About Global Health Connections…


The idea behind this project was to highlight how people and organizations from North Carolina are affecting global health… and how people from around the globe end up affecting the health of North Carolinians.

When Tar Heels think of global health, thoughts almost immediately turn to the School of Public Health (now the Gillings School of Global Public Health) at UNC Chapel Hill. Some of the people/ organizations highlighted are from the School of Public Health, but these stories are by no means only about them.  There are many private and not for profit organizations based in North Carolina, that employ folks from the state and send them around the world.  There are private citizens from the state who have taken on grassroots projects and volunteer roles in many countries.  I’ve found some of them. They’ve been kind enough to share their stories with me… and you.

This project was made possible by a generous grant from the Gillings School of Global Public Health.  However, that grant didn’t influence my choice of stories, nor did people at the school tell me where to go.  I chose to go to Malawi to look at the UNC Project after months of research and talking to people, and decided that the project was really interesting… and again, because Malawi was a place that most people didn’t know about.  That includes me.  So, I decided to take a look.

People in the US might think that assistance in global health flows in one direction, from the developed world, to the developing world.  But I’ve learned that information and knowledge flow is a two-way street, and that health truly is global.  When health systems in other parts of the world succeed or fail, it profoundly affects the United States.  I hope to illuminate some of the ways that our health is intertwined with that of the other inhabitants of the planet.

About me…

I’m Rose Hoban, the health reporter for North Carolina Public Radio, WUNC.  In my prior career(s), I lived and worked in several countries.  I lived in Micronesia during the 1980s, where I taught at a trade school and ended up running a small clinic (that’s a story!). One of my best experiences in Micronesia was sailing on the Pacific for two weeks as a passenger on a cargo ship.  The deck was my bunk, a bag of rice was my pillow – that got smaller the further we traveled!.

When I completed my contract in Micronesia, I went to Thailand for a ‘short’ visit.  I ended up staying for a year.  I taught there, traveled, and also did work in a refugee camp on the Thai-Cambodian border.

Rose Hoban made some new friends at Malawi Children's Village

Rose Hoban made some new friends at Malawi Children's Village

These experiences inspired me to attend nursing school when I returned to the States.  I graduated with a bachelors in nursing in 1992, and practiced in Washington, DC, in an inner city E R.  I returned home to New York, where I worked as a hospice nurse, worked in a drug treatment clinic and with a senior home care program.

In 1999, I had the opportunity to work with Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins Sans Frontieres in Indonesia, where I ran a program for about 20,000 people displaced as the result of an ethnic conflict.

I returned to the US to study public health and journalism, finishing up in 2003.  I’ve been working at WUNC since the beginning of 2005.

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