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Colorado School of Public Health

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Collaborations Building Global Health in Rural Guatemala

With a million dollar gift from the Jose Fernando Bolaños Foundation, University of Colorado and Children's Hospital Colorado health professionals are building new collaborations to develop and improve the community health of El Pomal, Guatemala. Learn more about their community collaborations and inspiring work. To see the story, click here. To see the video, click here.


Learn More About the Center!

Our WHO Collaborating Center for Promoting Family and Child Health is one of only two maternal and chld health collaborating centers in the Americas and provides the infrastructure for our family and child health activities. To learn more about our programs, click on the 'Maternal & Child Health' tab.


Over 800 institutions in over 80 countries supporting WHO programmes

Institutions are designated as WHO collaborating centre by the Director-General under a formal mechanism of collaboration to carry out activities in support of the Organization's programme at all levels. As of 2012, WHO's network of WHO CCs brings together more than 800 highly regarded academic and scientific institutions in over 80 countries, supporting WHO programmes and priorities with time, expertise and funding.

The designation is initially agreed for four years, and can be renewed before it ends. During the period of designation, the centre implements an agreed list of activities in support of WHO programmes, independent of financial support given to the institution by WHO.

A win-win relationship

The collaboration brings benefits to both parties. WHO gains access to top centres worldwide as well as the institutional capacity to support its global health work, and to ensure its scientific validity. Institutions benefit from enhanced visibility and recognition by national authorities, calling public attention to the health issues on which they work. The designation also opens up improved opportunities to exchange information and develop technical cooperation with other institutions, in particular at international level, and to mobilize additional resources from funding partners.

Networks of WHO collaborating centres

Collaborating centres are encouraged to develop working relations with other centres and national institutions recognized by WHO, by setting up or joining collaborative networks with WHO’s support. Examples of existing technical networks are the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery Development, and the Network of WHO Collaborating Centres on Occupational Health.

Past and present

WHO collaborating centres have been designated since the establishment of WHO. The first institution designated was the Department of Biological Standardization at Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen in 1948. Currently, centres are found in over 80 countries.

The majority of designated institutions are departments or units of universities, laboratories, research institutes, hospitals, ministries, or national academies. All of them have a long and successfully history of carrying out jointly planned activities with WHO prior to being designated.

Overall, WHO collaborating centres work on a diverse range of subjects, across all of WHO’s technical programmes. Their activities include, for example, carrying out research for WHO, assisting in the development of a WHO guideline, gathering and analysing data for a WHO report, dissemination of information, providing a training course by request of WHO, standardization of terminology, or provision of technical advice to WHO.

Find the centres

The WHO collaborating centres database is the official source of information about WHO collaborating centres worldwide. It can be accessed at:

The maternal and child health division within the Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Global Health was designated by the World Health Organization as a WHO Collaborating Center for Promoting Family and Child Health.

The division, which is a partnership between Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Colorado School of Public Health, is one of only two programs in the Americas to receive this designation in maternal and child health.

“This designation means that the center will be more actively engaged in developing transformational maternal and child health interventions and programs which can then be taken to a global scale,” states center director and CU School of Medicine professor of pediatrics and public health Stephen Berman, MD.

With the new designation, the center’s maternal and child health division will focus on four major program outcomes in partnership with the WHO and its regional affiliate, the Pan American Health Organization:

  • Reducing excessive neonatal deaths through resuscitation training programs (Helping Babies Breathe) and other community-based models of care;
  • Vaccine related research, education, service programs, and policy development
  • Training programs for pediatric disaster preparedness and response; and
  • Innovations in electronic health technologies.

The division’s faculty have a long standing involvement improving health outcomes for mothers and children around the world.

“World-class children’s hospitals extend their efforts to support the health of women and children all over the world. We’re proud that our faculty members have been major architects of several programs developed in partnership with WHO that have and are being implemented world-wide,” states CEO of Children’s Hospital Colorado Health System Jim Shmerling, DHA, FACHE.

Senior investigators include Steve Berman, MD, professor of pediatrics, Eric Simoes, MD, professor of pediatrics, Edwin J Asturias, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, Wayne Sullender, MD, professor of pediatrics and Gretchen Heinrichs, MD, DTMH, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and Director of Maternal Health Programs.



About Children’s Hospital Colorado

U.S. News & World Report, Children’s Colorado is known both for its nationally and internationally recognized medical, research and education programs as well as the full spectrum of everyday care for kids throughout Colorado and surrounding states. With more than 1,000 healthcare professionals representing the full spectrum of pediatric specialties, Children’s Colorado network includes its main campus on the Anschutz Medical Campus, 15 Network of Care locations and more than 400 outreach clinics. For more information, visit and connect with Children’s Colorado on Facebook ( and Twitter (


About Colorado School of Public Health

The Colorado School of Public Health is the first and only school of public health in the Rocky Mountain Region, attracting top tier faculty and students from across the country, and providing a vital contribution towards ensuring our region’s health and well-being. Collaboratively formed by the University of Colorado Denver, Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado, the Colorado School of Public Health provides training, innovative research and community service to actively address public health issues, including chronic disease, access to health care, environmental threats, emerging infectious diseases, and costly injuries. To learn more about the Colorado School of Public Health, please visit its website

A Global Mission
The health challenges of today present complex cultural, economic, political and geographic issues. To tackle these challenges the global community requires scientific innovations and collaborations from among clinical, research, and educational professionals.
At the Center for Global Health, we stand at the center of this network - activating people and programs willing to improve the health and well-being of millions around the world. Our work includes implementation of clinical training programs, infrastructure development for the prevention and treatment of communicable diseases; and corporate consultation in global health education.
The Center for Global Health has five areas of focus: family and child health, community health system development (with an emphasis on eHealth), translational research (with an emphasis on vaccines, new therapeutics, and diagnostics), adult health (with an emphasis on non-communicable disease and occupational health), and education in Colorado and throughout the world.
Get the Latest News!
Research Behind Global Switch to New Polio Vaccine Strategy Released in The Lancet. Gates Foundation-funded study was led by Edwin Asturias, MD, Director of Latin American Projects at Center for Global Health at the Colorado School of Public Health and Children’s Hospital Colorado.  Learn more. See the CCTV America Interview.
Registration is Open! 2016 Global Health & Disasters Course. Click for a draft agenda & register - Deadline is Monday, September 5th.
Want to be a participate in the upcoming Global Health Symposium scheduled for Friday, October 14, 2016?
Submit an abstract to share your project - Deadline is Monday, August 22, 2016.
Know a worthy candidate to nominate for the 2016 Award for Excellence in Global Health?
See the nominating and selection criteria - Deadline is Monday August 22, 2016
Read the latest issue of the Global Health the latest issue of the Global Health link, newsletter of the Center for Global Health.


Center for Global Health

13199 East Montview Boulevard, Suite 310
Mail Stop A090
Aurora, CO 80045


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