What is global health?

Global health is a field of study, research and practice that seeks to improve the health of entire populations of people and brings together many different perspectives and disciplines.

  • Researchers, practitioners and experts from a variety of fields, such as medicine, law, engineering, environmental science, policy and law, work in teams to develop innovative solutions to today’s global health challenges.
  • The primary focus is on reducing health disparities — a situation in which some populations are more vulnerable to poor health than others. Practitioners seek to improve health equity for everyone, regardless of race, religion, income, geographic location, socioeconomic status or education.
  • The field’s guiding principle is that health is a human right.

DGHI Director Michael Merson and colleagues wrote this definition of global health in The Lancet as the field began to blossom across university campuses and in the policy world in 2008.

Global health programs exist at all levels:  undergraduate, graduate, medical, doctoral and postdoctoral.

Global health education programs exist at all levels: undergraduate, graduate, medical, doctoral and postdoctoral. Dual degree options are also available.

What does DGHI do?

The Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) trains students to become global health leaders in their fields. DGHI has education programs at all levels of training. DGHI also engages in global health research around the world in collaboration with its partners.

Our goals are to:

  • train the next generation of global health scholars
  • encourage innovation and promote excellence in global health research
  • respond to the policy needs of decision makers around the world
  • undertake service in global health in the context of research and education

Is DGHI part of Duke University?

Yes, DGHI is one of six university-wide institutes of Duke University. The institute works across all corners of Duke to train students and work on solutions to today’s global health problems.

Who does DGHI partner with around the world?

DGHI partners with universities, research organizations, and health care providers and institutions in more than two dozen countries across the globe.

What is DGHI known for?

  • a world-class education that prepares students at all levels to become the next generation of global health leaders. Students are able to pair their classroom learning environment with fieldwork experiences around the world that address a current global health issue.
  • collaboration of faculty and students from all corners of Duke University and Duke Hospital.

What are DGHI’s research focus areas?

While DGHI engages in research in a variety of topic areas, the Institute has largely focused its work in the day’s most pressing global health issues.

Priority research areas include:

Other emerging areas of focus includes global cancer, global diabetes and global mental health. Learn more about DGHI research.

Duke President Visit July 2011 (67)

One of DGHI’s longest partnerships is with the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Tanzania. In 2011, Duke leaders visited the site to learn about the collaboration’s work to enhance medical education in Africa. Here’s more: http://bit.ly/lUT47H

Where does DGHI work in the world?

DGHI works in more than two dozen countries around the world, from Asia and Africa to Latin America to the United States. See our map.

How can I get involved in DGHI?

Anyone interested in getting involved with DGHI should begin by subscribing to the DGHI e-newsletter and following DGHI on various social media sites and blogs.  Also, attend a global health seminar or lecture on campus or make a gift.

If you are a student:

If you are a faculty member:

If you are an alumnus working in global health:

To learn more, visit the Duke Global Health Institute website.


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Writing Digital News

November 8, 2012

By Alyssa Zamora

A copy of the letter mailed to NC homeowners.

The North Carolina Attorney General’s office issued an alert today cautioning North Carolina homeowners against a mailing that solicits money for a copy of their property deed. The statewide alert is targeting homeowners in Durham County, where reports were made as recently as this week.

The statewide alert advises homeowners to watch out for a misleading mailer that looks like an official-looking letter from a Local Records Office, which according to the N.C. Attorney General’s office is a rented mailbox in Raleigh. The letter says the Local Records Office can provide a copy of the homeowner’s property deed for $89, referred to as “the only document that identifies you as a property owner.”

A telephone operator at the toll free number listed on the mailer says their services are strictly optional. She said some of their clients opt for their services for convenience even though they are charged a fee. She denied the allegation that their Raleigh address is a rented mailbox.

Complaints reported in Durham

The Durham County Register of Deeds has received a handful of reports from local homeowners about the Local Records Office mailing, says Sharon Davis, chief assistant at the Durham County Register of Deeds Office. The office’s website has information about the alert.

“We have seen this since the early 2000’s in Durham County, with new solicitations periodically,” says Davis. “Groups are charging fees for information that can be obtained for a much lower cost, and our goal is to educate consumers so they can make informed decisions.”

The letter urges homeowners to take action by a certain date.

Durham City Council member Mike Woodard says he was not aware of any city department taking action on the issue, but warns “if it seems suspicious, it probably is.” He says, “if a fraudulent organization is doing this in Durham, it is probably doing it in other cities as well.”

The mailer is reaching homeowners beyond Durham County. David Johnson, deputy counsel at the North Carolina State Bar and counsel of the Authorized Practice Committee, says a lawyer contacted their office whose client in Caswell County issued a complaint.

Property deed is free or low-cost through county

In Durham and many other counties across the state, deed information showing property ownership can be obtained online for free or a certified copy mailed at little to no cost. Find your local Register of Deeds office.

The N.C. Attorney General’s Office at the N.C. Department of Justice has received three complaints about the mailer so far, says public information officer Noelle Talley. She says the office is warning consumers and asking them to file an online complaint.

“We generally hear about scams like the latest one from consumers who contact us to report them,” says Talley. “Our best advice is for consumers who need a copy of their property deed to contact their local Register of Deeds.”

For more information about the state office’s handling of complaints, Talley refers consumers to the office’s consumer protection page.


Have you received a suspicious mailing? Tell us about it in the comments section below.


— — — — — — — —


*Assignment Notes*


Durham County residents, readers of The Herald-Sun and News & Observer.


Noelle Talley, public information officer, NC Attorney General’s Office

– How/when was this issue brought to the office’s attention? I saw online notice issues January 2011. 

– Has your office been alerted to a particular one that I know of, a “local records office” at “514 Daniels St. #316” in Raleigh?

– How big of a problem is this in NC? Have you seen more of this recently? Any stats?

– How many services do you know of that are soliciting this type of business to date in county of Durham? in NC? How does the office talk about these suspicious services/mailings (I saw on your website “misleading mailing” – Would you consider it a scam or fraud? Is this illegal or punishable by law? Have there been cases in which individuals have been caught/prosecuted against?

–  What is the Attorney General’s office doing about it statewide? How many complaints has the office received this year and how does this compare with past years?

– What is your advice to home buyers who have received a notice of this kind? Anything else home buyers, especially first time home buyers, should watch out for?

-A new alert became available today. What prompted the new alert?

Sharon Davis, chief assistant, Durham County Register of Deeds

– How/when was this issue brought to the office’s attention?

– Has your office been alerted to this particular one I mention, local records office at 514 Daniels St. #316?

– How many services do you know of that are soliciting this type of business to date in the city or county of Durham? in NC?   How does the office talk about these suspicious services/mailings (I saw on your website “misleading mailing”

– Would you consider it a scam or fraud? Is it correct to say these are not legitimate companies offering a legitimate service?

– How big of a problem is this? Have you seen more of it recently? If so, do we know why? Again, this has been a recurring mailing.

– What is your advice to home buyers who have received a notice of this kind?

– Is it important for home buyers to get a copy of their deed?

– Is the office involved in any efforts in Durham to stop these activities? Is this illegal or punishable by law?

– anything else home buyers should watch out for?

David Johnson, Deputy Counsel, N.C. State Bar, Counsel to the Authorized Practice Committee

– How did your office become aware of the mailer?

– Where in the state did those complaints come from?

– What does your office do about these types of complaints?

Mike Woodard, Durham City Council Member

– Are you aware of this issue? If so, how and when was it brought to your attention?

– Is the Durham City Council doing anything to address it locally? If so, what is being done to stop these activities or the people behind them?

-What advice do you have for new home owners, or first time home buyers particularly, who might not know the difference between a suspicious mailing or a legitimate one?


– Kirk Willard, Executive Committee President, BOMA( Real estate advocacy organization)
– Lowell Siler, Durham County Attorney


– Mailing from 514 Daniels St. #316 confirmed as suspicious mailing by Durham County Register of Deeds and N.C. Attorney General’s office

– N.C. Attorney General’s office reports the address is a rented mailbox

– Residents can obtain a copy of property deed for free or at a low cost at the county Register of Deeds.

– Action steps for what to do if residents suspect a mailing is a scam

– Previous alert by N.C. Attorney General’s office issued January 27, 2011.

–  Checked the Durham Register of Deeds to check that alert information was still posted online before posting the news story

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Digital Media

1) You have been appointed the public editor or ombudsman for a news organization online. It’s your job to draft a policy covering changes to articles published online, including corrections and clarifications. How will these be handled? What will be communicated to site visitors?

We AtoZ News Corporation  takes fairness and accuracy very seriously. It is what gives us credibility among our audiences as we continue to build a reputation of reporting the truth accurately, clearly and from multiple perspectives. Corrections and clarifications will be handled with the utmost transparency. Whether it is a City Council proposal that was not explained well, an inaccurate title for a local official or misstating someone’s remarks, these inaccuracies will always be noted and fixed online. We want to give full disclosure to audiences of AtoZ News Corporation when we have not delivered on our promise, and take corrective action publicly. In every case, we will post an editor’s note at the bottom of the story that highlights 1) what was changed, 2) when it was changed, and 3) why it was changed, if more clarification or explanation is necessary. The editor’s note will not be buried on a page or illegible. Instead, it will always be prominently displayed on a webpage and highlighted using boldface, italics, a larger font, etc. Corrections and clarifications will always be fixed online and further action may be necessary depending on the circumstance. In instances in which a considerable or serious mistake was made, it may also require a public apology that is either printed or said live on the air. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

2) As an adjunct to No. 1, draft a policy covering how crowdsourced content should be attributed.

AtoZ News Corporation’s Policy for Contributing/Using Content

Anyone wishing to contribute content must complete the online release form with full name, contact information. They will create an account with this information and must agree to the following AtoZ News Corporation’s policies:

– Contributors certify that the content is accurate and reflects the truth. It seeks to inform or raise awareness about an issue or live event. The content may be modified,  removed or rejected if it is deemd inaccurate, vulgar, offensive or stereotypical.

– Contributors must be 18 years old or older to contribute any content.  The online form verifies age.

– Contributors grant AtoZ News Corporation royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, exclusive license to display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the content.

– Contributors understand they will not be compensated in any way for their content.

–  Anyone wishing to cite AtoZ News Corporation content on any media source must credit the “AtoZ News Corporation” and hyperlink to original content if online. This applies to any photo, video, blog, story or excerpt from a story or any other original content by the AtoZ News Corporation.

– Original AtoZ News Corporation content may NOT be used for advertisements, endorsements, or any other purposes that show false association with AtoZ News Corporation or represents the corporation in a false or negative light.

For questions about AtoZ News Corporation’s policy or for downloadable copies of our logo, contact us:



AtoZ News Corporation

111 Street Name

City, State 32323

3) You did such a great job as public editor, your news organization has named you chief digital officer. It’s now up to you to hire a vice president of social media. Write the job description.


Job Description

AtoZ News Corporation is seeking a visionary online social media strategist and conversationalist who has successfully developed, implemented and managed a company’s growing social media portfolio. The successful candidate understands the importance of social media within a company’s communications strategy. The successful candidate will bring innovation and a fresh perspective to the position that will translate into reaching and growing our audience in new and exciting ways. The successful candidate will build a social media communications team and influence and oversee the output of this team daily.

Duties and Responsibilities

The successful candidate will:

–          Conduct an in-depth analysis of our audiences to learn their demographics and online behaviors as a precursor to developing a social media strategy that is tailored to those audiences. The strategy will include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, Flickr, Instagram, WordPress, Pinterest, Google+ and iTunes, and new technologies and tools as they are appropriate.

–          Research, implement and manage a social media strategy that uses the best tools to reach our various audiences.

–          Continually offers ideas and implements plans that track our audiences, engages them and expands our reach to new audiences across social media sites.

–          Responsible for determining when and how to adopt new social media tools that will benefit the company and connect with our audiences.

–          Build a team of 1-3 social media communications professionals for implementation of the social media strategy

–          Oversee the development of daily content across all social media sites, and he/she will work with team to build and maintain a content calendar for upcoming posts and topics.

–          Stay up-to-date on new technologies, tools and trends in social media and translate that knowledge to recommendations for the company.

–         Develop a plan for tracking and evaluating social media engagement for making improvements in the future.


–          Must have 5+ years experience developing online content, with expert knowledge of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, Flickr, Instagram, WordPress, Pinterest, Google+ and iTunes.

–          Must have 2-5 years experience developing/managing a company’s social media presence and strategy, showing evidence of adapting to evolving online trends and new technologies.

–          Must have a bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, journalism, writing, English, web design/development or a related field. A master’s degree is strongly preferred.

–          Must have experience supervising a team of 1-5 people.

–          News media experience strongly preferred, but not required.

–          Candidate who blogs and participates in social networks and online community regularly is strongly preferred.

To Apply

Please send a resume, cover letter and samples of your work (blogging and social media sites) to jobs@atoznews.com.

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My Live Blogging Experience

I live blogged the VP Debate from a Democratic Watch Party at the Carolina Ale House in Durham, NC. It was a fun experiment, as it was my first live blogging experience. I have done live tweeting for work, but not more in-depth live blogging. For Twitter, it was easier to pick out short quotes to tweet about. I’d mostly type word-for-word and give attribution. With live blogging, I felt the need to go into more depth and make sense of what was happening in the moment rather than just transcribe catchy phrases.

I thought it was especially challenging to live blog a political event. They covered a lot of ground in 90 minutes and I found it hard to keep up with what was being said. There were so many statistics and quick jabs thrown that I know I couldn’t catch it all. In some cases, I was so busy trying to write something down that I had missed a comment that got the crowd excited. It’s difficult to know when there might be a turning point or memorable moment. It was also difficult to listen, write and also monitor the room for reaction.

My takeaways and lessons learned:

  • Know as much as possible about people/topics going into the event. I could have been more prepared since I knew the major topics of the debate beforehand.
  • Be ready with your laptop, internet connection, pad and paper etc. before the event begins so you don’t have to scramble trying to sign on to the internet when the event has already started.
  • Write down the basics and then go back and fill it in later.
  • It’s more important to listen than to write. I would say that I spent 65% of the time writing and the other time listening. I felt that I had to keep writing as if I was going to miss something. But in retrospect, it probably would have been better to listen more so that I could fully take in the exchanges, make sense of them, and be able to recall them later when I’m filling in the blanks.
  • Learn how to write and keep listening with one ear, which comes with practice I suppose.

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Live Blogging: VP Debate Watch Party Final Thoughts

Obama supporters at the VP Debate in Durham, North Carolina are pleased with Vice President Biden’s performance tonight. People said he was flawless, specific and fought back to Ryan’s jabs. The overarching message from Biden tonight seemed to be his message that we need to help the middle class, get them back to work, keep them in their homes, and lower their taxes. He mentioned the middle class many times tonight, and those comments seemed to resonate most with the crowd at the Ale House. The crowd was quiet throughout most of the debate, but those remarks seemed to get the crowd energized and nodding with agreement.

The crowd seemed most engaged when Biden and Ryan were debating the economy and health care. Ryan’s plans for foreign policy, the economy and health care did not resonate with this Democratic crowd. At times, the crowd seemed perplexed by his comments. At other times, they seemed to sigh and nod in disagreement when he talked about his plans, for example the five-point plan. The Obama supporters said Ryan was often vague in his responses, as was made clear when the moderator asked several follow-up questions of Ryan to try to elicit a clear and simple response.

The crowd left happy, along with pictures of themselves posing with life-size cardboard cutouts of Obama and Biden.

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Live blogging the VP Debate from Democratic Watch Party


8:30 p.m.

We’re in a side room at the Carolina Ale House, where it’s obvious something political is about to take place. People are taking pictures with life-size cardboard cutouts of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Red, white and blue balloons are tied to the welcome table where there are a bunch of blue cards with early voting information on them. Everyone has name tags and settles in to a seat. There are flour flat screen televisions hanging from the ceiling all tuned to MSNBC, captioning on but not loud enough to hear it.

I’m at the Vice Presidential Debate watch party in Durham organized by Obama supporters.

Right now, there are roughly 20 people here. The room is about half full. There is light chatter, and people are enjoying a beer and food.


The lead Obama supporter for the event introduces herself and talks about the start of early voting. The first sign of enthusiasm from the crowd comes at the end of her speech. They clapped and gave a mildly loud shout of excitement for what is to come.


The debate begins. Martha Raddatz is moderating. She talks for about 10 seconds before the room of Obama supporters even notices that the debate has begun. Then, they clap and the room quiets down. The TV volume is adjusted higher.


They welcome Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan to the stage. The crowd in the room claps loudly with visible excitement as they settle in to their seats for the 90 minutes ahead.


The first question is on foreign policy. Was the attack on the consulate in Benghazi an intelligence failure? Biden sounds stern in his answer “we will find those responsible…”

Dull “boo’s” fill the room as Ryan talks about the Obama administration blaming a youtube video.


Ryan’s delivery is firm and serious. Biden’s demeanor is very different. He seems a little more light-hearted and keeps smiling. He interrupts Ryan and the moderator, which would set the tone for the rest of the debate.


The moderator says there is no bigger national security issue than Iran. The question: How effective will a military strike be?


Ryan accuses the Obama administration for its watered-down sanctions. Biden questions whether Ryan’s camp will be able to have the world allied with them, countries like Russia, if they get rid of those sanctions. The crowd is quiet and listening intently.


An impassioned Biden says they will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon. Ryan wanted to look at the issue from the perspective of the ayatollahs to further make his point that water-down sanctions are only making it easier to move toward nuclear weapons. Lots of sighs came from the crowd in the room, as if they were dismissing his comments.


Three latecomers arrived and are signing in. The room is filling up and people are eating and listening intently. There are probably 30-35 people in the room, all the tables are mostly full. As I look around the room, people are nodding their heads in agreement with Biden.


Biden says Iran is totally isolated today, and thank heavens these sanctions are in place. He says war should always be the last resort. Meanwhile, Ryan  the worst thing that can happen is a nuclear-armed Iran and they are the worst terrorist threat.


The moderator turns to a new topic, the state of our economy and how soon the candidates could get the unemployment rate below 6%. In her remarks, she mentioned the recent report that unemployment fell below 8% for the first time in 43 months. Those comments get a big applause from the crowd.

Getting relief to the middle class is the heart of Biden’s remarks. He seemed confident he and Obama can get the unemployment rate below 6%. The energy in his voice continues to grow as he makes the point that the middle class is paying more in taxes than Romney. He said that instead of signing pledges to Grover Norquist not to ask the wealthiest to contribute to bring back the middle class, they should be signing a pledge saying to the middle class, we’re going to level the playing field. He talked about “hemorrhaging tax cuts for the superwealthy.”

These comments from Biden get the crowd really excited, with lots of clapping, nodding and shouting in agreement. Biden keeps refuting Ryan’s comments that the situation has worsened in small communities like Janesville Wisconsin where he grew up. Ryan says the 8% unemployment rate is not what real recovery looks like in these communities where lots of people are still out of work, and growth is at about 1%. Ryan follows these remarks with mention of the Romney/Ryan 5-point plan to spur jobs. He says we can’t raise taxes on small business because they are the job creators. The room laughs at the five-point plan.

The exchange between Ryan and Biden is getting heated.

Video: The crowd is entertained by exchange on ability to work bipartisanly on lowering taxes.


I notice the moderator’s question is still up on the screen, and I am not sure Biden nor Ryan are answering the question. Can you get unemployment to under 6% and how quickly can you do it?

Ryan makes a low blow at Biden saying “the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don’t always come out of your mouth the right way.” The room seems to get angry and irritated by Ryan’s remarks.


Biden’s cadence in his remarks is fueling the crowd in the room. The crowd gets energized when Biden talks about restoring America and the middle class. He repeats the phrase “if they’d get out of the way” to get the real work done, to pass the tax cut for the middle class, make it permanent, pass the jobs bill let people stay in their homes.  The crowd goes crazy when Biden tells Ryan to stop talking about how he cares about the people. He wants Ryan to show him something, show him a policy, show him the details and take responsibility.


The moderator asks again when can you get the unemployment rate below 6%? Ryan says that’s the premise of their entire economic plan.

Video: Moderator asks for specifics on how Ryan will pay for 20% tax cut. Do you actually have the specifics?


This marks the moment when the crowd was most animated and energized.  Biden shuts down Ryan when he says he has two letters on his website from Ryan, who wanted stimulus money for the state of Wisconsin. The same person who had been against the stimulus. Biden says he wishes Ryan would be a little more candid. Lots of excitement in the room as Ryan just smiles without a hard response.


Moderator moves to medicare and entitlements. Will the benefits of medicare and Medicaid have to change in order for the programs to survive? Ryan attacks Obama care saying it’s not good for medicare and Medicaid. Ryan wants to give younger people guaranteed coverage options, more coverage for middle-income people.

We saved $716B and put it back into medicare, AARP endorsed what they did. This was a powerful moment with the crowd in the room. Biden looked in the camera and asked Medicare beneficiaries, “Do you have more benefits today? You do.” He asked beneficiaries who they believe, a guy who has fought his life for this or a new plan. As he tells folks to follow their instincts, the crowd breaks out in laughter. Ryan says the Romney/Ryan plan is a bipartisan plan that keeps benefits in place for people 55 and older, but Biden interrupts him to say that not one Democrat endorses it.


Bidens again looks into the camera to ask seniors if they are better off today. He’s clearly trying to speak to the people, which I think is a more powerful tactic than simply paying attention to the other debater.


Biden again asks folks who they trust. He says people don’t have the money to pay more out of pocket, alluding to the Ryan plan.


Moderator says the next question is very simple and says that she realizes she may not get a simple answer. Biden says “it’s a very simple answer. He’s raising the cost of medicare.” The crowd in the room goes wild.


The question is: who will pay more in taxes and who will pay less? Biden says they’re holding the middle class hostage to the super wealthy raising middle class taxes by $2,000 a year. “That’s unconscionable,” he says. The last people that need help are 120,000 families for another $500 billion tax cut over the next 10 years.


As Ryan explains his tax plan, there seems to be a lot of confused faces in the room.


Ryan is still talking about his tax plan. He says there will be a 20% tax cut across the board. The interruptions and banter back-and-forth is entertaining.  The crowd is certainly getting a kick out of this, as is shown by their smiles, sighs and noises.


Biden says the small business owners that Ryan doesn’t want to raise taxes on includes hedge funds. Ryan attempts to defend his statement that they will make up $5 trillion dollars in tax cuts.


Moderator moves on to the topic of Afghanistan. The U.S. reached the milestone of losing 2,000 soldiers. The question is: Why not leave now? What more can we accomplish?  Ryan says he agrees with 2014 target for transitioning out of Afghanistan. Biden says our purpose of going into Afghanistan was to get rid of Al Qaida central, we did that. We agreed to train their forces and do a gradual drawdown. Ryan camp agrees, but that it depends. He doesn’t seem to be specific on what it depends on.


What conditions could justify staying, Ryan? Ryan tells a story. He says we want to make sure 2014 is successful. Biden says the transition has to have a deadline, otherwise it won’t happen.

The moderator asks about the surge. Biden stands firm that the Obama administration did what they said they would do in terms of getting the soldiers in and then getting them out of harm’s way. The surge was a time-limited action.


The next question: Why not send military to Syria? The last thing America wants is to get into another ground war in the Middle East requiring tens of thousands, if not well over 100,000 soldiers. Ryan says no one is saying to send soldiers to war. Biden asks, rightly, of Ryan – what would you do differently? He seemed to evade the question.


What happens if Assad doesn’t fall?  What’s your criteria for intervention, the moderator asks of Ryan. Biden says “yeah,” as if he wants to know as well. Ryan mentions embargos and sanctions in a vague way.


Turning to a more personal question: how does religion plays into your role on abortion? Ryan says his private life and public life are one in the same. He says life begins at conception. Meanwhile, Biden says his religion informs his social doctrine – and to help take care of people who can’t take care of themselves. He also believes life begins at conception, but he says he refuses to impose his beliefs on others. He won’t tell women they don’t have the right to make decisions about their own bodies.


The moderator asks: what should our heroes know about this campaign? Biden says the one truly sacred obligation as a government is to care for our soldiers. Ryan talks about broken promises of the Obama administration and repeats a comment he said early on in the debate – the idea that Obama paints a picture of who to run from when he doesn’t have a good platform to run on. Ryan says we get speeches from this administration, not leadership.


The last question is about character. What could the candidates bring to the vice presidency as a man, as a human being, that no one else could bring? Ryan doesn’t really answer the question. Biden says it’s all about the middle class, who he repeats that he’s devoted his life to serving.


Closing statements. I am surprised there is no fanfare from the crowd during closing remarks. The crowd was silent as they watched the screens. As the debate ends, it goes back to light chatter in the room.

Video: Biden on leveling the playing field in closing remarks.


The debate has ended.


About half of the room has cleared out. Some people are lingering in the room to talk about the debate and watch the post-debate coverage on MSNBC. I overhear people in the room who agree that Biden was flawless tonight. They compare the debate to last week’s debate between Obama and Romney. They admit that Obama was not on the top of his game, as if he couldn’t bounce back from attacks and make his points clearly and powerfully. This time, they say Biden was flawless.

For a full wrap-up of this event, click here.

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Writing a News Release for the Web

FOR CLASS ASSIGNMENT ONLY (This news release is for educational purposes only. It is based off of a newly published research publication by a faculty member at the Duke Global Health Institute. I plan to adapt this for a real news story in coming days.)

Studies in Mexico, U.S. Reveal Need to Serve More Nutritious Meals in Child Care

October 08, 2012 (I would distribute and post news release in early morning hours)
Contact: Alyssa Zamora, Communications Specialist, Duke Global Health Institute
(919) 681-7817, az34@duke.edu, @DukeGHI

Globally, more than 40 million preschool children were overweight in 2008.

DURHAM, NC – Children across 142 government-sponsored child care centers in Mexico are served high-calorie foods, sugar-sweetened beverages and insufficient whole grains, according to  new research led by a licensed nutritionist at the Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Global Health Institute. Dr. Sara Benjamin Neelon, who found similar results in other studies of United States child care centers, is calling for more nutritious meals in child care as obesity rates among this age group continue to rise globally.

Researchers found the food menus in Mexican child care centers listed excessive amounts of high-energy beverages, including full-fat milk, fruit juice and sugar-sweetened beverages for children of all ages. Foods and beverages on menus provided sufficient grams of carbohydrate and fat, but excessive protein and limited whole grains.

In another nutrition study of child care centers in the U.S., Neelon found North Carolina children are not served the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.

Globally, more than 40 million preschool children were overweight in 2008, according to the World Health Organization. In the U.S., North Carolina is ranked 11th for childhood obesity in the nation, and about 30 percent of children under age five are overweight or obese.

Child obesity is emerging as a global epidemic, and Neelon argues the ideal setting to promote healthy eating and physical activity is at child care and preschool, where children consume a large percentage of their daily calories.

Neelon leads a program in North Carolina in which preschoolers grow their own vegetables.

“Excess weight gain in infancy puts children at risk for obesity and other health problems later in childhood,” said Neelon, assistant professor of community and family medicine and global health at Duke. “If we focus our efforts in the early years, we can help prevent obesity later in childhood. Targeting multiple caregivers, such as parents, grandparents and child care providers, helps ensure that children receive consistent messages about living a healthy lifestyle.”

Neelon released a report last year indicating that child obesity prevention begins at birth. She and colleagues suggest that obesity prevention requires a multi-pronged approach:

–          healthy eating
–          more active play and less television time
–          healthy sleep habits
–          regular growth monitoring and identifying signs of excess weight
–          breastfeeding during infancy

Addressing the need for healthier diets in North Carolina, Neelon launched a farm-to-preschool gardening program in two counties, where preschool children are learning to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Neelon is currently adapting the school garden pilot program to a global setting in Muhuru Bay, Kenya. She and a team of researchers from the Duke Global Health Institute are conducting food and nutrition studies in the rural region of Kenya this year.

Learn more about the “Watch Me Grow” program in this  video:


The Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) brings together the best minds and knowledge from across Duke University and its Medical Center to address global health challenges in a comprehensive way. It is educating the next generation to be compassionate, informed and globally-minded leaders. It is also mobilizing the expertise of faculty to make new discoveries and use science to improve the lives of people around the world. This work is performed in concert with partners from universities and non-governmental organizations across the globe.

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