The Global Health Initiative was proposed to the Graduate College in the spring of 2011 by a small group of faculty and students with a vision for uniting a global health community at Illinois. It was awarded a Focal Point grant and piloted a seminar series and international observational experience in Cape Coast, Ghana, during the 2011-2012 academic year.

The Focal Point year made tremendous strides in building a network across campus, which seeded several partnerships leading to further seminars during the 2012-2013 academic year.

In the fall of 2013, the Global Health Initiative announced a new partnership with the University YMCA from which the Initiative’s flagship program will be launched: an international global health partnership. The vision for this program is to build on an existing relationship between Illinois and an international community to establish a keystone partnership to facilitate interdisciplinary research, educational opportunities, and global health problem solving.

In February, 2014, a delegation from the Global Health Initiative visited Njala University in Sierra Leone with support from the University YMCA, College of Medicine, and Center for Global Studies. Since that time, efforts to launch a variety of partnership activities have already kicked-off. Read more about the Illinois-Njala partnership.