KPSOM Joins AMPATH Consortium

Global health partnership seeks to improve care in underserved nations worldwide

December 27, 2021

The Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine (KPSOM) is pleased to join the AMPATH Consortium, the network of academic health centers working in partnership to improve health and well-being around the world. KPSOM is the newest medical school in the U.S. and recently welcomed its second class of approximately 50 students to its campus in Pasadena, California. The school’s mission is “to provide a world-class medical education that ignites a passion for learning, a desire to serve, and an unwavering commitment to improve the health and well-being of patients and communities.”

Aaron Berkowitz, MD, PhD, professor and director of global health for KPSOM, leads the school’s involvement in the AMPATH Consortium and became acquainted with the AMPATH partnership a decade ago while taking a course in global health delivery at Harvard. Dr. Berkowitz is a practicing neurologist with expertise in developing protocols and pathways for neurology in resource-limited settings and has worked with both Partners in Health and Doctors Without Borders. He is the author of “One by One by One: Making a Small Difference Amid a Billion Problems” about some of his experiences.

KPSOM’s curriculum revolves around three pillars: the traditional pillars of biomedical and clinical sciences but also health systems science, drawing on some of the resources and expertise within the Permanente system,” said Dr. Berkowitz. Students who attend KPSOM pay no tuition in order to welcome students who may not be able to afford the cost of medical education and to support equity, diversity and inclusion, he added.

“The goal of our global health program is to train our students to address global and local health inequities through equitable, sustainable collaborations with an understanding of the sociocultural and historical context in which we serve,” continued Dr. Berkowitz. “KPSOM is building global health partnerships based on the principles of equitable exchange and mutual benefit, including student and faculty exchanges, joint research projects and co-development of curriculum. This strategy aligns perfectly with the values of AMPATH,” he added.

Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health plans caring for more than 12 million patients in several western and mid-Atlantic states. The network includes 40 hospitals, more than 700 medical offices, 23,000 physicians, 63,000 nurses and more than 200,000 total employees.

“Kaiser Permanente brings a unique expertise in health system science to our partnership,” said Adrian Gardner, MD, MPH, executive director of the AMPATH Consortium and director of the Indiana University Center for Global Health. “Their knowledge of health systems, delivery science, protocol development, primary care prevention and population health experience will be invaluable as we continue to ‘lead with care’ in our growing network of partnerships,” he added.