Conference Speakers

Please click below for information about speakers in a specific track

Building Partnerships Speakers

Global Health, Technology and Innovation Speakers

Hot Topics Speakers

Infectious Disease Speakers

Lessons From the Field Speakers

Maternal and Child Health Speakers


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Plenary Speakers

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 Eric G. Bing, MD, PhD, MBA

Eric G. Bing, MD, PhD, MBA, is a Harvard-educated physician who has created and managed innovative health programs throughout Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America for over two decades. He is a senior fellow and the director for global health at the George W. Bush Institute and professor of global health at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

 Marc J. Epstein, PhD, MBA

Marc J. Epstein is distinguished research professor of management at Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. Previously a professor at Harvard and Stanford, Dr. Epstein is the author of many books and articles on innovative approaches to improving businesses and nonprofit organizations. He works in Asia, Latin America, and Africa and trains students in entrepreneurial solutions to global health and poverty.

Saving Millions:  Innovative and Entrepreneurial Solutions in Global Health

Every four minutes, over 50 children under the age of five die. In the same four minutes, 2 mothers lose their lives in childbirth. Every year, malaria kills nearly 1.2 million people, despite the fact that it can be prevented with a mosquito net and treated for less than $1.50.  Sadly, this list goes on and on. Millions are dying from diseases that we can easily and inexpensively prevent, diagnose, and treat. Why? Because even though we know exactly what people need, we just can’t get it to them. They are dying not because we can’t solve a medical problem but because we can’t solve a logistics problem.  To save them, we must  build a new model that “scales down” to train and incentivize all kinds of health-care providers in their own villages and towns, to create an army of on-site professionals who can prevent tragedy at a fraction of the cost of top-down bureaucratic programs.  We believe that the same forces of innovation and entrepreneurship that work in first-world business cultures can be unleashed to save the lives of millions.

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Hilmers pic David C. Hilmers, MD, EE, MPH

Dr. Hilmers is an associate professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and Center for Space Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and is board certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics.   In addition to teaching, his clinical pursuits have included international HIV, pediatrics special needs, adolescent medicine, aerospace medicine, emergency medicine, tropical medicine, nutrition, and inpatient internal medicine.  His research interests in nutrition include refugee health, micronutrient deficiencies, food fortification programs, rickets, metabolic syndrome, and the influence of malnutrition on infectious diseases such as HIV and malaria.  He has done international volunteer service and disaster relief work in over 40 countries.  Prior to entering medical school at the age of 42, he was a Marine Corps colonel, aviator and electrical engineer and served as a NASA astronaut on four space shuttle missions, including the first after the Challenger accident.

Program Development in North Korea

Working to improve health standards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) presents unique challenges.  These include a confrontational stance towards Western countries, political isolationism, lack of epidemiologic data, and prioritization of military over civilian sector spending.  The population of North Korea has suffered from famine, natural disasters, and shortages of advanced medical technology.  The DPRK government has demonstrated increasing interest in cooperating with non-governmental agencies to address public health issues and to establish medical institutions to train health care professionals in modern medical techniques.
In 2010 the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a private university, opened its doors to North Korean students. Founded by a Korean-American and with Western faculty, it has brought unique opportunities to expose future DPRK leaders to Western thought and to launch collaborations with the government.  As a result of its success, the government has asked PUST to establish medical, dental, pharmacy, and public health schools at its current location.
Global health projects in the DPRK face significant challenges but could result in important advances in health standards.  The most significant benefit of these efforts could be the spirit of cooperation fostered by collaborative projects in this isolated country.  They can lower levels of suspicion between our nations and decrease tensions in this volatile region.

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