From the CEO: How do YOU keep up with what’s happening in global health?

By Elizabeth A. Madigan |

Liz Madigan, CEO of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma), tells readers how she stays globally informed and asks them to recommend useful sources. 

Elizabeth MadiganWe all face a deluge of information—from work emails to keeping up with one’s family and friends on social media. There are lots of worthwhile sources of information, and what follows—which represents nursing as well as non-nursing groups—is far from exhaustive, but here’s what I read to be a well-informed global citizen:

Global Health NOW:  Published by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Global Health NOW provides a broad perspective of what’s happening in global health and includes news from the World Health Organization (WHO) and many other nongovernmental organizations. An email digest published Monday through Friday, Global Health NOW is edited by Brian Simpson, a journalist with a master’s degree in public health. The publication is free, and you can subscribe by signing up here. A bonus: Every Friday, the digest publishes something fun or off-the-wall in Friday Diversion.

International Council of Nurses newsletter: To subscribe to the newsletter and receive press releases on various activities of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), click here and sign up at the bottom of the page. WHO has declared 2020 as International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. The International Council of Nurses is integral to advancing this initiative, and the newsletter will keep you informed about the year’s events, ICN’s advocacy on behalf of world nurses, and programs it offers.

HIFA Forum: Published by Health Information for All, HIFA Forum is a daily compilation email generated by users from around the world who contribute to discussions about issues of interest to low- and middle-income countries. The publication often features dialogues on specific topics. For example, a recent discussion focused on community health workers. To subscribe to HIFA Forum, click here and follow the instructions.

Jhpiego Newsletter: Our colleagues at Jhpiego, a Johns Hopkins University Affiliate, focus on maternal and child health issues, providing education and direct care in many middle- and low-income countries. Nurses and midwives are the backbone of Jhpiego care providers. Leslie Mancuso, the organization’s chief executive officer, is a nurse who has received leadership awards from many organizations, including the Archon Award from Sigma. To sign up for Jhpiego newsletters, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page. (You’ll find archived newsletters on the same page.)

On Twitter, I follow many organizations because I appreciate the short comments and descriptions that tweets provide about ongoing issues or programs. In addition to @ICNurses and @Jhpiego, I follow:

@WHO: These tweets provide global statistics on specific diseases or conditions as well as informative infographics, in addition to information about specific health issues or programs of interest from the World Health Organization.

@Elizabeth_Iro: WHO’s chief nursing officer tweets on nursing and midwifery issues.

@NursingNow2020: These tweets help me keep up on what the Nursing Now campaign is doing to raise the visibility of nursing and midwifery. Nursing Now is a Burdett Trust for Nursing program run in collaboration with WHO and ICN.

@JNJGlobalHealth: I routinely learn something important about global health in tweets from Johnson & Johnson’s Global Health Division.

@whoccnm: Tweets from the Secretariat for the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centers for Nursing & Midwifery also routinely inform me on new and developing global health issues.  

@world_midwives: Tweets from the International Confederation of Midwives keep me up to date on issues that relate to midwifery and contributions of midwives to global health.

The above list of accounts is just my global health Twitter list. It does not include the many individual accounts I follow.

A common complaint about social media is that it consumes a lot of time. This certainly can be true, but social media time can be managed. I generally review my Twitter feed once a day and spend about 20 minutes doing so. Considering the amount of content I review in those 140-character tweets—the limit is now 280—I think it’s an excellent way to stay current and a good investment of my time. (I mark links of special interest to review later, when I have more time.)

I also post on Twitter, highlighting good work done by Sigma members and sharing what I think others will find useful and informative. You can find me at @Sigma_CEO.

Do you have informative sources you want to share? Tweet me at the above Twitter handle, and I will retweet!

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Elizabeth “Liz” Madigan, PhD, RN, FAAN

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