Associate Professor Dr. Ruth McDermott-Levy, director of the College's Center for Global and Public Health, has received a Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Health and Environmental Sciences Award for teaching and research. She will be at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) from August to December.
"Climate change is our greatest public health threat; the Finnish population is at risk due to significant increases in air temperature. My teaching and research grant will focus on the health impacts of climate change in Finland," explains Dr. McDermott-Levy.
She will teach two courses at the University of Eastern Finland’s new Nursing Masters in Public Health and within the University International program related to global health and the impacts of climate change on human health.
Her other teaching activities are twofold: For faculty development, she is integrating environmental health and climate health across the curriculum at schools of nursing, medicine and public health. For professional staff development (nursing, medicine, allied health fields) she is addressing climate change health impacts for specific patient populations.
Additionally, Dr. McDermott-Levy will be collaborating with UEF faculty to develop an on-line, asynchronous Environmental Health course that will be delivered to students from the UEF and Villanova University in the same on-line classroom.
Research is also at the core of her work. She will conduct a mixed method study to determine Finnish health care professionals’ (HCP) perceptions of their patients’ health impacts related to climate change and health professionals’ perceptions of their preparation to address the identified health impacts. The secondary purpose of her study is to inform medical and nursing educators of areas of professional and circular development that can be implemented to address the identified climate change health impacts.