MCW Office of Global Health

About the Medical College of Wisconsin Office of Global Health

History of International and Global Health at the Medical College of Wisconsin

MCW has had a rich history of international and global engagement that dates back to 1981. It was that year, in collaboration with community leader Elmer Winters, the Founder of Manpower, that MCW co-established the Wisconsin Indochinese Refugee Relief Fund. Through today, MCW has been and continues to be an essential leader and is integral to this important collaborative work and its future impact as a credible and trustworthy source of global health efforts.

Message from the Founding Associate Dean Stephen Hargarten, MD, MPH

The Office of Global Health was established in January 2010 at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). Our vision for MCW is to be a leader in global health that promotes health equity across neighborhoods and nations. Our mission is to advance MCW’s mission of education, research, patient care, and community engagement through multi-institutional collaborations. Our goal is to develop a sustainable framework for multidisciplinary collaboration that integrates and advances the global health sciences.

MCW is uniquely positioned to address this goal. We have nearly 200 faculty from virtually all departments participating in or who have participated in global health activities across 80 countries. We are committed to assisting faculty in formalizing their existing partnerships and creating new collaborations locally and worldwide to address global health from neighborhoods to nations.

MCW offers a wealth of interest, expertise, and resources in global health efforts. Intentional interdisciplinary collaboration across our departments could increase sustainable funding opportunities, create credible and educational learning environments for MCW faculty and trainees, and synergize efforts to address health disparities locally and worldwide.

As the catalyzing agent, we take advantage of the diverse skills and experiences of our faculty and trainees. Together, we strive to improve the health of those most in need locally and worldwide. 

More Information


The Medical College of Wisconsin has institutional memberships to local and international consortiums for global health.

Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH)cugh_logo
MCW is a member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (UCUGH). CUGH is the largest consortium of academic institutions in the world involved in global health. With over 19,000 individual members and 145 institutions worldwide, MCW is part of this interdisciplinary network whose mission is to facilitate the sharing of knowledge to address global health challenges by creating equity and reducing health disparities. In line with MCW’s four missions, CUGH promotes mutually beneficial, long-term partnerships dedicated to building human capital across education, research, and service.

At a Glance

The Office of Global Health's mission is to advance MCW’s mission of education, research, patient care, and community engagement through multi-institutional collaborations. Our vision for MCW to be a leader in global health that promotes health equity across neighborhoods and nations.

Our goal is to develop a sustainable framework for multidisciplinary collaboration that integrates and advances the global health sciences.

Strategic Objectives

  • Establish credible local and global partnerships with community-based organizations, universities, medical schools, and healthcare delivery sites that offer education, research, patient care, and community engagement opportunities for MCW faculty, medical and graduate students, residents, and fellows.
  • Implement standardized agreements with local and global organizations to assure credit and excellence for trainee and faculty participation.

Guiding Principles

  • Collaboration
  • Credibility
  • Health equity
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Partnership
  • Reciprocity
  • Social justice
  • Sustainability

View MCW Global Health 2021 Facts (PDF)

Milwaukee Global Health Landscape Study

For the past three decades, the greater Milwaukee metropolitan area has been an advocate for and leader in global health research, education, training, and technology commercialization. Companies, universities, nonprofits, civil society organizations, and government agencies have worked together to strengthen health and safety locally and globally, with the goal of reducing disparities and inequities, for the world's diverse populations.

To measure the breadth and depth of greater Milwaukee's global health activities and to communicate the sector's impacts on the regional economy, the Milwaukee Global Health Consortium commissioned an inaugural economic landscape study by RTI International.

Based on the data provided by these organizations, RTI estimates that the greater Milwaukee global health sector generated direct employment of 6,132 people and $2.901 billion of economic activity. When the secondary and tertiary impacts of spending by greater Milwaukee global health organizations and employees are included, the greater Milwaukee global health sector supported 16,961 total jobs, $1.308 billion in labor income, $4.671 billion in economic output, and $143.8 million in state and local taxes for the state of Wisconsin.

Read the Landscape Study's full report (PDF) or executive summary (PDF).

Office Leadership


Laura Cassidy_Academic Profile (002)
Laura Cassidy, MS, PhD
Associate Dean for Global Health | (414) 955-8546

Dr. Cassidy’s journey to MCW began in Pittsburgh, where she grew up. While working fulltime at the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, Dr. Cassidy earned the MS in Biostatistics and a PhD in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology while working as a full time research coordinator in the Department of Biostatistics. Shortly after receiving her PhD, she was awarded a grant through the Emergency Medical Services for Children to design a National Trauma Registry for Children. Dr. Keith Oldham, MCW, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Pediatric Surgery was on her advisory panel and in 2016 recruited her to MCW Department of Surgery as an Associate Professor and Director of Surgical Clinical Outcomes Research in general pediatric surgery and the pediatric surgical divisions of urology, cardiothoracic surgery, otolaryngology, orthopedic, plastic surgery, and anesthesia.

She transitioned to the College’s Institute for Health & Equity in 2011 when she became Director of the PhD Program in Public and Community Health and the Founding Director of the Division of Epidemiology and as of recent, Epidemiology and Social Sciences. She became full Professor with Tenure in 2014 and currently serves also serves as the Institute’s Research Director. In 2017, Dr. Cassidy was chosen for the prestigious Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program for Women. An outcome of that program was her founding the State’s first Master of Science in Global Health Equity degree program and currently serves as its Director.

Dr. Cassidy’s research experience is diverse, including managing a bladder cancer screening program, evaluating community health departments, a Mid-Atlantic AIDS education training grant, health effects of radiation exposure in Russian workers, Native American health, in addition to clinical outcomes research and registry development. She has been the PI on multiple federally funded grants including NIH, RWJ and NIJ, and has over 100 publications.  

She has had many global collaborations including a remote hospital in Haiti to evaluate data collection methods in that environment and Nigeria to implement a web-based trauma registry that currently collects a culturally sensitive, minimal data set from multiple hospitals. She is an Examiner, at the Uganda-based Makerere University School of Public Health and maintains partnerships in Rwanda with Health Builders and Ageis Trust where she serves as Chair of Steering Committee on Mental Health in Rwanda. Through this work, she gained valuable experience with complex data compiled from challenging and unique and diverse resourced environments. From 2011-2020, with the continuous learning opportunities at MCW she has been able to build upon and redesign the Public and Community Health PhD program to better foster academic learning and independent research including diversifying its matriculants.

Through COVID-19 pandemic, she has served as an Epidemiology Advisor to Dr. Raymond, a member of the WI Covid-19 Leadership Core Steering Committee, an advisor to the Milwaukee Restaurant COVID-19 Health and Safety, and the Wisconsin Performing Arts COVID-19 Health and Safety Advisor. She received the Marcus Performing Arts Center's Dynamic Leadership Award for the extraordinary service, guidance, and volunteerism she provided the arts sector during the pandemic, the Wisconsin Public Health Association’s 2021 Distinguished Service to Public Health Award, and an Excellence in Journalism Gold award for Best Pandemic Story in Audio for the CTSI Discovery Radio Episode on The Epidemiology of Disease: COVID-19 which also featured, her colleague, Dr. Kirsten Beyer.

Focused on all four missions of the College including successful grant writing, manuscript development, and a mentor to medical students, residents, fellows, graduate and doctoral students and post-doc fellows and faculty, Dr. Cassidy became Associate Dean for Global Health in July 2022.


Stephen Hargarten, MD, MPH
Founding Associate Dean for Global Health | (414) 805-6454

In January 2010, the Medical College of Wisconsin named Stephen Hargarten, MD, as associate dean of the Office of Global Health. Dr. Hargarten is also professor of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Hargarten’s international experience began in medical school when he selected a two month elective clerkship in Nicaragua. In 1980, he volunteered at the Tom Dooley Heritage Hospital in Thailand, caring for refugees from Laos. He served on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Indochina Refugee Relief Fund and also on the Board of Tom Dooley Heritage. As an outcome of his MPH at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Hargarten has extensively investigated US citizen deaths (initially Peace Corps Volunteers) that occur outside the United States and is a leading expert in this area of global health.

Along with colleagues in emergency medicine and in collaboration with the Center for International Health, a collaborative of several institutions, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University, Dr. Hargarten has served as co-principal investigator on large emergency medicine services (EMS) training projects in Poland, Croatia, Latvia, and China.

Currently, Dr. Hargarten serves on the Violence and Injury Prevention Mentoring Committee for the World Health Organization and serves on the board of directors of the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT). Dr. Hargarten has a long history of extramurally funded research in injury prevention, and has published over 100 research articles, editorials and chapters.

An alumnus of the Medical College, Dr. Hargarten joined the faculty in 1989. He completed an internship at the Gorgas Hospital in Panama, and previously served as a staff physician in the emergency departments at St. Joseph’s, St. Mary’s and St. Luke’s Hospitals before joining the College and the staff at the County Hospital and Froedtert Hospital. Dr. Hargarten completed his MPH at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene in 1984 and is a member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars which is a honor for those who have shown distinction and excellence in their field of study.

He is an examiner for the American Board of Emergency Medicine and has received numerous awards in recognition for teaching excellence, research in injury prevention, and public service. He is the founding president of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research, and a past president of the Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine, as well as having served on many expert committees and advisory task forces. Most recently Dr. Hargarten was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences. Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. In 2014, Dr. Hargarten became the Director of the Milwaukee Global Health Consortium (formerly Center for International Health) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

He currently serves as a senior advisor to the Office of Global Health through the development of its next strategic plan, mentorship of residents/fellows in the GME Global Health Scholars academic enrichment program, director of the Dr. Elaine Kohler Summer Academy of Global Health Research, Course Director for the Master of Science in Global Health Equity Thesis Preparation, faculty lead with partnerships in Belize and Poland and the Network for the Prevention of Gun Violence in the Americas.


Tifany Frazer, MPH
Tifany Frazer, MPH
Director | (414) 955-4763

Tifany Frazer joined the Office of Global Health in September 2010. Tifany works closely with the Associate Dean for Global Health, in developing a sustainable platform of local and international partnerships to support the education, research, clinical, public and community health training of the College’s faculty and trainees. Prior to developing the Office of Global Health, Tifany served as a program manager in the College’s Department of Pediatrics, Center for the Advancement of Underserved Children where she administered programs in community-based pediatric resident graduate education, clinic-based early literacy promotion and community academic partnerships that addressed pediatric oral health care access, medical/legal collaborations and faith-based emergency preparedness in Milwaukee. Prior to coming to the College, Tifany worked in three different continents holding international positions with the United States Peace Corps, and United Nations program of UNAIDS, and UNICEF in El Salvador, Peru and Thailand respectively. Tifany received a master of public health degree in International Health from Tulane University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health Education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Melisa Hodzic, BS
Melisa Hodzic, BS
Coordinator | (414) 955-5646

Melisa Hodzic joined the Office of Global Health as a Program Coordinator in January of 2022. She most previously worked for Froedtert Hospital’s Language Services Department with a globally represented staff of medical interpreters and external agencies to ensure quality patient care. She also worked for their Food and Nutrition Services Department to help patients with nutrition and diet related questions. She was also a membership director for Healthcare Business Insights. She monitored projects with their research teams to implement policies, procedures, and protocols for healthcare organizations nationwide. As a refugee from Bosnia, she lived in Germany prior to being resettled to the United States. For her community service, she remains active with global and local non-profit organizations volunteering her time and collecting donations. She speaks and writes fluently in Bosnian, Serbo-Croatian, and German. During college, she completed an internship in Istanbul which resulted in publications and a semester abroad in Rome. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she earned a certificate in Peace Studies and a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Studies and Communication with a minor in Marketing.

Other Global Health Leaders Across MCW

Global Health Education Faculty Leaders

Global Health Student Organization
Faculty/Role: Taylor Sonnenberg, Faculty Advisor
Academic Home: Emergency Medicine
Trainee Group: All students

Global Surgery Student Organization
Faculty/Role: Chris Dodgion, Faculty Advisor
Academic Home: Surgery
Trainee Group: Medical Students

Master of Science in Global Health Equity
Faculty/Role: Laura Cassidy, Director
Academic Home: Institute of Health and Equity
Trainee Group: Graduate

Medical Students’ Global Health Pathway
Faculty/Role: Kirsten Beyer, Co-Director; Megan Schultz, Co-Director
Academic Home: Institute of Health and Equity; Pediatrics
Trainee Group: UME

Dr. Elaine Kohler Summer Academy Global Research
Faculty/Role: Stephen Hargarten, Director
Academic Home: Emergency Medicine
Trainee Group: UME

Pre-departure training for Short-term Global Health Efforts
Faculty/Role: Mac Longo, Co-Director; Steve Humphrey, Co-Director
Academic Home: Radiation Oncology; Dermatology
Trainee Groups: UME and GME

Pediatrics’ Global and Community Health Track
Faculty/Role: Caitlin Kaeppler, Director; Megan Schultz, Associate Director; Candace Gundacker, Associate Director
Academic Home: Pediatrics
Trainee Group: GME

Family Medicine’s Global Health Track
Faculty/Role: Bryan Johnston, Director
Academic Home: Family and Community Medicine
Trainee Group: GME

GME Scholars in Global Health
Faculty/Role: Steve Humphrey, Mac Longo, Ashley Pavlic
Academic Home: Clinical, Surgical
Trainee Group: GME

Global Health Administrative Faculty Leads

Leonard Egede | Professor of Medicine, Chief, Center Director
Role: Global Health Unit Leader
Academic Home: Medicine; Center for Advancing Population Science

Taylor Sonnenberg | Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Role: Co-Chief of the Division of Global and Population Health
Academic Home: Emergency Medicine

Ashley Pavlic | Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Role: Co-Chief of the Division of Global and Population Health
Academic Home: Emergency Medicine

Chris Dodgion | Associate Professor of Surgery
Role: Director of Global Surgery
Academic Home: Surgery, Trauma and Critical Care

Libby Schroeder | Associate Professor of Surgery
Role: Associate Director of Global Surgery
Academic Home: Surgery, Trauma and Critical Care

Stephen Hargarten | Professor of Emergency Medicine
Role: Associate Dean for Global Health
Academic Home: Global Health

Department Liaisons

Designated by their Department Chair, each department and select Centers have a faculty member who serves as a Global Health Liaison to act as the main contact person for communications between MCW Office of Global Health and their departmental faculty and staff. Each liaison holds the following roles and responsibilities:

  1. Act as main contact person for communications between MCW Office of Global Health and their departmental faculty and staff.

  2. Provide the MCW Office of Global Health with their departmental faculty’s current global health clinical care, education, research, or public health efforts.

  3. Refer any faculty interested in global health clinical care, education, research, or public health efforts to the MCW Office of Global Health.

Ehab Abourashed, PhD, MS, BPharm
Associate Professor

Kirsten Beyer, PhD, MPH, MS
Associate Professor
Global Health Pathway

Kristen Bunnell, PharmD
Assistant Professor

Christopher M. Long, MD

Laura Cassidy, PhD
Director, Professor
Graduate School

Jenifer Coburn, PhD
Medicine (Infectious Disease), Center for Infectious Disease Research

Aprill Dawson, PhD
Assistant Professor
Center for Advancing Population Science

Chris Dodgion, MD
Assistant Professor

Leonard Egede, MD
Professor and Division Chief

Juan Felix, MD
Vice Chair, Director, Professor

Bert Forster, PhD

Nathan Gundacker, MD
Assistant Professor

Stephen Humphrey, MD
Associate Professor

Roger Johnson
Associate Professor
Cancer Center

Bryan Johnston, MD
Assistant Professor
Family and Community Medicine

Amit Josh, PhD
Associate Professor
Biomedical Engineering

Caitlin Kaeppler
Assistant Professor

Jeff Kelly, PhD
Center Director & Professor
Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, CAIR

Judith Kosasih, MD
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Peter Langenstroer, MD, MS

Qing-song Liu, PhD
Pharmacology and Toxicology

John “Mac” Longo, MD
Radiation Oncology

Luis Antonio Sosa Lozano, MD
Chief, Assistant Professor

Jonathan S. Marchant, MA, PhD
Marcus Professor & Chair
Cell Biology, Neurobiology, and Anatomy

Seema Menon, MD
Associate Professor
Obstetrics and Gynecology

Ahmed Obeidat, MD
Associate Professor

Stephanie Olivier-Van Stichelen, PhD
Assistant Professor

Ashley Pavlic, MD
Assistant Professor
Emergency Medicine

Honey Reddi, PhD, FACMG
Chief Medical Director Clinical Diagnostics
Professor Pathology
Linda T. and John A. Mellowes Center for Genomic Sciences and Precision Medicine

Avani Richardson, MD
Assistant Professor
Anesthesiology (Adult)

Michelle Riehle, PhD
Assistant Professor
Microbiology & Immunology

Franklin Ruiz, MD
Associate Professor

Jim Sanger, MD
Plastic Surgery

Megan Schultz, MD, MA
Assistant Professor
Global Health Pathway

Taylor Sonnenberg, MD, MSGH
Assistant Professor
Emergency Medicine

Sergey Tarima, PhD
Associate Professor
Institute for Health & Equity

Bipin Thapa, MD
Assistant Dean
Kern Institute

Scott Van Valin, MD
Associate Professor
Orthopaedic Surgery

Aditya Vedantam, MD
Assistant Professor

Doriel Ward, PhD
Director, Assistant Professor

Geoffrey Wilkes, MD
Assistant Professor

Jacek Zielonka, PhD
Assistant Professor