Editors dedicate book to late professor

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – McGraw-Hill recently released the second edition of Understanding Global Health, a global health textbook featuring the work of several faculty members from the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center.

Melanie Fisher, M.D., director of the WVU School of Medicine Global Health Program, is a co-editor of the text, along with chief editor William Markle, M.D., a physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the late Raymond Smego Jr., M.D., a former WVU infectious diseases professor, who passed away suddenly while the book was in its final stages.

Dr. Smego founded the school’s Global Health Program. He also started the program’s summer course in tropical medicine, and after leaving WVU, he returned as a guest lecturer each year until his death in 2012.

“When I tell people about all that’s going on in global health at WVU, they’re surprised. They wouldn’t necessarily associate us with being so globally active, and that all started with Ray Smego,” Christopher Martin, M.D., director of the WVU Global Engagement Office and chapter contributor, said.

Understanding Global Health is unique in its field in featuring authors from 10 foreign countries, including China, Kazakhstan, Canada, Uganda, and South Africa.

The new edition includes a number of updates and additions, including chapters on often-overlooked topics, such as surgical issues in global medicine, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, human trafficking, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases.

Martin stressed the importance of global health as part of any health sciences curriculum, noting the trend of globalization in all aspects of society, including public health.

“Infectious diseases are one direct flight away from spreading to the other side of the planet,” Dr. Martin said. “Physicians today, public health students, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists have to recognize that they are going to practice their profession globally, even if they never leave their country.”

The first edition of Understanding Global Health, released in 2007, received excellent reviews. A review published in Global Public Health ranked the text the best value among the leading textbooks in the field. Despite doubling in size, it remains among the lower-priced texts in the field with a list price of $65, compared to others priced more than $100.

“I’m hoping that this inspires people to care about global health issues and also inspire them to maybe go into it or somehow contribute. That was really our goal. I hope that’s the case with the second edition, too,” Dr. Fisher said.

WVU faculty Arif Sarwari, M.D., Rashida Khakoo, M.D., and Gregory Juckett, M.D., also contributed chapters.
For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
sf: 12-06-13