Public Health Seminar Series:

Surgery within Global Public Health—Seriously? Word Health Organization’s Critical Role by Walter Johnson, MD, MPH, MBA

CO-SPONSOR: GHREAT - The Global Health Research Education and Translation program at the University of California, Irvine. Learn more at:

Monday, March 4, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm Calit2 Auditorium OCW Video Archive
Seminar Abstract

This talk will start with a brief outline on how the global health agenda is established at WHO, the origin of the surgery programme there, and how surgical care fits within the Sustainable Development Goals and those specific targets. Next a brief review of basic facts of the global surgical needs, the global burden of surgical diseases, and how this impacts population health. The majority of the talk, however, will be about current projects and global needs based on the rapidly escalating incidence of non-communicable diseases seen in every country and the parallel rise in demand for surgical care that accompanies this trend. Also, we will highlight surgical care needs seen with injuries and obstetric emergencies, and how these greatly impact vulnerable populations. Finally, we will discuss key ongoing partnerships and numerous reasons for optimism moving forward.

Speaker Biography - Walter Johnson, MD, MPH, MBA

Walter Johnson, MD, MPH, MBA
Walter Johnson, MD, MPH, MBA Lead, Emergency & Essential Surgical Care Programme, World Health Organization
, Geneva, Switzerland
Dr. Walt Johnson is Lead, Emergency and Essential Surgical Care Programme at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. His primary task is implementation of the World Health Assembly resolution 68.15 on strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anaesthesia as a component of universal health coverage. The goal of this resolution is to increase equitable access to safe, timely and affordable surgical, obstetric and anaesthetic services to all underserved populations worldwide through the attainment of high-performing surgical service delivery platforms and the development of an adequate health workforce. Additional core projects include advancing the surgical care of children and other vulnerable populations, creating resource-specific treatment algorithms and pertinent treatment guidelines, fostering strong global partnerships for surgical, obstetric and anaesthesia care, and resource allocation. Dr. Johnson completed his medical degree at Loma Linda University in California, then a neurosurgery residency at SUNY-Brooklyn, followed by a cerebrovascular fellowship at UCLA. He was involved in academic neurosurgery until 2009, serving as Vice-Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Loma Linda University for over a decade. Dr. Johnson also holds an MBA (2010) and an MPH (2012) from Claremont Graduate University in California. He has served on a number of non-profit boards, although this is currently reduced due to distance and time constraints.

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