy
  • Creative
  • Diverse
  • Educational
  • Empowering
  • Fair-Trade Practices
  • Inspirational
  • Reciprocal
  • Resilient
  • Resourceful
  • Strength-based
  • Symbiotic
KU Medical Center alumni live and work in countries around the world.
Faculty from the schools of Health Professions, Medicine and Nursing lead international research and teaching efforts.
From Kansas to Guatemala, Uganda, India and elsewhere, our students, faculty and staff work to improve health outcomes.
History of Global Health at KU Medical Center


Assistant Professor of Surgery Walter Stanborough Sutton, M.D., takes a brief leave of absence from the university to serve at the American Ambulance Hospital outside of Paris, France, just 40 miles from the front lines of World War I. There only four months, he develops fluoroscopic techniques to localize shrapnel within soldiers' bodies and then removes them with instruments of his own design. He later documents these techniques in "Binnie's Manual of Operative Surgery."


In July, a team of Kansas City doctors and nurses arrive in Limoges, France, to set up Base Hospital #28 during World War I. The 2,500-bed hospital is led by doctors associated with KU School of Medicine, who serve nearly 10,000 patients.


During World War II, the 77th Evacuation Hospital, formed in 1942 at KU Medical Center, sees action in North Africa, Sicily and Europe. They maintain 750 beds, usually under canvas, while treating thousands of soldiers.


Mani M. Mani, M.D., first arrives from India and completes his residency at KU. He returns in 1974 as the Medical Director of the Gene and Barbara Burnett Burn Center. His team establishes the protocol for contemporary burn care to include all relevant specialties for optimum treatment. The burn protocol soon becomes a standard of care in many parts of the United States and abroad, including Malaysia, Australia and Kyrgyzstan and India. He also plays a pivotal role in American Burn Association's burn care education efforts around the world.


An interchange between Kansas and Paraguayan family physician educations begins after a chance meeting between Ed Donatelle, M.D., chair for the KU Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) in Wichita and Wes Schmidt, M.D., a practicing physician in Paraguay with family roots in Kansas as well as the chair of the Health Committee of the Comité Paraguay/Kansas (which is part of the state's long-term partnership with Paraguay). Several visits occur between 1987-1994. 


The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery supports medical work overseas starting in Nepal and Kyrgyzstan, and later Mexico, the Philippines, Africa and Guatemala. In 2004, the department helps create a six-day mission to Antigua, Guatemala, which becomes an annual tradition.


The University of Kansas Medical Center enters a partnership agreement with Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg in Magdeburg, Germany. Renewed annually, the agreement is one of the school's longest-running School of Medicine student exchange partnerships.


The Kansas-Paraguay Family Medicine Faculty Exchange is rejuvenated when KU's Rick Kellerman, M.D., DFCM chair, visits Paraguay to further encourage family medicine development in the country. Kellerman also helps develop and finalize continuing medical education opportunities for rural Paraguayan physicians. The partnership helps Paraguayan residency programs increase from one to seven, and graduating residents increase from six to 120 per year. KU School of Medicine students begin international elective rotations to Paraguay in 2002.


Several first- and second-year medical students form the KU Medical Center International Outreach organization (KUMCIO). In 2012, they partner with a clinic built by Heart to Heart International and Rotary Club International in Patanatic, Guatemala.


The Robinson International Studies Award is created to honor the late David W. Robinson, M.D., as well as Mani M. Mani, M.D. Interested students complete an International Education Experience at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India.


Three students from the KU Nurse Anesthesia Education program join forces with the Kansas City-based Medical Mission Foundation to provide medical services in impoverished areas of Guatemala. This becomes an annual tradition, with more faculty and students taking part in these eight-day mission trips.