DGHI Impact Report — 2022-2023


My bright idea

To design a game to teach students about societal inequities in health and wellbeing.

Rukmini Balu

Adjunct Professor of Global Health

What I'm doing about it

Balu, who teaches a global health course at Duke called “Social Determinants of Health,” created a board game for her students to learn about the factors that influence health around the world. In the game, each student plays a character with specific identities, such as race, gender, language and socioeconomic status, that affect the character’s health and ability to access healthcare. As students see how their assumed identities affect their ability to move around the board and accumulate points, they make more meaningful connections to the struggles many individuals and communities face to achieve and maintain good health. Balu, who debuted the game in her spring 2023 course, won DGHI’s Undergraduate Professor of the Year in 2023 in recognition of her creative approach to teaching impactful global health lessons.