Sacred Heart University: Havana - Community and Public Health-Comparative Health Systems in Cuba

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  • Location(s): Havana, Cuba
  • Program Type(s): Study Abroad

Sacred Heart University

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Founded in 1519, Havana is the largest city in Cuba with a population of two million. It is the political and economic hub of the country, and boasts a vibrant arts scene – from the music for which the island nation is famous to film, dance, and v... read more

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About

Founded in 1519, Havana is the largest city in Cuba with a population of two million. It is the political and economic hub of the country, and boasts a vibrant arts scene – from the music for which the island nation is famous to film, dance, and visual arts. Havana’s strategic location in the Caribbean once made Cuba an important colonial possession. The Spanish treasure fleets would overwinter here to prepare for the return journey to Spain. A city wall and a string of fortifications along the coast were built to protect Havana from pirate attacks; by 1774 it was the most fortified city in the Americas. In 1982, Old Havana was named a UNESCO World Heritage site and the restoration process has been recognized internationally for its success in combining historic preservation and investments for international tourism with local community development
 
Cuba is a rich environment for the study of community, public and global health.  The health care system in Cuba is considered one of the best in the world mainly due to their focus on prevention and primary care medicine--aspects
of health care that are lacking in the U.S.  Cuba also boasts a medical education system that values study abroad for medical residents.  All medical residents are required to complete an international rotation in a marginalized community.  Finally, Cuba has a medical outreach program that has served some of the worst natural disasters in history.  

The theme of our program is the evaluation of Cuba’s application of health care as determined by the social, economic, and political determinants of health including their system of medical education. Students will review the major determinants of health status in both the U.S. and Cuba and reflect on how they affect public health status in both countries.  The primary goals of this program are for students to
1) gain a deep understanding of how the U.S. healthcare system is situated globally and why we face some of the health care issues we face today
2) create a set of recommendations for the US system based on the evaluation of the Cuban system
3) to gain greater insight and appreciation of their own sense of culture in an increasingly global world.  

This course will be a 4 week combined course co-taught by faculty from Sacred Heart University and Ohio Northern University. The 4-week course will take place one week online, two weeks in Cuba, and one week online upon return.  Cuba’s application of health care as determined by the social, economic, and political determinants of the health will be evaluated including the system of medical education. Students will review the major determinants of health status in both the US and Cuba and reflect on how they affect health status in both countries.  Course objectives will be completed in the classroom and in the field.

Program Type(s):
Study Abroad
Program Length(s):
  • Summer
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