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April 2, 2013

MSU professors explore health partnerships with Cuba

Two MSU professors visited Cuba recently to evaluate options for future study abroad programs, partnerships on health research and exchange of health scientists.

Reza Nassiri, associate dean of global health and director of MSU’s Institute of International Health, and René Hinojosa, professor in the School of Planning, Design and Construction, met with Cuban Health Ministry officers for discussions about educational and cultural exchanges.

Marcia Garcia, a Cuban general surgeon who visited MSU last year and is an adjunct professor at the Institute of International Health, facilitated the arrangements to meet with Cuban health institutions.

The MSU delegation secured permission from the Cuban Health Ministry to organize the new course in Havana. Professor Hinojosa already has an established study abroad program in Cuba sponsored by the University of Havana, entitled “Culture and Sustainable Development in Cuba.” The new course, "Community Health and Cuban Culture,” planned for May 2014, will be a two-week course organized by the Institute of International Health for medical, nursing, public health, and health sciences students.

Escuela Nacional de Salud Pública – Cuba’s premier center for tropical medicine and public health – was designated by the Health Ministry of Cuba to work with Nassiri, the director of the new course, to deliver the goals and objectives of the program by placing MSU students in a Havana teaching hospital and in community clinics to enable students to experience the Cuban healthcare delivery system. The school also showed interest in establishing research collaboration with MSU faculty in the fields of tropical medicine, community health, and public health.

The MSU team also had an opportunity to visit the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina, an international medical school serving 92 nations training their future physicians. Both teaching institutions requested medical and health textbook donations for their students, a project to be undertaken by the Institute of International Health.

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