Jan 2021
Global Health Conference X
Patient Zero,
Global Pandemics
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University of Central Florida College of Medicine & MedPACt’s

10th Annual Student-Run Global Health Conference



The outbreak of COVID-19 this past year has had a continued and enormous impact on the world’s financial, cultural and healthcare systems. The global aspect of this current pandemic and those preceding have provided a platform for healthcare students and professionals to investigate the progress and shortcomings made across the world. As the medical community continues to evolve in the wake of COVID-19, an opportunity thus remains for growth and insight that will help us become better prepared for the future. In this year’s first, virtual conference, we will explore the global health implications that surround pandemics. By bringing speakers from various fields in healthcare such as public health and infectious diseases, we will provide an avenue for stimulating discussion on the global views of a pandemic and their unique challenges. With interactive workshops, research presentations and a thought-provoking discussion panel, conference attendees will also have the chance to develop their mindset and share their distinct perspectives with others. Students and professionals alike will gain from this chance to learn more about global health and infectious diseases. We thus welcome all interested in taking a step with us on January 16th towards becoming a more globally-minded healthcare professional.


We encourage students and faculty from all healthcare fields (Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, etc.) who are interested in global health to attend.

Saturday, January 16th, 2021
8:00am – 1:00pm

Talks by Experts in the Field, Clinical Simulations, Interactive & Advocacy Workshops, Networking Opportunities

This will be our first virtual conference. We are offering a reduced ticket price this year to make it more accessible to all who wish to join us.

The GHC Research Committee welcomes student and professional researchers to submit abstracts no later than December 15th, 2020 for poster presentations.
Submit Here!

100% of the proceeds from this conference will support charitable causes. See below for more details about our charity partners this year.


8:00-8:05 AM

8:05-8:55 AM

8:55-9:00 AM

9:00-9:55 AM

9:55-10:20 AM

10:20-10:30 AM

10:30-11:00 AM

11:00-11:45 AM

11:45-11:50 AM

11:50-12:35 PM

12:35-12:50 PM

12:50-1:00 PM 

Welcome and Intro

Keynote Presentation


Discussion Panel

Discussion Breakout


Research Presentations

Workshops & Simulations: Session 1


Workshops & Simulations: Session 2

Research Awards

Closing Remarks


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Lilian Abbo is the Chief for Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship at Jackson Health System and a Professor of Clinical Infectious Diseases at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the Miami Transplant Institute. In her role she has been leading the Infectious Diseases pandemic efforts for COVID19 at the largest county hospital and health system in Florida including 4 acute care hospitals, 3 county jails, 2 long term care facilities, 5 urgent care centers and hundreds of clinics in Miami Dade county.

Dr. Abbo graduated from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, “Luis Razetti” Medical School. Completed her residency in Internal medicine at Jacobi Medical Center in NY and at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach followed by a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Her research and clinical expertise are focused on the management of complex solid organ transplant patients with multidrug resistant infections, infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship.

She has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications, several book chapters, has been an invited speaker in over a hundred national and international meetings. Lilian is the past president of Women in Academic Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and a Fellow of the 25th Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine class of 2020.

Lilian Abbo, MD

Chief for Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship, Jackson Health System
Professor of Clinical Infectious Diseases, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Conference X Workshops & Simulations

Carolyn Orbann, Ph.D.
    Yung Nguyen-Siddiqi, MD
      Delaney Rahl, EMT + Derek Mitchka, EMT-P
        Linda Simmons, MA, DMin
          Lonna Gordon, MD, PharmD
            Nicole Uzzo, M.S.
              Discussion Panelists

              Dr. Jennifer Prah Ruger

              Dr. Jennifer Prah Ruger is an Amartya Sen Professor of Health Equity, Economics, and Policy at University of Pennsylvania and a Faculty Chair at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy. She is a leading scholar of global and domestic health policy and public health. She conducts theoretical and empirical studies of health equity to address global and national health inequities, especially among women and children. Dr. Prah Ruger directs the Health Equity and Policy Lab (HEPL), a mixed methods lab that studies health policy and public health problems such as the equity and efficiency of health system access, financing, resource allocation, policy reform and the social determinants of health. Her research is conducted internationally and nationally.

              Dr. Graham Mooney

              Dr. Graham Mooney is an associate professor of the history of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research focuses on the history of public health interventions and the relationship between public health policies and population health outcomes. Dr. Mooney also has appointments in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology and the History of Science and Technology Department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His research covers the history of public health in Britain and North America, infectious disease surveillance, epidemiology, and demography. He is particularly interested in domestic space as a site and scale of public health interventions.

              Dr. Benjamin Sachs

              Dr. Benjamin P. Sachs, who is currently a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine and the University of South Florida College of Medicine, has a wide-ranging background in clinical medicine, public health-health policy, and finance/business administration, with extensive executive experience in physician and hospital management, as well as patient safety and healthcare. From 2007 to 2013 he served as senior vice president of Tulane University in New Orleans, and dean of Tulane University School of Medicine. Prior to Tulane, Dr. Sachs served 29 years at Harvard University in several senior administrative positions at the Harvard Medical School (HMS), the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). He has been involved in a number of international healthcare initiatives, including fundraising for and the development of women’s and children’s health centers in the Philippines, Armenia and Ukraine, and extensive work in Central and South America, the Middle East and Asia. He is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, and maternal fetal medicine.

              Dr. Eliot Sorel

              Dr. Eliot Sorel is an innovative global health leader, health systems performance expert, practicing physician, and Clinical Professor of Global Health, Health Policy & Management and of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington University. Dr. Sorel has served as a subject matter expert on World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, (NIMH), World Bank Group (WBG), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) projects. Dr. Sorel is now a member of the World Psychiatric Association’s (WPA) Working Group on Public Mental Health for the WPA 2020-2023 Action Plan.



              This year, proceeds from the Global Health Conference will be donated to Pathlight HOME.

              Pathlight HOME is a nonprofit organization that changes the lives of homeless and low-income individuals by providing permanent housing and economic opportunities. Established in 1992, the organization is Central Florida’s first and largest provider of the Housing First Model, which operates on the belief that having a permanent home is the best way to end homelessness. Through two transformed motels and this proven approach, Pathlight HOME keeps more than 700 formerly homeless individuals off the streets of Central Florida each year, in their own affordable apartments.

              With its three supportive services programs, Pathlight HOME surrounds chronically homeless, disabled residents – many who have no income – with the hope and help needed to change their lives. In addition, secure and affordable efficiency units are available to other formerly homeless, low-income individuals; and case management services are available to all residents. Thanks to support from the community and genuine caring from the staff, a sense of personal pride and feeling of neighborhood are evident in these residents who once had no place to call home. From opening one’s first checking account in many years to excitedly selecting a needed item at the Pathlight HOME Marketplace of donated household and hygiene goods, the changes are visible.

              Pathlight HOME is also a working example of social enterprise, providing economic opportunities through its Sobik’s Subs Café, FREE Culinary Training Program for low-income adults, and Pathlight Kitchen. These enterprises offer training, employment and culinary resources for the community. Any income above expenses benefits the nonprofit’s programs and services.

              Over 28 years, Pathlight HOME has helped more than 7,000 people find safe and stable housing. Currently owning and managing over 550 units, the nonprofit has plans to provide affordable housing for families.



              General Public
              $ 15.00
              • Conference Tickets
              • Access to Workshops
              • Hands-On Simulations
              • Poster Session
              • Roundtable Discussions
              • *Additional donations welcomed
              UCF Student
              $ 0.00*
              • *$5 suggested donation
              • Conference Tickets
              • Access to Workshops
              • Hands-On Simulations
              • Poster Session
              • Roundtable Discussions

              Thank you to all who submitted their abstracts! Submitted research abstract topics included: social science, clinical science, bio-engineering, and pandemic-related.

              You can view all 2021 submissions here.

              Poster Submission Form

              Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
              .pdf format only
              Who Are We?

              MedPACt (Medical Students Providing Across Continents) is an organization dedicated to providing education and mentoring for students to become actively engaged within communities of need both locally and abroad, and to promote awareness and participation in improving the health-related needs of people throughout the world.

              To see other work done by the global health group at UCF College of Medicine, click here!
              To see information on previous Global Health Conferences, click here!

              Conference Team

              Conference Directors: Aaishwariya Gulani and Bernard Sarmiento

              Assistant Conference Directors: Sarah Hay and Deepti Singam


              Faculty Advisor: Judith Simms-Cendan, MD
              For more info on Dr. Simms-Cendan and her work, click here!


              Registration and Volunteers:
              Registration Chair: Asanka Ekanayake
              Volunteers Chair: Kelsey Manko


              Workshops & Simulations Committee:
              Chairs: Caitlyn Coates and Thomas Knapp
              Committee: Lauren Aronson, Pierce Ciccone, Yamilet Gonzalez, Emily Littman, Brittany Perry, and Shreya Rao

              Discussion Committee:
              Breakout Discussion Chair: Adam Talaat
              Panel Chair: Ridhwan Mohammad


              Tech Outreach Committee:
              Website/Zoom Chair: Leeann Hu
              Website/Zoom Chair: Diraj Cambow
              Website/Zoom Chair: Carolyn Rapp

              Research Committee:
              Internal Research Chair: Yasmine Ghattas
              External Research Chair: Reanne Mathai


              Public Relations Committee:
              Design & Communications Chair: Alexis Brewer
              Website & Social Media Chair: Kacper Kubiszewski


              Donate Now

              Help support UCF MedPACt and its partners.

              Be a part of providing education to promote awareness and participation in improving the health-related needs of people throughout the world.

              *Secure payments by Stripe

              Thank you to our sponsors for helping make this conference come to life. We encourage GHC attendees to support these local businesses and institutions.

              • Andres Diaz

                I think they’re bringing really, really good speakers, really relevant speakers to not only the medical students, but other fields – marketing, financial, technology, engineering – and I really appreciate that. I like that it’s interdisciplinary – because global health, at its core, is interdisciplinary. And I like the enthusiasm.

              • Zarina Baldes

                I think this is a really good conference because it puts different professionals and different backgrounds [together]. Because – I’m a pre-med student. But the people around me – there’s nurses, medical students – there’s a lot of different backgrounds. So, getting different points of view in the discussion when we’re doing the workshop, I think is really good. Because I learned a lot from the different feedback from other people.

              • Vincent Cendan

                Before attending the Global Health Conference, I never understood the intricate needs and wants of healthcare in general. Finding out that so many different local and global health groups are blocked from basic access to even basic healthcare taught me about the need to act – now.

              • Anjali Cherukuri

                Tackling the issues in global health is fundamentally a multidisciplinary effort, and this conference emulates the teamwork and collaboration that is necessary to make strides in global health. [...] Change starts with small steps, and I can only hope that this conference raises awareness and encourages the attendees to pave the way for a better future in global health.