272979 Applications from Cuba: MEDICC's Community Partnerships for Health Equity

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Diane Appelbaum, RN, FNP, MA , Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC), Oakland, CA
Community organizations and academic faculty have a great potential to transform health outcomes, but the horizon is often limited by the lack of functioning models to spur innovative thinking. Since 1997 MEDICC (Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba) has guided over 2,000 students and health professionals to observe Cuba's health system. MEDICC's Community Partnerships for Health Equity (CPHE) programs went a step further, to not only observe Cuba's working models, but to bring back “lessons learned” to improve health access, equity and health care in the US. Between 2008-2010 MEDICC implemented a CPHE program in Oakland, California, in which approximately 30 community health leaders and Berkeley School of Public Health faculty traveled to Cuba. Cuba, an economically isolated country, has slowly and methodically transformed its population into one of the world's healthiest. A striking feature of this accomplishment is that Cuba does not conform to the conventional wisdom of health=wealth. The Cuban public health system blends population health and clinical medicine; with an emphasis on prevention and health promotion. A primary outcome of this program has been stronger collaborations among Oakland public health organizations. CPHE has been a catalyst for Alameda County Health Department's Portals of Health initative. Oakland's public hospital (Highland) has increased emphasis on primary care, and for the past 3 years has offered summer clinical experiences to US medical students studying in Cuba. This new and exciting workforce has also inspired Oakland's Faces for the Future program.

Learning Objectives:
1. List examples of Cuba’s health care models that might be relevant to US communities. 2. Discuss the outcomes in Oakland, CA of MEDICC’s Community Partnerships for Health Equity program

Keywords: Communication, Health Care Delivery

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: US director of MEDICC
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.