Videsh Kapoor is a respected advocate for improved health outcomes both at home and abroad. As well as being a Vancouver-based family physician, she directs the UBC Division of Global Health in the Department of Family Practice and voluntarily contributes her time and expertise as co-founder of the university’s Global Health Initiative (GHI). The initiative has enhanced the quality of undergraduate education at UBC by offering skills training to students from a broad range of study areas and providing them with an opportunity to contribute to projects in Uganda, India, Honduras, Kenya, and Canada.
Dr. Kapoor directly supervises and participates in several of these projects, which aim to improve health outcomes in low income communities by addressing priority health care needs, providing a healthy and optimistic future for children, and empowering local communities through capacity- strengthening, knowledge-sharing, skills training, and education.
Since 2010, for example, she has been faculty lead for a partnership between UBC and a remote hospital in the Peruvian Amazon, which has hosted several UBC senior medical students and medical residents as part of their training. Dr. Kapoor is leading a collaborative research project with her Peruvian partners investigating the effects of methyl mercury contamination of fish and implications for local populations, specifically pregnant women and children.
Since its inception four years ago, GHI has provided hands-on training to approximately 500 students from various UBC disciplines, including medicine, dentistry, midwifery, arts, science, and engineering.
In recognition of her teaching skills, Dr. Kapoor has received the Global Health Education Consortium’s Velji Award for excellence in Global Health Education (2010), the William A. Webber Award (2011) for her contributions to undergraduate medical education, and was named Family Practice Teacher of the Year by the BC College of Family Physicians (2007).
As well as being instrumental in the development of UBC’s global health curricula, Dr. Kapoor chairs a national working group for the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) on developing national consensus global health competencies for core medical undergraduate curricula. She also is a member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada Global Health Committee, whose initiatives are aimed at the promotion and development of Family Medicine training programs in developing nations.
Dr. Kapoor’s research and ongoing commitment to global health education have improved the health and welfare of impoverished populations, inspired students to become engaged and responsible citizens, and strengthened UBC’s presence as a globally influential university.