top of page

world health day Initiative 2022
UNICEF UM's Second annual world health day initative

This seven-day initiative will promote child health and well-being by exploring how different organizations implement solutions to this global issue and what global factors inhibit children from reaching their full potential.  In 2021, UNICEF UM's World Health Day Initiative was on childhood malnourishment with special quests such as Dr. Laura A. Jana and Dr. Seethaler.  


From interviews to a day of action, and research materials to a gala, we are seeking to establish and grow an Education and Advocacy archive for anyone to access.  We hope to inform students and UNICEF USA Supporters across the country about the important work being done to fight for the health of children with a particular emphasis on the world of UNICEF, the United Nations, Sustainable Development Goal #3, and the World Health Organization. 

Schedule of events

Monday, April 4, 2022

Interview: Cynthia D. Smith, MD, FACP

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Interview: Alicia Godsberg

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Interview: Jennifer Pierce, Ph.D.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Panel: Casey Patnode, M.D. and Gwenyth Lee, Pd.D, M.H.S

Friday, April 8, 2022

Research: Climate Change and Children's Rights

Saturday, April 8, 2022

Action: Advocacy Campaign, Ann Arbor 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Gala: Alba Ibraj, UUSA Advocacy Associate and Fatma Müge Göçek, Ph.D.


Cynthia D. Smith, MD, FACP
Vice President, Clinical Education, American College of Physicians

Cynthia Smith, MD, FACP, is Vice President of Clinical Education at the American College of Physicians (ACP) and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She received a medical degree from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is board certified in internal medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP). 


After completing an internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), she joined the medical staff of MGH and the faculty of Harvard Medical School. She relocated to the Philadelphia area and worked as the internal medicine program director at Lankenau Medical Center where she founded and managed the academic hospitalist program.  


In addition to her role as program director, she served on the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM) program planning committee and the APDIM Council. She was an active member of the milestones writing group convened by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the Accreditation on Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and co-authored the Internal Medicine Milestones. 


Dr. Smith joined the staff of ACP in 2011 as a Senior Medical Associate in the Medical Education Division. In this role, she successfully launched the ACP’s High Value Care Initiative, guided the transition of the Internal Medicine In-training examination to an online exam, founded the clinical skills scholarship program, doubled the size of the clinical skills center at the annual meeting and secured several million dollars in grant funding to support the development of novel educational programs. In 2016, Dr. Smith was promoted to Vice President. 


Her current responsibilities as the VP of Clinical Education at the ACP include overseeing the Instructional Design and Events Department and the Center for Quality. Some of her responsibilities include oversight over the ACP Online Learning Center (hundreds of online educational activities), virtual and location-based educational meetings including the ACP Annual Internal Medicine Meeting (> 10,000 physician learners), QI learning collaboratives engaging thousands of physicians, grant funding > $12 million, Physician Well-being and Professional Fulfillment and Patient and Interprofessional Partnership Initiatives. In addition, she recently served on the ABMS Advancing Practice Task Force that drafted quality improvement standards for continuing certification.


She continues to see patients and teach medical residents at the University of Pennsylvania.


Cynthia D. Smith


Jennifer Pierce

Jennifer Pierce, Ph.D.

Jennifer is a Research Investigator in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan. As a principal investigator at the Back & Pain Center, she conducts research aimed at understanding the impact of trauma on pain phenotype and pain-related behavior. She is also interested in extending this mechanistic work to interventions for people with pain, as well as for individuals who experience trauma and exhibit a pain vulnerable phenotype.

Alicia Godsberg
Assistant Director of UNICEF Global Programs

Alicia has been with the Global Programs team at UNICEF USA (UUSA) since July 2016, focusing on the following UNICEF programs: WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene); Climate, Energy & Environment; and HIV/AIDS. Prior to working at UUSA, Alicia served as the Executive Director of Peace Action New York State and was the Research Associate for the Strategic Security Program and UN Affairs at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, D.C. Alicia has a master’s degree in political science from The Graduate Center at the City University of New York and received her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Michigan.


Gwenyth O. Lee, PhD, M.H.S.

Gwenyth received her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2013. Her research interests relate to the intersection of infectious (particularly enteric) disease and undernutrition, primarily in Latin America, and are focused on better understanding how environmental and dietary factors affect the development of the microbiome among children in Ecuador ('EcoMID') study; and characterizing antagonism between enteric infection and undernutrition in infancy.

Casey Patnode, M.D.

Casey is in the final year of his dual degree MD/MPH program at the University of Michigan Medical School and School of Public Health. He is a co-founder and former Director of the student organization White Coats for Planetary Health, the first medical student organization dedicated to the intersection of climate change, environmental justice, and human health. Through this organization, he helped to develop a Climate Change and Human Health elective course for senior medical students. He is also a former Legislative Advocacy Sub-Chair in the national leadership team of Medical Students for a Sustainable Future. He recently matched at the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Residency Program at Mass General Brigham and will be starting there this summer. He is driven to bring the clinician's voice to the forefront of public discourse in explaining climate change as a human health emergency and ensuring there are policies in place to ensure a healthy climate and environmental justice for all.


Alba Ibraj

Alba Ibraj is an Associate on UNICEF USA's Advocacy and Public Policy team. Currently based in Washington D.C., but originally from Metro Detroit, her passion for children's rights emerged after mentoring children in Ann Arbor who had experienced homelessness. While pursuing her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, Alba interned at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, where she assisted with the U.S. response to violent conflict in the Horn of Africa region. Today, she represents UNICEF's work in the Horn of Africa and Ukraine on various NGO working groups, co-leads the U.S. based anti-child marriage efforts and garners bipartisan Congressional support for policies that impact children

5C005F05-2C15-473E-95F3-1442B5A1DDB0 (1).jpeg
bottom of page