“The development is in the details”—SF-based Organization Takes Humble, Yet Entrepreneurial, Approach

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CFHI’s Unique Approach to Global Health Education and International Engagement Featured in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

CFHI global health scholars and local preceptors in Uganda

By utilizing an asset-based community engagement philosophy, CFHI focuses on communities’ strengths, rather than deficits, leading to sustainable impacts and locally-led, empowering initiatives.

Child Family Health International (CFHI), a San Francisco-based nongovernmental organization (NGO), is leading the way to global development, not through brick and mortar buildings, but through changing power dynamics between the world’s rich and poor. Harnessing the popularity of studying abroad among students in the US and other resource-rich countries, CFHI has emerged as the leading organization providing global health exposure while creating economic and empowerment opportunities for the world’s poor. CFHI has been distinguishing itself for over 2 decades. Only 2 years into her tenure, CFHI’s Executive Director, Dr. Jessica Evert, is a celebrated thought-leader in the field of global health education who has influenced national and global standards in the sector of global health education. In her latest article, “Teaching Corner: Child Family Health International,” published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Dr. Evert discusses CFHI’s unique approach to global health education and international engagement, and its impact on program participants and host communities.

By utilizing an asset-based community engagement philosophy, CFHI focuses on communities’ strengths, rather than deficits, leading to sustainable impacts and locally-led, empowering initiatives. Dr. Evert explains, “Global health is all about complex interactions between disease, social circumstances, political structures, history, and a myriad of health determinants. CFHI does not shy away from complexity. There’s no trying to tie up global health with a nice bow that opens quickly and is set on a shelf. CFHI puts students in the trenches of existing health systems, families’ homes, and culturally complex contexts. We do them a service in exposing the complexities, so the students will be future leaders who can take many variables into account and advocate for alleviating poverty and health disparities.”

Since 1992, more than 8,000 participants have taken part in CFHI Global Health Education Programs. CFHI Global Health Scholars focus on salient themes in global health, such as end-of-life and palliative care (India), primary care and social medicine (Argentina), urban/rural comparative health (Ecuador), and realities of health access and inequities (Mexico). CFHI programs are designed to foster reciprocal relationships between students, universities, and communities abroad.

“CFHI’s global health education programs challenge participants to ‘Let the World Change You’—laying the foundation for global citizenship and shaping future professionals who appreciate the complex realities that contextualize the quest for global health equity,” states Dr. Evert.

The article, “Teaching Corner: Child Family Health International,” is available online at http://www.SpringerLink.com.


Founded in 1992, CFHI (http://www.cfhi.org) is a non-government organization (NGO) operating at the grassroots level to provide transformative global health education experiences and community empowerment in underserved communities around the world. CFHI offers 20+ Global Health Education Programs designed to broaden students' perspectives about global health - as well as a variety of community health initiatives and projects - in developing countries including Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Argentina, Mexico, Uganda and South Africa. More than 8,000 students have participated in CFHI programs to date. CFHI has been granted Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

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Lauren Talamo
Child Family Health International (CFHI)
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