Dominican Republic

After conducting in-depth research projects on potential health and human rights issues in Guaymate in 2013, six law and business students from the Health and Human Rights course traveled to the area with Professor Sorensen and Feinberg Infectious Disease Professor Dr. Shannon Galvin to conduct interviews with the community and other key stakeholders. A number of partner organizations were identified, including Clinica de Familia de la Romana, Guaymate Hospital, and the University of Illinois based Peacecare; with the local U.S. Peace Corps volunteer acting as onsite community liaison and facilitator for the project, a community advisory board was also formed. After conducting a health needs assessment and discussing at length with the partners, a series of interventions were planned, including:

Supporting Northwestern infectious diseases physician Ramona Bhatia, MD, MS, to deliver a tailored HIV course to the Clinica de Familia health care providers in 2013. Together they hosted a community health fair to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and other illnesses that disproportionately affect the poor Batey (Haitian migrant settlements) communities in the area. In addition, ATH helped develop a short video of Chicago White Sox baseball player Alejandro de Aza promoting access to health in his two hometowns, Guaymate and Chicago.

In 2014, ATH supported a medical supplies drive that generated $900,000 worth of donations through Project C.U.R.E. with the help of Dr. Ramona Bhatia. With the support of the GHI, NMH, and the MLB, Project Cure made a large-scale, targeted donation to the Clinica de la Familia de la Romana. An ongoing partnership between the CGH and Clinica de la Familia was formed to evaluate the efficacy of the HIV course and set up a space for Feinberg students to conduct AOSC research and participate in clinical global health rotations. Finally, students and faculty traveled down together to conduct a COPE assessment for the Guaymate Hospital, helping them to identify cheap and quick fixes to ongoing issues through facilitated communication and problem solving approaches.

In partnership with other Universities and non-profits, as well as Dominican clinics in the area, ATH helped establish and support the Coalicion para la Salud Comunitaria (COSACO) to facilitate communication between local health providers and reduce duplicative medical missions to the area.


Northwestern Medicine Doctor Travels to the Dominican Republic to Help Fight HIV
Dr. Ramona Bhatia's poster for Research Day 2014
Northwestern University News: White Sox’s de Aza Helps promote Northwestern Health Project
Coalicion de Salud Comunitaria (COSACO): using a Health Community Partnership framework to integrate short-term global health experiences into broader community development.