International Academic Exchange
Mission: MEDICC believes Health for All is Possible and works to enhance cooperation among the US, Cuban and global health communities aimed at better health outcomes and equity.
Results: 2014 was a pivotal year for MEDICC, transitioning leadership to new Executive Director Pierre LaRamée, a dedicated advocate of global health equity and Latin American human rights, who brought to MEDICC over 30 years’ experience in NGO leadership. Under his direction, all programs have expanded and new staff have joined MEDICC’s ranks to accommodate this growth. Among the ways we bridged the US, Cuban, and global health communities and shared the successful outcomes of Cuba’s public health and medical education systems, MEDICC:
• Catapulted the story of the Latin American Medical School (ELAM) onto the global stage, through co-founder Gail Reed’s TEDMED talk “Where to train the world’s doctors? Cuba.” To date, the video has been viewed over 700,000 times and has been translated into 22 languages.
• Coordinated educational exchanges to Cuba for 152 professionals, participating in 12 programs tailored to each group, including a high-level delegation of Congressional Diabetes Caucus members, medical experts and patient advocates to Cuba to learn more about diabetes care and an innovative therapy that reduces diabetic foot amputations.
• Generated new Institutional Bridges and developed others, brokering a bilateral agreement between the American Public Health Association and the Cuban Society of Public Health, which envisions joint research and exchange of experience and publications; and furthering work on end-of-life issues between Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Cuba’s Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery as well as the relationship between the University of California at San Francisco’s Memory and Aging Center and CNEURO the Cuban Neurosciences Center.
• Became a prime source for news on Cuba’s role in fighting the Ebola epidemic through press outreach and a new website. www.ebola.medicc.org. Cuba sent 256 nurses and doctors, the largest contingent of healthcare workers from any country. In cooperation with Global Links, MEDICC also launched a special fundraising campaign to secure shipment of medical supplies to the international and Cuban teams.
• Launched new sites in one of our signature programs, Community Partnerships for Health Equity (CPHE), in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Summit County, Ohio; Kern County, South Los Angeles, Del Norte and San Diego; California. We also convened the first national meeting of MEDICC’s CPHE Network of Community Partnerships for Health Equity, with community health leaders and advocates from six cities joined together to share with each other actions taken to improve local health, prompted by insights gleaned from their visits to Cuba.
Programs: Educational Exchange Programs in Cuba, Community Partnerships for Health Equity, Medical Literature for Cuban Professionals, Latin American Medical School, ELAM: Support for US students and graduates, Equitable Health Care in Haiti, MEDICC Review-International Journal of Cuban Health & Medicine
I have been a member of the board for 15 years and Editor-in-Chief of the organization's open access medical journal, "MEDICC Review" for about 5 years. I'm particularly proud of the journal's staff and contributors for helping to bring the accomplishments and struggles of the Cuban National Health System to international attention. Cuba's successes in improvement of health status in an environment of very limited resources is a beacon of hope for much of the developing world. MEDICC's ability to help others understand the principles of the Cuban approach has contributed to the improvement of health in many other countries.