Strengthening Primary and Maternal Care Delivery

Strengthening Primary Care and Maternal Care Delivery Capacity in the Latin American and Caribbean Healthcare Workforces.

The UM SONHS CC endeavors to work with PAHO and with its international partners to advance nursing professional formation and workforce competencies in Latin American and Caribbean regions characterized by insufficient healthcare education and professional development resources.


UM SONHS faculty lead interprofessional healthcare teams of nurses, social workers, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals on biannual trips to the town of Thomonde in Haiti’s Central Plateau. Our teams facilitate didactic educational sessions on “best practices in primary care delivery” for Haitian nurses and physicians, as well as the opportunity for hands-on training during health clinics and home visits conducted for the local populace. An estimated 5,000 patients from one of the most underserved communities in the Western hemisphere’s poorest country have received primary care and education to-date, and a sizeable segment of the region’s healthcare workforce has been educated in how to deliver this care. Major Haiti relief agency Project Medishare is replicating our PAHO/WHO CC’s nurse-led model to guide all volunteer operations. Competitively awarded grants recognize the value of this program.

Dominican Republic

UM SONHS CC faculty lead teams of nurses on annual educational and primary care delivery missions to the city of Santiago, D.R.  In partnership with healthcare educators from the country’s Pontifica Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra and from Clinica Union Medica hospital, our teams facilitate formal educational sessions on “best practices” for nurses and physicians practicing in local hospitals, with a focus on increasing patient safety in care delivery, emphasizing evidence-based practices in critical care. Preliminary results indicate a high degree of satisfaction and knowledge gains in the D.R. healthcare workers who participate in this program. This collaboration between our PAHO/WHO CC and hospital leaders in the D.R. is creating a new model that elevates the education and visibility of nursing in the Caribbean’s second largest nation.

Human Resources for Maternal Health

Training of Human Resources for Health to Improve the Quality of Maternal Health in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Preventable pregnancy and childbirth-related complications take the lives of 830 women per day worldwide, with 99% of these deaths occurring in developing countries, especially indigenous communities. To address this situation, our PAHO/WHO CC is partnering with the PAHO Department of Health Systems and Services and Human Resources for Health and with our partner Collaborating Centres in Brazil, Chile, and the United States to increase the number of healthcare workers trained in competent maternal healthcare delivery in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Peru and Nicaragua.  Our PAHO/WHO CC is developing the full online content of a 12-week virtual course for the PAHO Virtual Campus of Public Health which will form part of a hybrid training program in delivery of evidence-based maternal health care.