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Hot Spotters offers unique undergraduate internship

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Scott Cao

During summer 2015, a patient walked into the Emergency Department at University of Colorado Hospital only to hear very bad news. This patient needed a 30-day supply of a medication immediately —not in two weeks or seven days—but immediately. The drug was very expensive and the patient, who didn’t have insurance, could not afford it.

Within 48 hours, the patient had the medication in hand, thanks to the intervention and quick action of CU Denver junior Scott Cao, a biology major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The situation, which might have seemed hopeless at first glance, was business as usual for Cao in his summer internship working as a “Hot Spotter” at the hospital on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

“It was a fantastic experience,” Cao said. “It changed my perception of people who have chronic illnesses. I now look at them and realize many different factors could be affecting their health.”

The Hot Spotters

Hot Spotters is a summer experiential learning program developed by Roberta Capp, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Emergency Medicine. It teaches students from a variety of disciplines about the needs of underserved populations with the goals of improving access and quality of care for these patients and reducing their reliance on the Emergency Department for care. During summer 2015, the Hot Spotter program helped more than 3,500 patients address their health needs.

Cao found the internship through Charles Fergsuson, PhD, director of CU Denver’s Health Professions Programs. One of 19 Hot Spotters, Cao joined small Hot Spotter teams staffing the Emergency Department 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He was working side-by-side with students in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health and sociology. All were trained to identify resources available to high-risk patients who had come to the Emergency Department multiple times in a short period.

“Many patients come in with something manageable, like type 2 diabetes, but after they get discharged they don’t get the correct follow-up care,” said Cao, sounding more like a medical student than an undergrad. “They don’t have insurance, or they don’t have a pharmacy, or they do have Medicaid but they don’t have a primary care physician, or they don’t have transportation. Some are homeless.”

After these patients were treated, a physician or nurse would call in a Hot Spotter to help the patient navigate the health care system and receive follow-up care from a primary care physician. The students also assessed the patients’ barriers to accessing health care and provided resources to overcome those barriers, including health insurance enrollment, housing, transportation to appointments, medication and food pantry services.

“Our mission was to make sure we provided patients with enough resources and information that they did not have to come back to the Emergency Department unless they had life-threatening injuries,” Cao said. “We cut through red tape, sometimes making calls while the patient was still in bed.”

After Hot Spotters

In the months after his summer internship, Cao compiled and analyzed data he had collected from patients who had completed a medical screening survey. He turned his internship into a research project looking at the demographics of patients, their access to a car, whether they were homeless, had chronic illnesses, knew a primary care physician, could access prescription medication. He is hoping that the research could lead to the creation of more patient navigator programs like Hot Spotters.

He credits Capp with doing a “tremendous job” training the Hot Spotters to engage with patients. “She taught us to look at the big picture,” he said.

In the case of the patient who needed help paying for medication, Cao picked up the phone and reached an insurance enrollment specialist. Two days later, the patient was enrolled in an insurance plan that would cover the medication immediately—a singular example of how Hot Spotters, even when they are juniors in college, can change lives.

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Study finds association between indoor tanning and substance abuse

Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have shown an association between indoor tanning and substance abuse among Colorado high school students.

“A growing national body of evidence links indoor tanning with other risky health-related behavior among adolescents,” said study author Robert Dellavalle, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The study, which appears online today in JAMA Dermatology, says the motivation behind indoor tanning offers clues to why it is also tied to other risky behaviors.

Dr. Robert Dellavalle, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Dellavalle, who also practices at the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said people tan for both psychological and physiological reasons.

“For example, indoor tanning and use of steroids may both stem from the motivation to enhance one’s appearance,” he said. “Data also implicate addictive physiological pathways in indoor tanning that may be similar to those of substance abuse.”

Research has shown that indoor tanning can release endorphins in users that can be addictive.

The study used the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey of health data from Colorado public schools. A total of 12,144 students answered the question, “During the last 12 months, how many times did you use an indoor tanning device such as a sunlamp, sunbed or tanning booth?”

The analysis showed females were almost twice as likely to engage in indoor tanning as males. Researchers also found that any lifetime use of steroids was the variable most strongly associated with indoor tanning, especially among males.

“Any alcohol consumption within the prior 30 days and marijuana use were also associated with indoor tanning, as was lifetime use of select illicit drugs,” the study said.

Dellavalle said indoor tanning is potentially dangerous. The World Health Organization has deemed UV radiation as a group 1 carcinogen putting users at a higher risk of melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

“Risky behaviors tend to go together,” Dellavalle said. “So someone who does indoor tanning may more easily move on to other risky behaviors like illicit drug use.”

The researchers urged physicians treating those who use indoor tanning to consider assessing them for steroid use, especially if the patient is an adolescent male. They also said parents should get involved.

“If you are a parent and your child is tanning,” Dellavalle said, “you should also check for drug abuse.”

The study co-authors include Myra Sendelweck, ME, of CU Anschutz, Eric Bell, PhD, Amy Marie Anderson, MPH, Kurt Ashack, BA, Talia Pindyck, MD, Cate Townley, MURP, MUD.

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CU in the Community

CU Denver | Anschutz Provost Roderick Nairn

Provost Roderick Nairn helps a girl with career and financial planning during a “reality” exercise at the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club on Jan. 15. Photos by Matt Kaskavitch, University Communications.

Leadership team members from the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus pitched in at the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver recently, helping 20 young people in a goal-setting exercise that got them thinking about future careers and handling a household budget.

More than a dozen university leaders visited the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club in Montbello. They were greeted by John Barry, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver, who gave an overview of the nonprofit organization that serves 10,000 kids, ages 6 to 18, across metro Denver.

“This is a place that deals with the whole child,” Barry said. Programs provided by the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver, which cost participants only $2 a year, help youth achieve academic success, develop healthy lifestyle habits and foster leadership skills.

David Engelke and Laura Goodwin of CU Denver | Anschutz

David Engelke, dean of the Graduate School, and Laura Goodwin (left), associate vice chancellor of faculty affairs, help students with a financial management and career-planning exercise at the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club in Montbello.

Barry said the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver rely on generous funding contributions from community partners as well as thousands of hours of volunteer service every year.

The organization is this year’s featured partner of the CU in the Community program that encourages faculty and staff to spend a half-day of their work week volunteering in the community. Past featured partners have included Habitat for Humanity and Food Bank of the Rockies.

Our university leaders, including CU Denver | Anschutz Provost Roderick Nairn and CU Denver Chancellor Dorothy Horrell, mentored the youth in a career-planning and financial management exercise. The youths were asked to select a career, learn about the education level and cost to attain a job, and then manage subsequent cost-of-living expenses after they began their career.

David Goff dean of the Colorado School of Public Health

David Goff, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, helps a student with a financial management and career-planning exercise at the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club in Montbello.

“This was fun,” Nairn said. “It was an eye-opening experience for a lot of the kids to see what’s involved in getting their chosen jobs, what it costs to live, and what’s left at the end of the day.”

Horrell said the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver is an important community resource in the role it plays in helping guide youths to become healthy and successful adults.

“I really enjoyed visiting with these kids,” Horrell said. “We want to help them realize that higher education is within their reach.”

Other leaders from the university who volunteered included: John Bennett, Associate Vice Chancellor of Innovation Initiatives; Raul Cardenas, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Leanna Clark, Vice Chancellor of University Communications; David Engelke, Dean of the Graduate School; David Goff, Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health; Laura Goodwin, Associate Vice Chancellor of Faculty Affairs; Genia Herndon, Assistant Vice Chancellor University of Advancement & Student Engagement; Jim Hodge, Associate of Vice Chancellor of Advancement (CU Anschutz); Pamela Jansma, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts  and Sciences; Denise Kassebaum, Dean of the School of Dental Medicine; Sarah Thompson, Dean of the College of Nursing; Dave Turnquist, Associate Vice Chancellor of Facility Operations; Andrea Wagner, Vice Chancellor of Advancement (CU Denver).

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Auraria leaders come together to discuss how race matters

A group of public and private-sector leaders discussed the importance of being culturally responsive and creating equitable playing fields at a “Let’s Talk About Race” forum.

The tri-institutional event featured Auraria campus experts on equity and inclusion leading roundtable discussions related to race. Speakers included Brenda J. Allen, PhD, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus; Myron Anderson, PhD, associate to the president for diversity, Metropolitan State University (MSU) of Denver; and Kathryn Young, PhD, assistant professor in secondary education, MSU.

Brenda Allen of CU Denver

Brenda J. Allen, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, facilitates a discussion at the “Let’s Talk About Race” forum.

About 60 people, including CU Denver’s Raul Cardenas, PhD, vice chancellor for student affairs, David Engelke, PhD, dean of the Graduate School, and Pamela Jansma, PhD, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, attended the session at SpringHill Suites. Other attendees represented police departments, private industry and nonprofits.

Young said that as a white person she was raised to be “colorblind,” and she thought that was the right way to think about race. “We’ve been socialized to think these ways,” she said. “We need to know who’s not advancing as fast in our society. When we adopt a colorblind screen, we actually take away from being able to notice lots of forms of inequality. So, it’s not bad to see color. In fact, race matters.”

There are often systemic reasons why people of a particular race do not have the advantages of another, the speakers said. Also, groups made up of people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures typically make the most effective teams, they said.

Allen credited Tami Door for suggesting that Auraria campus leaders regularly discuss diversity in public forums as well as position the campuses as thought leaders on the subject. Door is president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership and chairman of the Auraria Higher Education Center Board.

‘Race matters in people’s lives’

Brenda Allen of CU Denver

Brenda J. Allen, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, leads a discussion at a forum about race and diversity.

“It’s important to try to have the dialogue and to disseminate this information and invite people to contextualize it,” Allen said. “Then you realize that race … matters in people’s lives, no matter what your racial background is.”

Each table was asked to answer a couple questions: As a leader, what challenges related to race are you experiencing or have you experienced? Also, how has your organization responded to challenges and opportunities related to race?

The responses will be compiled into reference materials the tri-institutions are creating for leaders across Denver. Another resource available for leaders and anyone else to learn more about perceptions of race, gender, social class, sexuality, ability and age is Allen’s book, “Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity.”

Allen shared an example of a CU Denver | Anschutz success story. Early in her position as head of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Allen approached university leadership about launching a retention fund for faculty of color. They enthusiastically approved and provided seed money. “The fund is available to any faculty, staff or student on our campus who is interested in retaining faculty of color, recognizing that that’s been a challenge,” Allen said. “Based on that, and knowing the need and why we value having faculty of color, this is now an incentive.”

Allen noted that the Auraria diversity dialogues will continue on a regular basis. “We want to be a resource to the community,” she said.

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Find a doctor website gets facelift

CUdoctors.com, the primary Anschutz Medical Campus provider profile website, has a new look and feel to ensure our cutting-edge health care providers are easily found on the Internet. The new website boasts an improved provider search function along with an attractive and mobile-friendly design, with a simple method to update profiles.

The improved CUdoctors.com web application is a collaborative effort between University Physicians, Inc. (UPI) and the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CU SOM) that makes CUdoctors.com an integrated data source for web profile data.

A new look for CUDoctors.com.

A new look for CUDoctors.com.

“Working with the top-notch IT team at the CU School of Medicine has been a great opportunity to make this important website even better,” said Drew Redfield, Web and Communications Manager for the Business Development and Planning team at UPI. “The new site positions us to serve our providers and affiliates in a more efficient and effective manner.”

CUdoctors.com manages the provider data lifecycle and feeds profile data to UCHealth.org, ChildrensColorado.org and other web-based profile systems (e.g. Vitals.com) to ensure our clinical providers have a robust and accurate online presence.

As of Jan. 19, 2016, you can login with your university credentials and update your CUdoctors.com profile via som.ucdenver.edu (the same system our providers utilize to complete their annual reviews).

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the new CUdoctors.com website or need help with your profile, please contact Drew Redfield at 303-493-8330 or Andrew.Redfield@upicolo.org.

 

Guest Contributor:  Drew Redfield, Web and Communications Manager, University Physicians, Inc.

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CU Anschutz students provide health screenings at National Western Stock Show

People from across the country are travelling to Denver to see prized livestock, watch thrilling rodeos and sample excellent barbecue at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS). In the middle of all of the fanfare and festivities are students, faculty and staff from the Anschutz Medical Campus conducting free screenings to ensure the health of local and rural communities.

Matthew Steritz takes a blood pressure reading

Matthew Steritz, a second year graduate student, takes Erica Rivera’s blood pressure. Rivera, who is working at the NWSS, saw the booth as a prime opportunity to have her health assessed.

Staffing a booth at the NWSS is no small undertaking. Volunteers are on-hand from January 9-24 conducting screenings for body mass index, blood pressure, blood glucose, vision, balance and oral health. In addition the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences offers free flu shots on the weekends. Last year, 265 volunteers representing every school and college on CU Anschutz screened more than 1,400 adults and more than 700 children.

Cindy Johnson Armstrong, senior instructor for the physical therapy program in the CU Anschutz School of Medicine and the associate director of post professional programs for the Colorado AHEC Program Office, coordinates the effort along with her colleagues from Colorado AHEC. She sees the NWSS as a venue to give students hands-on experience while supporting a population that does not always have access to healthcare.

“Students come away with a much better appreciation of what it’s like to live in a rural environment and not have access to healthcare,” Armstrong said. “The nearest doctor might be 50 miles away. The nearest dentist might be 100 miles away.”

An additional benefit to the students, according to Barbara Weis, senior instructor in the College of Nursing, is that they are able to meet other CU Anschutz students and learn more about other disciplines. Weis has supervised student volunteers for the last five years at the NWSS.

“It’s very empowering for the students,” said Weis. “The students are learning and are able to educate patients. Often professionals in rural communities don’t have time for prevention and promotion, so we are able to help by doing that here.”

Screenings prepare students for their futures

Students who volunteer aren’t on their own. Licensed clinical faculty and staff oversee training and screenings. Volunteers follow a script to walk participants through the screenings and then explain the findings to them. If a follow-up is needed, volunteers provide participants with a list of referrals for their exact needs.

Paige Bennett and Barbara Weis

As a fourth-year medical student, Paige Bennett (left) is able to serve as a student supervisor at the NWSS. Barbara Weiss, faculty from the College of Nursing, volunteers several sessions as a supervising clinician.

“A part of the screening represents every discipline,” Armstrong said. “So it’s a good opportunity for them to step outside their comfort zone and learn about what other individuals do on a daily basis.”

Matthew Steritz, second-year graduate student in modern human anatomy program in the Cell and Developmental Biology Department, is volunteering at three sessions this year. He is using the experience as an opportunity to get face-to-face time with participants in preparation for medical school.

“I have a lot of fun with it,” Steritz said. “Since it is a voluntary health screening, the people that you are screening want to be here. The conversation is great.”

Paige Bennett, who has volunteered at the NWSS for the last three years, knows firsthand how important the screenings can be for attendees from rural areas, having grown up in rural communities in Colorado and Oklahoma.

“Being from a rural community, I know that having the opportunity to get a free screening for conditions where you might need to see a doctor is something people might only get here,” said Bennett, a fourth-year medical student in the rural track.

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CU brings medical expertise to extreme outpost

Big House and Green House at Summit Station in Greenland

The Big House and the Green House (science laboratory) at Summit Station, Greenland. Photo by Ed Stockard.

The Wilderness and Environmental Medicine Section (WEM) in the CU School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine is taking its expertise in wilderness and austere medical care to one of the most extreme and remote places on Earth.

In December, WEM won a subcontract grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to provide field health care services at Summit Station in Greenland. Summit Station is a global research facility perched at 10,500 feet atop the Greenland ice sheet.

Jay Lemery, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine and section chief of WEM, said providing medical services at Summit Station allows WEM to “think outside the box” in an unpredictable environment.

“It’s basically the art and science of taking care of people in remote and extreme environments,” he said. “It forces us to think in very creative ways. How do we take 21st century medicine and apply what we know to these places where you don’t have the technological tools to do what we do on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus?”

Researcher at Summit Station

A researcher releases a weather balloon at Summit Station. Photo by Kevin Hammonds.

WEM honed its expertise in remote medical services by holding the EMS medical directorship for the U.S. Antarctic Program for two years. In Greenland, the CU WEM bid was selected over various applicants, including private industry, for the subcontract, which lasts for a year with an option for renewal. Support at Summit Station is provided by CH2M HILL Polar Services, under contract to NSF.

Four services for Summit Station

In Greenland, WEM will be in charge of four phases of service:

  • Remote medical support services and supplies for Summit Station;
  • 24/7 telemedicine services;
  • First aid medical support services; and
  • Training in arctic first aid and wilderness first responder/aid.

Lemery said people are more frequently venturing to extreme places across the globe, and the expertise of WEM faculty – in altitude sickness, frostbite, hypothermia, trauma treatment and other wilderness care – uniquely positions WEM to serve these travelers, as well as advance remote-setting health care.

“We have that niche in the health-care world,” Lemery said. “Greenland is a robust place to test best practices in medicine – to see what works, what doesn’t work. We’re also training people to be outstanding clinicians anywhere in the world. Most of the planet doesn’t have the medical tools like we have at CU Anschutz. These are important lessons to bring home to our students and residents.”

David Twillman, RN, University of Colorado Hospital, will staff Summit Station during the high season of roughly April to August. During the winter months, WEM will provide medical services via telemedicine.

‘Quite a bit of altitude sickness’

Christopher Davis, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine, led WEM’s application for the Greenland subcontract and will serve as medical director for the operation. He said adjusting to high altitude is the most common health complaint of the researchers, who spend weeks to months at a time at Summit Station. “Most researchers are coming from sea level and they fly directly to 11,000 feet, so you see quite a bit of altitude illness,” Davis said.

Davis, who is also medical director of Altitude and Mountain Medicine Consultants, a branch of the Travel, Expedition and Altitude Medicine Clinic, plans to visit the Summit Station this spring to ensure that the medical equipment is up to date. During the summer high season, about 50 researchers live and work at the station. In the winter, fewer than 10 people live at the facility, according to Davis. Much of the research conducted at the facility focuses on climate and weather.

The Big House at Summit Station Greenland

The Big House at Summit Station, Greenland. Photo by Ed Stockard.

Greenland’s polar environment and growing medical needs made Summit Station a perfect fit for WEM’s service-oriented approach to health care.

“Our department chair, Richard Zane, MD, has been very supportive of us being entrepreneurial and extending the reach of our medical expertise to far afield,” Davis said. “This is also in line with the university’s research mandate.”

Although no specific CU SOM Greenland-based research has yet been approved, Davis said, “there will be the opportunity for us to study altitude and also study health care systems and how and whether telemedicine support is effective in this type of extreme environment.”

Unprecedented course

Another opportunity that Summit Station provides: Teaching an unprecedented course in one of the most dramatic locations on the planet. Lemery and Davis together will teach “Introduction to Polar Medicine” over a week in August. Students will receive three hours of credit for the accredited course, as well as a Wilderness First Aid certificate.

“We’ll talk about climate change and health and provide wilderness medicine education,” said Lemery, who co-edited the book, “Global Climate Change and Human Health.” “It’s pretty unorthodox – nobody’s really done anything else like this.”

The course is designed for pre-health students and will take place in the town of Ilulissat, Greenland. “We think it’s going to be an awesome opportunity for students,” Lemery said. The deadline to register is March 15, 2016; click here to register or for more information.

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CU Anschutz students create Care Kits for homeless

Care Kits Team

Care Kits Team

Students on the Anschutz Medical Campus aren’t waiting until graduation to apply the lessons and skills they are learning in classrooms and clinics. Second-year medical students Kelly Finnegan and Cece Johnson-Sasso have already begun leading fellow students in helping the homeless survive cold weather and hunger.

When Finnegan first started at the CU School of Medicine, she was surprised at the number of homeless community members she saw on the streets in and around Denver and Aurora. Then, she worked on a research project in the emergency room at the Denver Health Medical Center and was inspired to find a way to make a difference.

“Working on that research I saw first-hand, and for the first time, the effect of the cold on people who didn’t have shelter,” Finnegan said. “The frostbite they suffered was extremely painful and I thought that no one should have to experience that.”

Kelly Finnegan

Kelly Finnegan, School of Medicine



Ready for those in need

Her experience gave birth to the idea of Care Kits during the winter of 2014-15. Finnegan and Johnson-Sasso gathered donated personal care items like shampoo and toothpaste along with socks, hand warmers and nutritious snack items. They also collected money to buy some other essentials. Once everything had been collected, they recruited other students to help them pack it all into individual kits, which also included bus tickets and information about shelters, clinics and meals.

To ensure that the kits would be available to any who needed them, student volunteers stashed kits in their cars and backpacks, ready to give them away whenever they saw someone who could use help. The 50 Care Kits assembled were distributed in less than four months.

Johnson-Sasso gave several kits to patients when she was working in the emergency room at the University of Colorado Hospital.

“One day I pulled one out of my backpack and gave it to a patient who’d been found unconscious in front of a coffee shop,” Johnson-Sasso said. “He was a regular in the ER and when he regained consciousness, I told him about our Care Kit project. He told me he was touched that we had taken the time to think about ‘people like him’ and said that we had made his day. Moments like that make me feel that something as simple as our kits can have a positive impact. And, that’s a good lesson for those of us studying to be future healthcare professionals.”

Care Kits team

Practicing compassion

Johnson-Sasso and Finnegan continued their Care Kit project in 2015, with 26 students assembling more than 200 kits containing donated socks, handwarmers, washcloths and 100 pounds of health and hygiene items and snacks.

Although the two women didn’t know what to expect when they co-founded the Care Kit project, they knew there had to be a way that they and their classmates could help. They learned that things as simple as socks, hand warmers and information about clinics can make a world of difference. They also confirmed that their instincts as future health care professionals are on target.

“We are going to see homeless members of our community throughout our careers,” said Finnegan. “The sooner we can gain empathy and understanding for the situations they face, the better we will be able to serve them in the future.”

Donations to the Care Kit project and volunteers are welcome year-round.

Guest Contributor: Marcia Neville, Communications Manager, Division of Student Affairs

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U.S. and Cuban pediatricians to meet for first time since normalization in Havana

For the first time since the U.S. normalized relations with Cuba, a delegation of pediatricians co-led by Dr. Stephen Berman of Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Colorado School of Public Health, will travel to Havana to establish relationships with local physicians and collaborate on ways to improve child health in both countries.

The historic meeting, which takes place from February 4-6, will allow the pediatricians to share progress made in the areas of newborn care, early childhood development and chronic health conditions in children. The American doctors will specifically highlight advances in early brain development and new approaches in promoting responsive parenting.  And their Cuban counterparts will discuss their success in community-based primary care and decreasing the incidence of premature births.

“I am honored to co-lead this delegation of American doctors with Dr. James Perrin of Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital,” said Berman, director of the Center for Global Health at the Colorado School of Public Health in partnership with Children’s Colorado. “The delegation of U.S. pediatricians is eager to hear from our Cuban counterparts about the progress they have made toward improving child health during this long period of isolation. We also hope to begin an ongoing collaboration while creating cross-national partnerships to improve the health of children in both of our countries.”

Berman has extensive experience in Cuba and counts many top pediatricians there as friends. When President Obama normalized relations with Cuba, Dr. Berman immediately contacted his colleagues there and set up this meeting – the first of its kind.

“As Cubans gain access to new medications and technology, training will become very important,” Berman said. “We would like to eventually establish an exchange program so Cuban doctors can come and train here at Children’s Colorado and vice versa.”

The trip is sponsored jointly by the Cuban Pediatric Society (CPS), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Children’s Colorado, and the Center for Global Health at the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Anschutz.

Both Drs. Berman and Perrin are past presidents of the AAP. The Cuban delegation will be headed by the past and current president of the Cuban Pediatric Society, Fernando Dominquez, MD and Gladys Abreu, MD respectively.

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