About Global Health Immersion
Child Family Health International CFHI provides community-based
Global Health Immersion and the Work of CFHI
CFHI intentionally works to make its Global Health Education Programs into
Building strong, long-term relationships with underserved, resource-poor communities is the foundation of our work. At CFHI, we believe finding and building on the strengths of the local community is the best place to start.
Instead of just conducting a needs assessment to find what a community is lacking, CFHI takes more of an
Local Heroes and Heroines
Many local communities in the Global South (be they urban or rural) have their own health professionals who work every day with very few resources and in difficult working conditions to care for their communities. They are strongly dedicated to serving their people, and have decided to remain in this service instead of emigrating to more lucrative environments. CFHI seeks out these local health professionals who have a life of commitment to their own communities. These are the local unsung heroes and heroines whose work we are proud to help support. Often they go unnoticed and give their professional lives in great service with little recognition because they do not seek it. We have found their contributions to be remarkable, and we believe others can learn a great deal from their examples. This creates an important learning ground for the health professionals of tomorrow to learn from the dedication of the present and a commitment rooted in the past.
Many international health rotations find students from 'developed' countries heading to the Global South, where they have great and profound experiences, while people in host communities are left with feelings that remind them of colonialism.
CFHI's strength-based approach attempts to address this problem by recognizing the local health professionals as the experts in their own environments. We tremendously value the local health workforce and ask them to share their commitment, dedication, and knowledge with our students. This creates a culture of respect from the initial encounter that we hope permeates our organization and each of our programs so that students are learning respectful engagement, cultural humility, and a sense of perspective that will serve them in their future careers. We know that this kind of engagement also produces a tremendous sense of success, satisfaction, and a new-found local respect for the community's own medical professionals that exponentially increases the strength of the local community and its own belief in itself.
Hope for a Better World
So as the world becomes smaller and as the global threat of disease increasingly permeates borders, we hope that global health immersion experiences will create a global family of health professionals, at all levels, who are uniquely enabled to allow knowledge, innovation, and the lessons of local successes to permeate borders at an ever increasing rate and thus improve not only the heath of local communities but also the health of the world community.