MEDICC Receives Funding from RWJF

Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC) has received $350,000 in grant funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to support the “Community Partnerships for Health Equity (CPHE)” program. The program is working to improve U.S. health outcomes in medically underserved communities based on lessons learned from Cuba.

The RWJF grant will concentrate on MEDICC’s four established CPHE sites located in Los Angeles and Oakland California, Albuquerque New Mexico, and the Bronx New York. These cities have translated the Cuban healthcare experience into innovative programs to improve health outcomes and access.

Community and academic stakeholders from medically underserved communities participated in trips to Cuba to see firsthand Cuba’s emphasis on prevention, primary care, and cross sector collaborations. On their trips to Cuba, they found that Cuba is able to provide universal healthcare coverage to produce excellent health outcomes with a fraction of the budget that is spent in the U.S.

By focusing on preventive strategies and primary care delivered at the neighborhood level, Cuba has a low infant mortality rate and the lowest HIV rate in the Americas. As a result, a woman born in Eastern Cuba on average has the same life expectancy as a woman born in Illinois.

The two year award will advance community health by:

  • Providing seed grants and technical assistance to implement healthcare system improvements inspired by Cuban models
  • Providing peer-to-peer visits and learning among the CPHE communities
  • Developing a national network of CPHE communities
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