Online Program

Modern Health Diplomacy and CISEPO: Addressing Peacebuilding through Public Health in Regions of Conflict

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

The Canada International Scientific Exchange Program ( is an international cooperation network of academics, researchers, educators, students, medical and public health specialists, and allied health professionals, working together under a Canadian umbrella in an academic setting. CISEPO partners share a commitment to academic cooperation, professional engagement, and dialogue, while remaining focused on improving locally-identified health indicators; thus achieving globally-recognized health outcomes and influencing national health policy.

CISEPO implements cross-border science and health interventions in the context of rapidly shifting political realities across the Arab and Israeli frontier.  This approach enables knowledge transfer through professional networks on the ground and pioneering telehealth.  While remaining aware of regional politics, CISEPO’s networks transcend conflict and engender programming rooted in evidence based medicine.

The CISEPO approach is dependent on a unique bi-level Health Diplomacy model as reported in the Lancet in 2005. The model synthesizes project specific goals for improving health care delivery and defined health care outcomes with meta level goals for building cross border cooperation and knowledge exchange. Overarching the programming is the creation of knowledge and cooperation networks which may then function as social capital for peacebuilding, international development, and humanitarian aid.

The tripartite, equitable cooperation approach taken by CISEPO partners in the Middle East successfully addresses the high prevalence of genetic nerve deafness in both Arab and Israeli populations.  It does this by implementing cooperative universal newborn hearing screening, habilitation, and family support in Israeli and Jordanian societies, while Palestinian and Israeli scientists work to identify the genetics of hearing loss.

Addressing this public health issue of genetic hearing loss has led to a multiplicity of regional and global cooperative health initiatives. Thus CISEPO’s longstanding 20 year mission has opened doors for health systems strengthening in the context of medical education and health innovation globally.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the unique bi-level Health Diplomacy model which unifies project specific goals for improving health care delivery List two critical components required for CISEPO's successful implementation of the bi-level Health Diplomacy model in the Middle East

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved with Health Diplomacy and Public Health work in various capacities for 19 years, and have been focused on capacity building projects in the health sector within the CISEPO network for over a decade. I am currently involved in leading CISEPO, which is an actively engaged Canadian Health Diplomacy NGO.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.