Photograph: Shane Tubbs (Chief Scientific Officer, Seattle Science Foundation), Jorge Lazareff (Director of Latin American Initiatives, UCLA Center for World Health), and Rod Oskouian (Board President and CEO, SSF)

By Fedra Djourabchi
Director of External Relations at the UCLA Center for World Health

The UCLA Center for World Health (CWH) and the Seattle Science Foundation (SSF) – a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the quality of patient care through education, research, innovation and technology- have partnered with the goal of training and bettering physicians around the globe.

Through an international communication platform, the two institutions aim to bring together medical and scientific communities from around the world, and provide all of the tools necessary for physicians and researchers to make groundbreaking advancements in the field of medicine, particularly in neuro-surgery, neuroscience research and anatomy.

Starting with Latin America, the Center’s vision is to become SSF’s gateway to global communities and amplify our global health work through the joint development of training videos, interactive courses and live broadcasts.

Our approach would be two-fold: on one hand geared towards the medical students – representing the future Minister of Health of any nation, and the future clinical neuroscientists – in this instance, we will work through our partner universities in various countries to offer the courses. The curriculum would be based on the needs of each University program, and will encompass subjects such as Anatomy of the Brain, and Anatomy of the Spinal Cord.

On the other hand, we would offer a program adapted to the needs of global health care providers. Using our connection with local entities such as the different neurological societies in each country, we will deliver a series of pathology-oriented courses to surgeons, following a horizontal conversation and needs’ assessment. Emphasis will be put on a thorough understanding of the best course of treatment, depending on the pathology of the disease, thus improving diagnostic skills and management techniques.

In March 2017, to mark the start of our collaboration and as part of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute Neurosurgical Grand Rounds Series, the Seattle Science Foundation invited UCLA Professor Emeritus Jorge Lazareff to speak about the Global Brain and Chiari Malformations to an audience of neurosurgeons in Seattle, Washington.

During the same visit, Dr. Lazareff and Dr. Tubbs recorded a didactic lecture on the importance of the study of anatomy and performed a lumbar dorsal Rhizotomy- a neurosurgical procedure that selectively destroys problematic nerve roots in the spinal cord – most often to relieve the symptoms of neuromuscular conditions and chronic pain. The session, broadcasted on Facebook Live, was viewed a record number of times from countries all around the world.

As the field of neurosurgery continues to rapidly advance, there is a definite need for continued training of current and future healthcare providers in the specialty. Our goal is to address this significant need and improve patient outcomes.
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