Integration of the university’s global health programs supports a major objective of the Office of Global Health: to serve as a resource for other schools at Rutgers, he says. “Beyond Rutgers, the office has affiliations with other universities,” adds Dr. Escobar. “They include collaboration agreements with more than 25 institutions in 15 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. We have innovative new programs in Colombia, to train our own trauma surgeons. We also have an emerging clinical program in the Dominican Republic in collaboration with Columbia University and a collaboration with RWJBarnabas Health, which has a strong global humanitarian outreach program.” Robert Wood Johnson Medical School offers qualified students the opportunity to graduate with distinction in global health, following successful completion of a rigorous, four-year process. Requirements include a selfdesigned and implemented initiative, participation in global health projects—including at least one domestically—plus international rotations twice during the four years of medical school, and submission and presentation of a scholarly research paper. Emphasizing international exchanges and learning opportunities, Dr. Escobar’s program placed more than 50 medical students in sites worldwide last year, most often as participants in ongoing collaborations that have led to successful National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grant applications in which Dr. Escobar is principal or collaborating investigator in the area of global mental health research. to “Students have caught the [global health] bug and want of be more involved,” says Dr. Marlink. “This is part The Importance of Partnerships our vision for the curriculum—to ‘amp up’ student opportunities through our existing programs and improve them through solid partnerships.” He adds, “Students benefit most when they go into communities where we are known and have established working relationships.” Dr. Marlink hopes the Rutgers Global Health Institute will establish new partnerships in specific locations. “By committing to enduring partnerships, we’ll be doing more to benefit the citizens of that particular country or of that particular New Jersey community,” he says. Francis Barchi, PhD, assistant professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and a core member of the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University, was a member of the search committee for the director of the Rutgers Global Health Institute. Dr. Barchi, a bioethicist, teaches a combined undergraduate and graduate course in medical ethics and an undergraduate course in global health at the Bloustein School. Not only does she have expertise in global health, but, as an educator and researcher in Botswana, she had the opportunity to appreciate Dr. Marlink’s work firsthand. “Ric has the wisdom and personality to see through the complexities. And he’s a great listener,” says Dr. Barchi. “In Botswana, listening is a style—a strategy. You have to let everyone have their say, and it can take many hours. But everyone has the right to speak and is expected to contribute.” Attracting and securing funding will be key to the success of the Rutgers Global Health Institute. Dr. Marlink’s experience will be essential in this area as well. Initially, BHP depended on small contributions, grants, and crucial help from Bristol-Myers Squibb, along with major help from the government of Botswana. Harvard and BHP invested more than $25 million in laboratory and clinical research training for people from Botswana. In addition, with help from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Merck Foundation, Dr. Marlink and BHP organized a national training program for thousands of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and laboratory technicians. In 2003, President George W. Bush announced the initiation of PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) grants to combat HIV worldwide. “Suddenly, we had a lot of money to do what we wanted to do in scaling up AIDS treatment and prevention in Africa,” says Dr. Marlink. Harvard received one of the first four large grants, as did the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, where Dr. Marlink was scientific director and then vice president for program implementation. Additional funds came later from the NIH. In addition to the tremendous strengths Rutgers will contribute to the Rutgers Global Health Institute, its central New Jersey location promises to benefit from the proximity of some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Marlink’s experience with the Bristol-Myers Squibb “Secure the Future” program and with the Merck Foundation’s early $50 million commitment to Botswana, equaled by the Gates Foundation, further encourages him about the future impact and long-term success of global health partnerships. Dr. Marlink has deep experience in building an organization from the ground up, and he clearly enjoys this complex process. This background and approach, along with his experience in research and patient care and his wellhoned listening skills, will serve him and Rutgers well as the institute takes shape and begins its work. M 16 Robert Wood Johnson I MEDICINE