Welcome to the School of Community and Global Health.
At Claremont Graduate University’s School of Community and Global Health (SCGH) we are committed to research and education in order to maximize the wellbeing of individuals in their communities at both the local and global levels. This means not only preventing premature disease and suffering, but also optimizing the wellbeing of individuals through personal growth and enriched community environments that support health and wellbeing.
Research and public health experience have made it abundantly clear that no single level of science can adequately address the puzzle of disordered appetitive behaviors, including tobacco, alcohol and other drug abuse, obesity related behaviors, and other compulsive behaviors that account for the majority of disease and suffering. The foundations for these practices are laid early in life and are profoundly determined by family, peer, community, environmental, and economic influences interacting with genetic predispositions. Medical care for these conditions is at best little more than palliative, not curative, and comes at increasing expense to an extent that is no longer acceptable in either the U.S., or developing regions of the world. The result is that huge sectors of the society not only suffer disproportionately from these diseases of lifestyle and circumstances, but also are denied adequate palliative care. The same can be said of mental disorders whose foundations are laid early in life and for which only palliative care is generally possible, and then for only those who can afford it. Profound consequences are realized at the community and societal levels, as well as the individual and family levels.
With economic development associated with globalization has come a global epidemic of the diseases of lifestyle and circumstance, distributed disproportionately to those on the low end of the ever-widening income gap. Today there are more people suffering from diabetes in India than in western developed nations, and this is rapidly becoming the case in China. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases – diseases of lifestyle and circumstance - are now the leading causes of illness and death in all regions of the world other than sub-Saharan Africa, and the social and economic determinants in each region are interconnected through the global economy and communication channels. The prevalence of mental disorders, including depression, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders and autism are increasing at an alarming rate both in the U.S. and globally, with clear impact on the economies of these regions as well as the vitalities of the communities in which those who suffer reside.
At the CGU’s School of Community and Global Health, we believe that workable solutions can come only through the interaction of science and community action, stemming from a science that is integrative across biology and the behavioral and social sciences, and that is responsive to community needs. With this understanding, we at the SCGH view global health to include the health status and wellbeing of diverse populations, and all factors: cellular, genetic, individual, economic, political, social, cultural, societal and environmental, that contribute to health outcomes and their uneven distribution within and between populations. We include in our sphere of focus not only the health and contributing factors of native peoples in targeted regions, but also those people in transition within and across national boundaries.
The Claremont Graduate University School of Community and Global Health is tackling today’s most vexing health issues through its programs of research and education. I encourage you to peruse this web site to learn how our School stands apart from others in several distinctive ways.