264277 Lessons from Cuba: Tailoring Public Health for Integrated Care

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Mary Frazier, RN, MSN , Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital and Research Center at Oakland, Oakland, CA
Carmen Byker, PhD , Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
Suzanne Cashman, ScD , Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Christine DeCourtney, MPA , Department of Clinical Services, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage, AK
Health professionals from US institutions acted globally through travel to Havana to observe Cuba's health system and have returned ready to act locally by putting lessons learned into practice. Marazul Charters organized the one-week research program, with MEDICC (Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba) consulting. Issues related to health equity and community engagement were discussed with Cuban health care system leaders. The strengths and challenges of Cuba's integrated health care system will be reviewed and insights informing public health practice in the US will be identified. Data were collected from key informant interviews, as well as observations, and published public health statistics. The Cuban health care system derives its strength from focusing on intersectorial collaboration, incorporating social determinants of health in models of education and standards of care, resourcefulness, and tailoring to population needs. Several key indicators highlight the successes of a system founded on prevention and primary care, including low infant and AIDS-related mortality rates. Even with a seemingly comprehensive approach, Cuba's health care system faces several challenges. These include obesity and chronic disease rates on par with developed nations. The country's approach to respond to the fundamental question will be discussed: what type of system needs to be built in order to achieve optimal health for all citizens? Finally, an analysis of Cuban and US public health and medical systems show different health metrics in several areas. Moving forward, each respective country can inform key public health successes and challenges, bridging research and practice gaps to improve health outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
•Describe integrated health care in Cuba •Discuss strengths of the Cuban health care system •Identify challenges in Cuban health care system •Demonstrate how the United States and Cuba’s health care systems can inform each other

Keywords: Community Health, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a nurse at the Children's Hospital and Research Center and have extensive leadership and management experience in elder services including Home for the Aged, Assisted Living, Skilled Services, Dementia Care and Hospice.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.