Psychosocial Issues

 Steve Abrams, MD

Dr. Abrams is the inaugural chair of the department of pediatrics at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. His research and global health efforts have focused on micronutrient malnutrition and effective interventions for it.

The Global Scope of Childhood Malnutrition

Micronutrient malnutrition is a severe global health problem that has not been resolved. Interventions including fortified foods and special foods and beverages have been introduced with some success but further efforts are needed. Large scale programs are needed with multi-national support.

 Cheryl Person, MD

Dr.Person received her medical degree from Tulane University. She completed her residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and went on to complete a psychiatric epidemiology fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She joined faculty at the University of Maryland where she worked on disaster mental health. Once relocating to Texas she moved into global mental health working on projects in Fiji. Presently she is an associate medical director at Optum.

Working in Areas Without Psychiatrists

Discussing common dilemmas when working in regions with few available psychiatric services. Common prentations of mental illness and how to respond. Future of mental health in remote regions.

 Anil Kulkarni, MSc, PhD

Dr. Anil Kulkarni received his doctorate degree (faculty of medicine) from the Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast, N. Ireland, UK. He is currently Professor of Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the University of Texas Medical School in the world’s largest medical center in Houston, Texas. His research specialization is in nutritional immunology and has experience in basic and translational research. He also teaches medical students and mentors students from high school to graduate and medical students. He has traveled internationally extensively with numerous research collaborations in several countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America. He is known internationally for his work in immunonutrition and functional foods and invited keynote speaker. He mentors medical students for their global health concentration as a part of their curriculum. He has been on the editorial boards of international journals and serves as peer reviewer. He also develops international exchange programs for faculty, staff, and students. He has trained several international and domestic graduate and medical students. One of his current active interests is in Global Health activities and education. Most of the current academic global health initiatives have largely ignored or not focused on nutrition- cultural/ethnic in preventive or therapeutic applications for achieving global health and education. Based on my own experience and observations internationally it is imperative that we bring nutrition and functional foods in global health arena. Recently he is a recipient of two international awards as recognition his contributions of global work- “Hind Rattan Award” followed by “Fulbright-Nehru Scholarship 2014”.

Cultural and ethnic nutrition influence in global health projects/studies

Among global health project areas, nutrition is mentioned for maternal and child nutrition. Global health focus has largely been on infectious diseases; in spite of fact that 2/3 of the total 57 million deaths are due to chronic noncommunicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, and lung diseases. This presentation will address the role of nutrition and supplements in preventing the morbidity and mortality of these noncommunicable but epidemic proportion diseases. Understanding ethnic and cultural dietary practice becomes critical and imperative in global health planning for developing cost effective sustainable remedial options.

 Sophia Banu, MD

Dr. Sophia Banu is board certified in Adult and Child-Adolescent Psychiatry. She is an Assistant Professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine. She is presently the Deputy Chief of ambulatory services at Ben Taub Hospital Center, Director of Child and Adolescent psychiatry clinic and the Medical director of an Adolescent Intensive outpatient program. Dr. Banu completed her Medical school at the University of Delhi, India and psychiatry residency at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, followed by 2 fellowships in Psychosomatic Medicine at New York University/ Bellevue Hospital working at the Program for Survivors of Torture and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University, New York. Dr. Banu has extensive experience working with torture survivors and refugees in Nepal as well as in the U.S. She is fluent in many languages including English, Tibetan, Nepali, Urdu and Hindi, can communicate in Bengali and reads Arabic fluently. She is the director and founder of the Clinic for International Trauma Survivors treating refugees and survivors of torture here in Houston. She was one of three refugee experts interviewed by Patricia Gras, KUHT (PBS) “Houston Refugees: Stories of Courage.” 2012 Lone Star Emmy winner.

Refugees: A Psychiatrist’s Prespective

United Nations High Commission for Refugees stated that the worldwide displacement is at the highest level ever recorded. Globally 1 in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. Given that this number is increasing we need to educate ourselves and our communities about this on going global crisis. This talk aims to educate the audience about the psychosocial issues of refugees, understand “who is a refugee? ”, differences between “refugees, immigrants, migrants etc” The focus will be on their journey, their losses, resettlement process, acculturation, mental health and last but not the least the resilience they show.