There are many ways to explore global health; you can surf the Internet, attend global health conferences, join a team on short-term international mission trips, or spend extended time studying in a foreign medical facility. This site is designed to help direct you to available resources for all these experiences. It is a work in progress, so by all means please send any information about trips, conferences, or other relevant information to me at

2017 Global Health Conference

Our sixth annual Global Health Conference on the effects of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable populations had a record high number of attendees since its inception in 2011, a total of 214 participants, up from 151 last year. This is also the first year the conference has seen such a large number of students from other universities. Approximately 35 percent of attendees were students from outside UCF, including University of Miami, University of Louisville, University of Illinois and the University of Los Andes in Colombia.

The conference’s keynote speaker, Dr. Sten Vermund, vice president for global health at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, outlined the impacts of climate change and urged participants to do their part in saving the planet.

“It is not that hard to think about lifestyle changes that everyone in this room can operationalize starting tomorrow,” Dr. Vermund said. “There are so many ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint and so many policies that can be operationalized to enable a wide swath of the population to reduce its carbon footprint.”

In his address, Dr. Vermund pointed to data that evidenced the changing global climate including rising temperatures over the years –- 2016 has been recorded as the hottest year on record — extreme weather conditions like Hurricane Sandy, and a rise in the spread of vector-borne diseases such as the West Nile, Zika and chikungunya viruses.

He also explored adverse effects climate change has on health including heat related deaths, loss of coastline and marine life, rising sea levels and species extinction.

Advocating for health issues at the national level is crucial to securing policy changes and so attendees received practical lessons in advocacy in an interactive workshop led by Porter Delaney, a lobbying and advocacy expert and founding partner of the Kyle House Group.

Attendees also gained hands-on experience in dealing with crises they might face in the field. During the second half of the day, they learned how to respond to a mass casualty incident, save the life of a severely dehydrated child, perform biopsies to look for skin cancer, and how to prepare for climate refugees.

A mass casualty incident required participants to act as first responders to triage a large group of patient actors suffering from life –threatening injuries, made real with graphic special effects make-up. They learned to perform rehydration techniques such as administering intravenous and intraosseous (within the bone) fluids on a severely dehydrated child – a medical mannequin. They were also challenged to treat patients from different continents who spoke foreign languages – relying on mobile phone apps to translate.

“We’ve had great collaboration and networking with professionals in the industry at this event,” said Michael Mankbadi, second-year UCF medical student and conference director. “And we’ve built relationships that will allow us to strengthen global health endeavors in the U.S. as well as build collaborative efforts to tackle climate change.”

Dr. Judy Simms-Cendan, College of Medicine associate professor, director of international experiences and MedPACt faculty advisor, said the successful conference showed the hard work of dedicated students and the value and importance of global health education.

“We received wonderful feedback from our keynote speaker and the students from all different backgrounds from engineering to nursing, to public health to medical students, from all over the states,” she noted. “They all felt that the combination of simulations, advocacy workshops and our keynote really made for a rich conference experience.”

This year we were able to raise $2,600 to Partners in Health to assist with relief efforts for victims in Haiti, a country still recovering from a series of natural disasters that have been attributed to climate change.


The advocacy presentation and keynote address can be found below:

2017 UCF GHC – Advocacy Takeaways

2017 UCF GHC – Advocacy Presentation

2017 UCF GHC – Keynote Presentation



2016 Farmworkers Clinic

MedPACt students and members of our faculty collaborated with an Interprofessional Education Team that cared for 200 farmworkers from the Apopka area.

Click here for the complete story published on our UCF COMmunique Newsletter.

MedPACt’s 5th Annual Global Health Conference

The theme of “Neglected Tropical Diseases” at the College of Medicine’s Fifth Annual Global Health conference was fueled by a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic over the summer. “We saw many diseases that are caused by mosquitoes and other vectors causing a lot of burden on the underdeveloped countries of the world,” said second-year medical student and conference co-director John Stelzer.

Click here to read the complete story published on our UCF COMmunique Newsletter.

Dominican Republic Medical Service Trip

In 2015 MedPACt (Medical Students Providing Across Continents) coordinated a week-long experience that served six rural communities in the northeastern part of the Dominican Republic. Our medical students worked alongside students from the UCF College of Nursing, UF College of Pharmacy, Engineers without Borders-USA and medical students from the local medical school (Universidad Católica Nordestana).

Click here for more details on previous Dominican Republic trips.

Please check out the video for our 2015 interdisciplinary trip generously provided to us by UCF College of Medicine!

Our medical service trip would not be possible without the tremendous support from the International Medical Samaritans Program Scholarship sponsored by the Diebel Legacy Fund at Central Florida Foundation.

The Diebel Legacy Fund at Central Florida Foundation grew out of a tragic community event. On June 8, 2002, Dr. Donald Diebel Jr. lost his life while giving medical assistance to a newly married couple who had overturned their vehicle on the Florida Turnpike median. As he and firefighter Shane Kelly, and several other Good Samaritans, worked at the rain-slicked scene of the accident to help free the young couple, a tractor trailer lost control and struck the site, instantly killing both men and injuring several others who were also offering assistance.

Active in Medical Missionary work throughout his college career, it was only after Don was lost that we realized the real depth of his commitment to serving less fortunate members of the community. And it is from this seed of selfless commitment planted by Dr. Donald Diebel Jr. during his lifetime that this Orlando non-profit continues to grow today.

Donny picture

The International Medical Samaritans Program Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship that supports students demonstrating a dedication to volunteerism and academic excellence. As we strive to cultivate a student culture of social and global responsibility through medicine, this scholarship is essential giving the opportunity for medical students to serve internationally who would otherwise be financially unable. For this reason, UCF COM MedPACt is honored and thankful for the Diebel Legacy Fund at Central Florida Foundation’s generous and continued support, and we greatly appreciate their dedication to service within and across our borders!


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