Rand hopes global healthcare initiative will help perception of US

WASHINGTON: One of the US' oldest think tanks is launching an initiative to make healthcare a bigger part of America's foreign policy, wagering that it will make the US more sympathetic to overseas populations.

WASHINGTON: One of the US' oldest think tanks is launching an initiative to make healthcare a bigger part of America's foreign policy, wagering that it will make the US more sympathetic to overseas populations.

Rand, formed in 1946, debuted the Center for Domestic and International Health Security on July 19. The center will work with foreign governments, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, and the US government to conduct research on ways that America can help other countries improve their citizens' health. Dr. Kenneth Shine, a 10-year veteran of the National Academy of Sciences, is directing the initiative. "By making improved healthcare a key foreign-policy element, the US can become more accepted and welcomed abroad, said Shine. "It's hard to hate a nation that helps save your life or cure your sick child." Center advocates made their first public appearance in front of the US Advisory Commission of Public Diplomacy on July 19. The commission is a presidentially appointed board that makes suggestions to Congress, the President, and the State Department on how the US can improve public diplomacy. "This innovative center has the opportunity to change public diplomacy for the better, said Harold Pachios, chairman of the commission. "Communicating the mechanisms to achieve quality healthcare around the globe will alleviate the suffering of many, and improve America's image abroad." In addition to concerning itself with America's image, the center hopes to arm physicians and teachers with the tools needed to help US citizens deal with the psychological fallout from terrorist attacks. Training guides will soon be provided to health and day-care professionals through the country.

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