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Last Updated:4/07/10


 The Center for International Policy
in cooperation with MEDICC
takes pleasure in inviting you to a conference on

Cuban Public Health Care Cooperation with Haiti

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
At the University of California’s Washington Center
 1608 Rhode Island Avenue, N.W.

Although few Americans were aware of it, there were Cuban doctors in Haiti long before the earthquake this past January. In fact, since 1998, Cuba has been a major provider of public health care in Haiti, care provided by Cuban doctors and by hundreds of Haitian graduates of the Latin American Medical School in Havana.
Following the earthquake in January of this year, there were significant additions to the Cuban mission to Haiti, which now totals 1,700, including some 783 Cuban doctors and other health-care workers, as well as 481 doctors from Haiti and 387 specialists from other countries all trained at Havana’s Latin American Medical School (ELAM). Together with Venezuela, Brazil and several other countries, and in close coordination with the Haitian government, Cuba has proposed a comprehensive program for the strengthening of the Haitian health system. This will involve a significant commitment from Cuba to provide medical services and staff training.

The United States is now also involved in providing medical and other forms of assistance to Haiti. Cuba and the United States often disagree, but here there should be no cause for disagreement. On the contrary, there would seem to be no reason the two could not work together toward a common goal: to reduce the suffering of the Haitian people and to build a sustainable health system.


9:15 a.m.Coffee and Refreshments 

9:30 a.m.Panel One

  • Introduction by conference host Wayne S. Smith of the Center for International Policy.

  • Ambassador Jorge Bolaños, Chief of the Cuban Interests Section. Giving special attention to Cuba’s role, he will discuss the joint efforts mentioned above of a number of countries to strengthen Haiti’s public health system.

10:30 a.m.Panel Two

  • Dr. Peter Bourne, Chairman of the board of MEDICC (Medical Education and Cooperation with Cuba), and Special Assistant to the President for Health Issues in the Carter White House, will say a few words about MEDICC, its history and what it does.
  • Gail Reed, International Director, MEDICC.  Presentation: “Cuba, Haiti and the Region. Does it take an earthquake? “
  • Conner Gorry, Senior Editor of the journal MEDICC Review, who has been covering the work of the Cuban health professionals in Haiti.  Presentation: “Innovations in Health Cooperation: The Cuban-led International Medical Teams in Haiti.”
  • Dr. Luther Castillo will comment on Conner Gorry’s presentation. A Honduran graduate of Havana’s Latin American Medical School (ELAM), since February he has coordinated the activities of over 250 ELAM graduates working in Haiti.
  • Kathleen G. Hower, Executive Director of Global Links, will discuss their work in Cuba and in supporting the graduates of the Latin American Medical School once they return to their home countries.

All presentations will be followed by discussion, questions and answers.

The Center for International Policy wishes to express its appreciation to The Christopher Reynolds Foundation for its generous support, without which this conference would not have been possible. 

Please RSVP at cubaintern@ciponline.org  or (202) 232-3317

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Center for International Policy
1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW
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Washington, DC 20036
(202) 232-3317 / fax (202) 232-3440