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
As a member of a Cuban American organization, Cuban Americans for Engagement (CAFE), I am keenly aware of the role MEDICC plays explaining within the US the strengths of the Cuban medical system. Because of its lack of resources, Cuba puts all its efforts into prevention. If you haven't already, listen to Gail Reed explain on the TED program where the world's doctors should be trained. It is in Cuba. http://www.ted.com/talks/gail_reed_where_to_train_the_world_s_doctors_cuba?language=en
By also helping U.S. disadvantaged youth study medicine in ELAM, the Cuban medical school, MEDICC is playing its part in the thawing of relations between the two nations.
Today (10/29/2014), in an unexpected move, the U.S. accepted Cuba's invitation and sent a CDC official to Havana to join the Caribbean and Latin American nations in a summit summoned last week to organize the hemisphere against the spread of ebola. Working together for the sake of global health, Cuba and the US are putting aside half a century of enmity. MEDICC was already on the ground.
When Hurricane Sandy struck in Santiago de Cuba, destroying thousands of houses and leaving many more Cubans in dire need of medical supplies, MEDiCC was one of only two institutions that I was able to contact that was raising emergency funds for the stricken. Because of its ability to develop a relationship based on trust with the Cuban government, MEDICC was able to ship aid quickly where it was most needed.
I found out about MEDICC first, after watching movie Salud about ELAM. My wife immediately recognized bus from La Ceiba to Tokoa in Honduras which is passing through her village and later about Luther & Wendy - two students from the neighboring Garifuna village, who are ELAM alumni. Luther update was featured as well in the recent Gail Reed TED talk. MEDICC is essential not only with providing otherwise totally unknown ELAM achievements, but also helping Luther to deliver health care to remote Garifuna region in Honduras, where no other health professionals care to go.
I didn't know about MEDICC until the earthquake in Haiti. Then I started my monthly donation until now. I know it's not too much, but is the best i can do. i'm Cuban American and i think it is the best inversion that i ever did, not for profit, but for a better life for my people. I'm proud to be a donor and i congratulate MEDICC for what they do.