Transdisciplinarity: global health workers breaking down walls

Message from Miriam (Section Chair)

As a lifelong international MCH professional, as a faculty member, and as citizen of the world, I am so excited about chairing IH Section this year. To me, what is so special about international health is that it is a transdisciplinary field. The term “transdisciplinary” may be new to some of you, so here’s the definition, developed by Piaget (yes, the same Piaget), translated by yours truly: “concerning interdisciplinary discourse, we hope to see a higher level emerge, “transdisciplinarity,” which would not settle for interactions or reciprocities between specializations, but which would internalize such interaction within an overall construct, and break down the walls between disciplines.”

While section members present themselves with interests such as “community-based health” or “MCH” or “health systems,” as international health workers we all recognize that enabling health for all will demand comprehensive, multi-level, and transdisciplinary thinking.

My goals for the next few years are 1) to enhance our student-professional networking, 2) to continue to strengthen our voice in APHA advocacy for support and funding for our important work, and 3) to work with the committees and members to develop a simple but effective strategic plan to help ensure continuity of effort.

Wishing you all much success in all your transdisciplinary endeavors.

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