Reza Nassiri, director of the Institute of International Health and associate dean of Global Health, has traveled to more than 150 countries in 33 years.
The Institute of International Health is a forum used to assist MSU faculty and students with health development projects across the globe. The institute also offers training programs for foreign medical students and foreign doctors who are interested in learning about the United States’ healthcare system.
Nassiri, who is also a professor of clinical pharmacology and lecturer in global health, infectious diseases and tropical medicine, said that global health has several dimensions.
“For global health issues of the 21st century, medicine alone cannot be effective,” Nassiri said. “It requires a team of multidisciplinary experts to go after an issue and solve the issue.”
The major objective of the Institute of International Health is to solve global health issues whether they are Ebola, respiratory infections, food security, water security and more, Nassiri said.
“The institute has close collaborations with many colleges here and my approach has been to collaborate with non-health colleges in addition to health colleges to come up with multidisciplinary solutions,” Nassiri said. “Our goal is to solve any problem, whether it is health or health-related, especially in resource-limited countries.”
Nassiri said his primary teaching takes place during the five different study abroad courses he instructs.
“For many students, it’s eye-opening, but for me, it is a great honor if I could make a small difference in the lives of our students,” Nassiri said.
Lyman Briggs senior Sonam Sethi travelled to Mexico in March for one of Nassiri’s study abroad programs.
“We got to see a very holistic view of medicine because we not only got to see the practical side, but the public health side as well,” Sethi said.
Sethi also said that during her study abroad experience she and the other students learned about the Mayan culture, diseases in the Yucatan Peninsula, viewed a maternity clinic, watched a live childbirth and visited an HIV clinic.
After the study abroad program was over, Sethi wanted to keep working with Nassiri. Sethi became a student health intern for the Institute of International Health in June.
“I’ve learned that you should always be ambitious and strive for more,” Sethi said. “Dr. Nassiri has made it clear that there is more to this world and there is more to strive for and more to look forward to and we can all do something to help out.”
Nassiri’s goal at MSU is to gain participation of faculty and students to work as a team to make a difference in global health issues and make a measurable impact.
Reza Nassiri, COM Associate Dean of Global Health and Director of Institute of International Health delivered a presentation on Ebola at the 2014 OMED International Seminar in Seattle Convention Center Saturday, 25. He briefly reviewed the past outbreaks in Africa, and then focused on the 2014 outbreak of Ebola which has be the deadliest so far in western Africa. He also focused on transmission of the virus as well as public health consequences, risk assessment and prepared need responses in the western African region and the United States. In his presentation, Dr. Nassiri praised President Obama 's decision in sending U.S. troops to Liberia to build a field hospital for managing infected patients. So far, there are more than 10,000 people infected with Ebola virus and about 5,000 have died, said Nassiri. He added the public health care community in the United States is working hard and diligently to stay ahead of an evolving situation and to take action to prevent a widespread outbreak. Nassiri formulated his presentation to help audiences to better understand their role in preparing for and responding to likely Ebola cases in the communities. He concluded that the west African nations are in urgent need of economic development and public health education programs as well as capacity building to contain the widespread outbreak of the virus in the region.
Reza Nassiri, director of the Institute of International Health, was among those recognized for their outstanding work globally by MSU’s International Studies and Programs. He received the Charles A. Gliozzo International Award for Public Diplomacy as part of the International Awards Ceremony at the MSU Stadium on March 26.
Nassiri’s citation reads:
Reza Nassiri has a true passion for working with people to solve complex global problems. His vision is to advance the knowledge of health and medicine in impoverished and developing regions of the world through an active learning experience and development of research projects, thus making a difference in global health standards.
Reza is associate dean of MSU’s Global Health Programs, director of the Institute of International Health (IIH) in MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM), a professor of clinical pharmacology, and a lecturer in tropical medicine.
As IIH director, he engages MSUCOM medical students and faculty in international medical aid programs and has organized international medical exchanges of U.S. and international students to advance cultural and medical knowledge. He has also initiated medical clinics in several countries, as well ongoing medical teaching and research conferences. Because of his command of multiple languages and his understanding of cultural difference he is able to transfer medical knowledge to professionals, students, and targeted patients in these foreign countries.
Reza’s efforts in developing Osteopathic International Outreach Programs for medical students are well recognized by the American Osteopathic Association. He organizes student medical mission on an annual basis in many regions of the world to provide students with opportunities to experience pathologies beyond U.S. borders, to enhance students’ understanding of cultural competency, and to make host counties aware of the osteopathic approach to the care of patients.
He has extensive experience and expertise in HIV/AIDS and has developed HIV/AIDS Clinical Research Programs in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He has also been involved in international humanitarian projects such as the Kenya Well Project (Village of Ngeta, Eastern Kenya) and the International Wheelchair Mission for impoverished countries.
In recognition of his enthusiasm and his success in initiating and maintaining these important programs that address many global health issues, we proudly present Reza Nassiri with the Charles A. Gliozzo International Award for Public Diplomacy.
College of Osteoopathic Medicine
On January 12th, 2014, first and second year medical students from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine conducted a Health Screening Fair at the local mosque, the Islamic Center of East Lansing. This was a collaborative event held by the Islamic Medical Student Association (IMSA) and Community Integrated Medicine (CIM). About 80 people, including adults and children, were seen. The event was supervised by two MSUCOM faculty members, Dr. C. Gudakunst and Dr. J. Gudakunst.
The aim of this event was to provide the COM students an opportunity to work with a subset of Muslim population of Lansing, with the hope of raising awareness about the cultural competency that would benefit us all as future physicians. Services provided included blood glucose, cholesterol, BMI, blood pressure, hemoglobin tests. This event was also an opportunity to reach out to the members of the local community who may not have frequent access to medical facilities.
-Sidra Sindhu, IMSA President