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When Global Health Comes Home: Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa and Refugees in the U.S.A.

September 20, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Brandon Knettel
Speaker: Brandon Knettel, Ph.D.


In this age of globalization, the problems of one population can quickly become the problems of all. This is certainly true in the area of behavioral health, where we see knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors traversing international borders in new and unexpected ways. Historically, the flow of healthcare ideas and resources has been viewed as unidirectional, with the resources of developed nations being extended to those less fortunate. However, in recent years, movements toward cultural humility and critical cultural awareness have encouraged us reexamine that viewpoint and acknowledge the unique contributions of all people to definitions of health and resilience. In this presentation, Dr. Knettel, a psychologist and postdoctoral associate at Duke’s Global Health Institute, will discuss behavior change through the lens of two populations: school counselors in Tanzania and newly arrived refugees in the United States. Each of these groups faces unique challenges and brings new perspectives to the concepts of health and behavior change as they relate to our lives in the U.S.


Brandon is a licensed psychologist and a Postdoctoral Associate with the Duke Global Health Institute. He is currently assisting with projects by Dr. Melissa Watt and Dr. Kathy Sikkema related to antiretroviral treatment for pregnant women with HIV in Tanzania and the prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and gender-based violence in South Africa. Brandon earned his doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Lehigh University in 2015, where he conducted research examining the value of community based interventions to promote health among U.S. refugee populations and program evaluation for UNICEF-sponsored community health worker (CHW) training programs in Haiti. Brandon completed his clinical training at Duke Integrative Medicine and continues to support programs aimed at promoting mental health and resilience in refugee communities.


This event is presented by the John Hope Franklin Center, and Duke’s Africa Initiative. A light lunch will be served. Parking is available in nearby Trent Rd. and Erwin Rd. parking decks. The series provides 1 hour parking vouchers to guests.