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Drew University Launches the Religion and Global Health Forum

In partnership with the Harvard Global Health Catalyst, Drew Theological School and Drew’s Medical Humanities Program.

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The Religion and Global Health Forum partners with the Harvard Global Health Catalyst and Drew's Medical Humanities Program.

February 2020 — Drew Theological School celebrated the launch of the Religion and Global Health Forum, a pilot initiative to bridge the diverse worlds of faith and medicine to improve individual and public health outcomes globally.

In partnership with the Harvard Global Health Catalyst, Drew Theological School and Drew’s Medical Humanities Program, the Forum seeks to examine religion as a health component while building an infrastructure where all people, regardless of background and bodies, have access to consistent quality health care and dignity.

“Religion and faith can and do function as health care assets and as a catalyst for high quality healthcare, both nationally and internationally."

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Dean Javier Viera gives an inspiring welcome to a full house of students, faculty, staff and guests.

“Religion and faith can and do function as health care assets and as a catalyst for high quality healthcare, both nationally and internationally,” said Kenneth Ngwa, program director and associate professor of Hebrew bible.

Ngwa chose to launch the initiative during Black History Month. “It seems appropriate, almost providential that we should gather for such an event during a time when the world is anxious about its medical, cultural and ecological well-being,” said Ngwa.

“The Religion and Global Health Forum longs to be a force for good. It calls upon all the resources that communities of faith have to offer in order to bring hope, healing and a restorative sense of health to people around the world—which is truly spiritual work,” said Vice Provost and Dean Javier Viera. “This program can prove that religion can be a force for transformation and good because we care for bodies, souls and minds—and we do it in a spirit of complete and utter generosity.”

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Kenneth Ngwa quotes the African proverb, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

“It makes me so proud that we’re taking the resources that we share together to steward towards making the world a better place,” said University Provost Debra Liebowitz. “There are an incredible number of assets at Drew University that allows us to launch this program, making it really profound. I look forward to the future we can build together.”

Ngwa’s brother, Wilfred Ngwa, director of the Harvard Global Health Catalyst and assistant professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School, spoke of the importance of researching phytomedicine and other non-conventional medicine.

Here’s a closer look.