Thursday, June 28, 2007

¡Vamos PPS!

Hola Todos,

We are finishing a terrific week in Mexico, week three for the project 07. Let me fill you in with a brief update. First off, we lost our great ally from a different shade of blue, Joe. He returned to Duke on Wednesday for an ethics class, the ethics of which I think are questionable at best. He will be missed immensely, his love for public health, service, and Latin culture was a huge asset to the project.

We completed a successful week in Las Pozos, one of the larger communities we will be visiting this year. The group took the challenge in stride, I don't have the final tally quite yet but I know we ran out of supplies, a testament to the volume of participants we saw. Yesterday alone 54 screenings were completed by 1pm. Dr. Beat Steiner served as our attending this week, providing patient consults for all those participants with abnormal lab values . He provided sound leadership and expert advice. He was one of the founders of the Honduran Health Alliance, and thus has valuable experience from which to provide us guidance. Personally, I have been very impressed by the organization and maturity of the rising second years that are leading the project. But more importantly Dr. Georgette Dent, Dean of Student Affairs at UNC, who is visiting the project this week is also very impressed.

Dr. Dent has a long time interest in public health, and is helping to lead the initiative at UNC SOM to advance opportunities for medical students to work on international service projects. In her own words she claims to have "missed her calling" to work in public health. But I feel that the difference she is making as an administrator, supporting the growth of international service at UNC, will be far reaching and long lasting. Upon her return, Dr. Dent will be meeting with several of the other leaders in Global Public Health at UNC such as Mike Cohen, Doug Morgan, Martha Carlough, and our own Beat Steiner.

Prior to visiting el Proyecto Puentes de Salud in Juventino Rosas, Dr. Dent visited the PACEMD program, in San Miguel de Allende. She met with Dr. Haywood Hall, a colleague of Judith Tintinalli from UNC's Emergency Medicine department, and some of the leading health care administrators from the state of Guanajuato. This experience will help her to promote new opportunities for UNC medical students to do rotations with PACEMD in medical Spanish and emergency medicine and to experience the health care system from which many of our future patients first receive care. The program will be especially beneficial to students seeking to acquire a functional proficiency in clinical Spanish.

Check back soon for great photos from this week!


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