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St. Luke’s launches new Planetary and Global Health Program

| January 19, 2021

St. Luke’s launches new Planetary and Global Health Program

College recruits Harvard-trained global health leader


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic – the biggest global health crisis in a century – the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine-William H. Quasha Memorial launches a new Planetary and Global Health Program. The creation of this new program ushers the entry of the College into the field of public health and is aligned with the College’s vision to be a globally recognized center for innovation in medical education by 2030.


Planetary health and global health are two related paradigms that underpin today’s health challenges in the Philippines and around the world. Planetary health refers to the integrated vision for the advancement of health of both people and the planet. Global health is a philosophy of health that acknowledges the global interconnectedness of health in the 21st century – its challenges, outcomes, drivers, and solutions. In planetary and global health, our patients are not just individuals, but also communities, countries, global society, and the entire planet.


The College’s vision for the program is to become a leading center of planetary and global health education, research, and translation in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia by 2030. The new program will leverage on the College’s 26 years of leadership and professionalism in medical education and the hospital system’s more than a century of world class excellence in quality healthcare.


To lead the new program, the College recruits Dr. Renzo Guinto, one of the staunchest emerging voices in the fields of global health and planetary health. He returns to the Philippines after nearly three years of doctoral training in public health at Harvard University. In addition to his role as inaugural director of the Planetary and Global Health Program, Dr. Guinto also joins as Associate Professor of the Practice of Global Public Health in the Department of Professionalism, Medical Ethics and Humanities.



“The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced the unquestionable importance of global health and planetary health as paradigms for educating the next generation of health professionals and envisioning the future of health research and innovation,” said Dr. Guinto. “Now is the right time to establish a planetary and global health center in the Philippines, and St. Luke’s is the right place.”


An Obama Foundation Asia-Pacific Leader and Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow, Dr. Guinto is member of several high-level groups including: Lancet–Chatham House Commission on Improving Population Health post COVID-19 based at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom; Lancet One Health Commission based at the University of Oslo in Norway; Advisory Council of Global Health 50/50 based at the University College London; Advisory Board of Climate Cares based at Imperial College London; Editorial Advisory Board of The Lancet Planetary Health; and Forum on Climate Change and Health of the World Innovation Summit for Health hosted by the Qatar Foundation.


Dr. Guinto also has served as consultant for various organizations including: World Health Organization; World Bank; USAID; International Organization for Migration; Health Care Without Harm; Philippine Department of Health; Chilean Ministry of Health; and Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium. In 2020, he was included by Tatler Magazine in its Gen.T List of 400 leaders of tomorrow who are shaping Asia’s future.


In addition to obtaining his Doctor of Public Health from Harvard University, Dr. Guinto also finished his Doctor of Medicine from the University of the Philippines Manila under the accelerated seven-year Integrated Liberal Arts and Medicine (INTARMED) Program and received further training from the University of Oxford, University of Copenhagen, University of the Western Cape, East-West Center in Hawaii, and the US National Institutes of Health.


In 2021, the new Planetary and Global Health Program under Dr. Guinto’s leadership will introduce new activities in education, research and innovation, and policy and practice. For more information, visit https://slmc.kestrel-test.com/academics/global-health/.

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