Online Program

Empowerment through education and training: Improving the quality of care for those living with disabilities in the Dominican Republic

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Innes Boland, MPH, Physicians for Peace, Norfolk, VA
More than one billion people in the world live with some form of disability, yet access to high quality rehabilitative services is severely limited for many of those living in the developing world. Building the capacity of in-country healthcare professionals to provide quality care within their own country is essential to narrowing the gap in appropriate services and treatment. Since 2001 Physicians for Peace has been addressing this need by providing training and education to rehabilitative healthcare professionals in collaboration with in-country partners in the Dominican Republic. Through the evolution of the partnerships, an existing gap in quality prosthetic and orthotic (P&O) education and services was identified and a corresponding training and education initiative commenced. This localized training was provided to Dominican healthcare professionals at the partner organization, Asociación Dominicana de Rehabilitación (ADR), by volunteer International Medical Educators (IMEs). In 2010, PFP and ADR collaborated to provide access to an internationally recognized P&O distance-learning certification program for student technicians, the first of its kind in the country. Supplemental hands-on training was conducted by PFP IMEs alongside each of the distance-learning modules. This model of integrating a distance-learning curriculum, with consistent and supportive hands-on training will result in the scheduled graduation of the first class of student technicians in the summer of 2013. Lessons-learned from this model will pave the way for the adaptation of similar initiatives in various areas of the world where these educational and training gaps may also exist.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Explain the value of investing in local partnerships to build capacity of healthcare professionals working in prosthetic and orthotic treatment and care in a developing world setting. Discuss lessons-learned through the progression of a global health education and training initiative for prosthetic and orthotic services in the Dominican Republic.

Keyword(s): Disability, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Director, Global Health Programs I oversee and manage the partnerships and disability care programming with affiliates in the Dominican Republic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.