The interrelationships between the environment, public health, and engineering is a complex mix, but it is a topic that Frank Swit, PG, senior project manager based in Gannett Fleming’s corporate headquarters in Harrisburg, Pa., explored during his presentation on May 23, 2013, at the Penn State Hershey Global Health Center.
The center is part of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa. First-year medical students within the college may apply to the Global Health Scholars Program, designed to help students gain skills for community engagement, basic health data collection and analysis, and community health intervention.
As a guest speaker to Global Health Scholars Program participants, Swit explored major events in modern history from post-World War II reconstruction through the independence of former European colonies to the collapse of the Soviet Union to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to the future of international funding institutions.
Within these milestones, he discussed such factors as the environmental impacts of air and water pollution from increased population, urbanization, and industrialization; the spread of water-borne diseases from standing and contaminated water; the growth of immunization programs; and the evolution of engineering to address these social issues, including water and wastewater treatment, transportation, dams, levees, irrigation systems, and solid waste management and disposal.
Swit also intersected socioeconomic factors, including governance, security, education, and employment, to provide a comprehensive worldview of international development as it relates to health, the environment, and engineering.Swit presented to faculty members and medical students who were planning to depart at the end of May for medical volunteer services in Senegal, Ghana, and Kenya.