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It's 2009. Early in the year, a 9-year-old girl from California became the first person with a confirmed case of H1N1 ("swine") influenza in the United States. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. declared a public health emergency and the World Health Organization declared a phase 6 pandemic (the highest level possible). By September 2009 a vaccination was developed and was available within a month.
You've been following the news about the H1N1 influenza as developments have unfolded throughout the year, and you feel some concern. You have been wondering about the risk of coming down with the H1N1 flu yourself and have been thinking about whether you should be vaccinated.
Raymond De Vries is co-author on a new publication in Academic Medicine, highlighting a successful model for collaboration which was developed in the early phases of a grant funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation nearly five years ago. The Collaborative Health Alliance for Reshaping Training, Education, and Research (CHARTER) project expanded the partnerships between the University of Michigan and several Ghanaian academic institutions to enhance health care provider education and build and/or increase research capacity. One of the early goals of the grant was to establish guiding principles for engagement through a Charter of Collaboration.
Dr. Lauren Smith is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan specializing in hematopathology. She has been a member of the University of Michigan Adult Ethics Committee since 2005 and also serves as a Chair of the Michigan State Medical Society Ethics Committee. Her research interests include ethical issues in clinical medicine and pathology.