National Hispanic Heritage Month 2013

Sept. 16, 2013 College News - In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, the Medical College of Wisconsin is creating a series of video vignettes and stories that will be posted on InfoScope.  The vignettes highlight some of the Hispanic and Latino members of the MCW community and the contributions they have made.  The stories highlight MCW programs that improve the health of underserved populations (including Hispanic and Latino), offer these populations improved access to health care and education, and reduce health disparities.

All of the vignettes and stories will be added to the College’s Hispanic Heritage Month 2013 Web page as they are published.

National Hispanic Heritage Month was created to celebrate the cultures, histories and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Portugal, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Most heritage months take place within a particular calendar month, but Hispanic Heritage Month is held over parts of two months to incorporate significant dates within the Hispanic community: Sept. 15, which is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; Sept. 16, which is the anniversary of Mexico’s independence; Sept. 18, which is the anniversary of Chile’s independence; Sept. 21, which is the anniversary of Belize’s independence; and Oct. 12, which is Columbus Day. Columbus Day celebrates the day in 1492 when Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus discovered America.

Global Health Program helps to support Hispanic Heritage cross cultural opportunities 

The Global Health Program was established in January 2010 and is housed within the Institute for Health and Society at Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). The program inventories the clinical, research, education and public health efforts of faculty working locally with the global Hispanic communities.  There are nearly 30 faculty working in 10 different Spanish-speaking countries, representing 12 MCW Departments (Biophysics, Emergency Medicine, Family & Community Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Pathology, Pediatrics, Plastic Surgery, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Radiology, Surgery and Urology). Faculty are advancing the clinical care, training and research in the fields of pediatric urology, reconstructive plastic surgery, telemedicine, pediatric cardiac critical care, maternity health, rehabilitation engineering, primary care, HIV prevention and orthopedic surgery with colleagues in Spain, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

Dr. Brett Bordini, Assistant Professor Pediatrics in the Institute for Health and Society, knows that the MCW has a unique opportunity to address health inequities and improve patient care through the training of its medical students in medical Spanish.  Over the past decade, physicians in training have displayed an exponential increase in interest in learning more about the world around them and the diverse patient population that they serve.  Based on a groundswell from students, the Medical Spanish Academic Enrichment Selective was developed in 2008.  In addition to language skills, the course provides more in depth exploration of Spanish culture and the impact of this culture on the interaction between Spanish-speaking patients, their families and the healthcare system.  In 2010, Dr. Bordini assumed the role of curriculum director and this year, the Global Health Program became the administrative home for this unique selective.  Nearly 224 students have completed this selective.

Dr. Jeffrey Schwab, Chairman and Paul A. Jacobs, MD Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery, has been partnering with government and non-governmental entities to advance pediatric orthopaedic care in Nicaragua for nearly a decade.  An affiliation agreement with the La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua en Managua was signed in November 2012 to begin a reciprocal training program.  Dr. Carmen Vanzetti, a senior orthopaedic resident from this institution, is the inaugural trainee under this partnership.  She recently completed a two-month observership with faculty in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Trauma, and Orthopaedic Oncology. Now in Managua, Dr. Vanetti has begun to apply the skills and knowledge learned to further her professional goals and advance orthopaedic care for the people of Nicaragua.

Dr. Paula North, Professor and Chief of Pediatric Pathology, has been awarded a  Fogarty GEOHealth Hubs Planning Grant along with partners, of the Peruvian NIH (Institute Nacional de Salud) and the Yantalo Peru Foundation. The GEOHealth program is intended to create global regional hubs for collaborative research, data management, training and policy support regarding environmental and occupational health in low- and middle-income countries.  This research collaborative focuses on assessing indoor and outdoor air quality, water and soil quality, and safety of traditional medicinal plant preparations in the Alto Mayo region of Peru.  The region has high infant and maternal mortality rates (among other health concerns,), which is currently thought to be the result of environmental contamination.  Global Health Pathway students are assisting with Dr. North’s research.  A formal affiliation agreement for collaborative training and research was signed in May 2013.  Priscilla Mamani, Peruvian laboratory technician, recently spent three months learning pathology skills under the guidance of Dr. Sue Kehl, Associate Professor, as the inaugural trainee.

View the global health interactive map to learn more about other faculty-led efforts that address Hispanic health disparities and promote cross cultural patient care.

Sexual and reproductive health of Latino families

Dr. Carol Galletly, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine in the Center for AIDS Intervention Research, is the academic partner of a Healthier Wisconsin Partnership (HWPP) award in partnership with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Inc. (PPWI), CORE/El Centro, Council for the Spanish Speaking, and Holy Angels Old Catholic Church.  Titled, Use of a Lay Health Advisor Model to Bring Sexual and Reproductive Justice to Latinos in Milwaukee, this award allows the entities to evaluate the implementation of a Lay Health Advisor Model.  The program delivers sexual and reproductive health education to Latino individuals and families through culturally competent social marketing and home health education gatherings.  The entities received the award to evaluate the effect of the model on improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes for Latino youth and adults in Milwaukee.