Skip to main content

Global Health

Duke Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Science faculty are actively involved in global health research.

Global Hearing Health

Debara Tucci, MD, recently published a review in the New England Journal of Medicine about the growing burden of hearing loss globally, calling for a global hearing program for hearing loss prevention and treatment.

Susan Emmett, MD, MPH, studies hearing loss in low resource settings around the world, working to reduce hearing health disparities through a combination of prevention, early detection, and improved access to treatment. Dr. Emmett recently recorded a TED Talk about her research.

Susan D. Emmett, MD, MPH

Dr. Emmett’s research focuses on reducing hearing health disparities globally. She collaborates with colleagues around the world to define the global burden of hearing loss and deepen understanding of its social, economic, and health impact, applying a public health approach that spans prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. She leads a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-funded randomized trial that applies mHealth screening and telemedicine referral to improve identification of undiagnosed childhood hearing loss in rural Alaska. Dr. Emmett is also the Founder and Director of the Global HEAR Collaborative (www.hearcollaborative.org), an international research network focused on global hearing health that is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of investigators from 25 countries.

Walter T. Lee, MD, MHS, FACS

Dr. Walter Lee has a federally funded research program in global health based in Vietnam. His overarching work is focused on developing “1st world” technologies and innovations for low-resource settings. His current R01 NIH/NIDCR grant is focused on implementation of a low-cost nasopharyngoscope to better screen and triage head and neck cancer patients throughout the country. This is a collaborative effort between Duke-National University of Singapore, Duke University School of Medicine, and the industry partner Vivo Surgical. Other global work includes a research training collaborative between the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communications Sciences and the National ENT Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam.

REI Vietnam

Duke–Hadassah ENT Global Health Symposium

In July 2017, the Duke Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences furthered its collaborative relationship with Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem through the co- sponsorship of the Duke–Hadassah ENT Global Health Symposium, the first otolaryngology conference organized by hospitals in two different countries. The symposium’s mission was to promote the exchange of ideas between Israeli and American medical systems, to generate innovation in global health, to share new technologies, and to foster cross-cultural approaches to patient management.

Additional Projects

Additional projects in global health include:

  • Improving head and neck cancer screening through a low cost fiberoptic scope and providing solar powered hearing aids to low income children (Vietnam)
  • Several of our residents have been awarded the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Resident Travel Award for various humanitarian work in Africa, Asia, and Central America.