Dr. Pust’s 47-year career as a global health physician interfaced curriculum development with teaching, and field research with clinical practice. After 4 years with the CDC (2 in the Navajo nation/reservation and 2 in Nigeria on TB and smallpox) and 6 years as a general practitioner in Papua New Guinea, he was board certified in Preventative Medicine and Family Practice. Karen Bloomquist Pust, RN, BSN and Ron served together, she as mother and nurse.
Joining the Department of Family & Community Medicine in 1979, he designed the interdisciplinary Arizona course, “Global Health: Clinical & Community Care” (www.globalhealth.arizona.edu), retitled Global Health Intensive Course in 2022. Revised annually since its inception in 1982, this course graduated over 850 students, who have gone to over 70 developing nations. From 2010-2017 he, Tracy Carroll, MPH, and Arleen Heimann directed the College’s Global Health Distinction Track. Alongside this, in 1981, Karen began her 30 years as a nurse case manager, serving southwest Tucson.
Dr. Pust hosted the 1991 founding meeting of the Global Health Education Consortium (GHEC) in Tucson, serving as its chair for curriculum. GHEC amalgamated in 2011 with the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (www.cugh.org). In 2013, he was named Director, Office of Global & Border Health at the College of Medicine. On a 2004-2005 sabbatical, he was founding head of Family Medicine at Moi University in Kenya, working clinically at a hospital near Webuye.
His field research has dealt with low-technology assessment of lung disease, and with leprosy, malnutrition, and family planning. Most of his other publications concern medical education for careers in underserved regions. Dr. Pust retired in 2018, but remains active in the Hansen’s Clinic, teaching, and advocating for global health.