Dr. Chris Dickey sees global public health through a unique lens – one that has him constantly reimagining solutions to our globe’s biggest health threats. When he looks out at the myriad challenges facing our field – including vast health inequities, applied skills gaps among public health professionals, weak community health systems, and shrinking research budgets – he sees endless opportunities for CGPH and our amazing students.
Dr. Dickey is Director of Global Health, Global Professional Studies and Entrepreneurship and Clinical Associate Professor of Global Public Health at CGPH,and he is also an international development innovator and public health entrepreneur who has worked in more than 20 countries with UN and other agencies and co-founded a company that provides clean water and primary care in villages in India. Dr. Dickey came to NYU to develop sustainable public health models – especially those that benefit poor people – and to forge bonds between the academic community and practitioners in the field. Along the way, he wants to provide a wealth of new opportunities for CGPH students to think and learn about global health.
One such opportunity is a new public health entrepreneurship program he is developing at CGPH to address the clear demand for a new generation of public health practitioners with the skillsets and opportunities to create innovative, scalable, and sustainable business models either as stand-alone entities or within a larger corporation. The first course in the program he will teach this fall to CGPH undergraduates is called Public Health Entrepreneurial Ventures. The course uses Lean Launchpad business model principles to emphasize stakeholder development, rapid prototyping, and iterative learning.
Sustainability means much more than business models of course; it is also a major consideration in environmental health. To that end, Dr. Dickey is also leading the committee developing the new Environmental Health Sciences track at CGPH. The proposed track will reflect all of the key components of CGPH’s unique value proposition, including: a multidisciplinary approach to understanding and dealing with complex environmental challenges; a global focus on disproportionate risks in deprived groups; practice-based experiential learning; and innovative and scalable solutions.
Dr. Dickey has developed another opportunity unique to CGPH that takes advantage of its inter-disciplinary faculty and the GNU. This innovative partnership with UN and other agencies serves the dual function of building new competencies among public health practitioners and providing real-world experience to CGPH students. Using an innovative model that combines dynamic lectures, group exercises, real-time simulations, and implementable course projects, Dr. Dickey – together with Dr. Bernadette Boden-Albala and other CGPH faculty – leads a series of courses in which international public health professionals and global health students learn and work together on real world problems. The first such course was taught with UNICEF in January of this year which garnered rave reviews from the students and UNICEF partners. The second course, to be offered in New York City this July, is an Applied Food Systems and Nutrition course that is being co-developed and taught with the World Food Programme – bringing 15 of its professional field staff to CGPH.
Dr. Dickey is currently developing 3 additional courses using this model that will be available to students and public health practitioners over the next year.
Dr. Dickey developed and is leading the Applied Global Health and Development clinical lab at CGPH, which has 20 current members and has already resulted in internship opportunities at WHO and UNICEF for more than 25 PhD, MPH, and undergraduate students. He created the lab with the kind assistance of Dr. Marie Bragg. Lab members are working on projects like: universal health coverage policy (for WHO); a new data-driven decision support tool (for UNICEF); supply chain and logistics analysis (for the UN Commission on Life Saving Commodities); social network and knowledge management analyses (for UNICEF); and the development of a business model for online public health programs (for CGPH). The lab meets every Friday on campus to troubleshoot roadblocks, exchange ideas, and discuss opportunities.
Cassandra Hill, an MPH student at CGPH and a participant in Dr. Dickey’s Applied Global Health and Development Lab, feels the unique lens Dr. Dickey brings to his work is having a transformative influence on his students. For her, there is remarkable value in this lab approach, “whether it’s working collaboratively with someone or whether you’re listening to their ideas, how they did it, the method (that they used, such as Business to Business),” she says. “I now have access to that information and I can use it at a later time. I think other students would also find that invaluable.”
In fact, it’s a lens that we can all employ within our own disciplines to see global public health threats anew and reimagine their solutions – together.
Dr. Dickey holds a Doctor of Public Health degree from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Meeting with Prof. Dickey:
I have set aside Wednesday mornings to meet with students and you are welcome to schedule an appointment with me, either in person or by phone. I will ask that you provide me with your name, major, program (UG, MPH, PhD), your CV, and your goal for the meeting. I also ask that you read Give and Take by Adam Grant before coming to see me.
You may sign up using this google doc. It is only accessible by people with NYU email addresses. Please note, these meetings are only available for a half-hour on Wednesday mornings. You must request a meeting by 3pm on the Tuesday prior. Thank you.l