The Center for Global Health is a community of learning and service that brings together faculty, students and staff at Oregon State with alumni and partners around the world to generate knowledge that promotes equitable and sustainable health development solutions globally.

"Making small changes in the big world and big changes in small worlds."


Center for Global Health Seminar

Reframing Global Health - Working in Various ‘Environments’

DATE:   May 21 (Tuesday)
TIME:   12 – 1:30 p.m.
PLACE:  Hallie Ford Center Tammy Bray Leadership Conference Room (Rm. 115)

Recently retired, Jay Kravitz, MD, MPH was a leading advocate for global health education at Oregon Health & Science University during his 22 year tenure. As an Assistant Professor in the OHSU-Portland State University School of Public Health and Senior Instructor in the Global Health Center, he sought to educate learners about the integration of public health and medical practice in more austere global settings and coordinated an overseas scholarship program. He also served Washington County, Oregon, as Public Health Officer for 11 years. His overriding philosophy emphasized important contributors to health – and the origins of many diseases: the multiple “environments” in which we live. In stressed or impoverished settings the means to sustain health may be severely limited. Solutions may not have a medical model; but rather based on social determinants of health, including equitable access to health care and quality education.

He earned economics and medical degrees at Tulane University and attended The London School of Economics and Political Science. Early in his career, as an emergency medicine physician, he worked in refugee camps along the Thai-Cambodian border during the Khmer Rouge period; in displaced persons centers during the 1985 Ethiopian famine; and conducted a needs assessment in the aftermath of a catastrophic 1985 Mexico City earthquake.

These experiences inspired Dr. Kravitz to change careers because he desired to understand the bigger picture. Clinical medicine was only part of the story. With Public Health his calling, he earned an MPH at the University of Washington, while conducting health services research in Zimbabwe. He was also co-investigator of a comprehensive, environmental and health research project in Lesotho in the early 1990s.

His curiosity regarding self-sufficiency mechanisms led him to design and build homes, both on and off the grid, providing insight about environmental systems that might be beneficial overseas.


The College of Public Health and Human Sciences founded the Center for Global Health in 2014 with a mission to bring the Oregon State University community to the world, and to bring the world to the Oregon State community. The center serves as a platform to connect faculty and students with a range of international partners to develop innovative approaches to promote equitable population health around the world.

The Center for Global Health facilitates expertise across the OSU community to conduct research, initiate health development programs and projects, and develop innovative education and training programs in collaboration with international partners and communities. Our efforts are especially directed at strengthening the capacity of our partner communities across the world to promote community ownership of equitable and sustainable health development. While the center is focused on health development, our work is founded on an interdisciplinary approach to promote the health and general well-being of our partner communities.

The Center strives to make small changes in the world through collaborative efforts to improve health and well-being around the world. Our partners include non-government organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations, academic institutions, government agencies and UN agencies. At the same time, we commit to making big changes in small worlds through ongoing collaborations with our partners in targeted communities to promote comprehensive development in health and well-being and make major changes over the long term.

Our approach recognizes a responsibility to our global community, while rooting our work in the fundamental rights to human dignity and self-determination.

The Center for Global Health fulfills its mission through five key areas:

  • Conducting collaborative global health development projects and research
  • Training the next generation of leaders and professionals in global health
  • Providing innovative and appropriate technical assistance to the Center’s global partners
  • Participating in multi-way health development programming, education and training with our partners
  • Engaging the OSU community and connecting it with the world in collaborative efforts to promote global health