CEO: Thomas Zenty III
Headquarters: Cleveland, Ohio
GLOBAL MODEL WOMEN’S HEALTH TRAINING PROGRAM EDUCATING SPECIALTY TRAINED PHYSICIANS IN GUYANA
The world-class clinical and research centers at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center have exciting programs that have a significant impact on lives around the world. One of them is a partnership forging a successful global health residency program in Guyana.
The model WONDOOR program, pronounced “one door,” stands for Women and Neonates, Diversity, Opportunity, Outreach and Research. It is Guyana’s first obstetrics and gynecology residency program and has demonstrated significant success in improving maternal health outcomes.
Physicians from UH Cleveland Medical Center and a handful of other hospitals in the United States have been traveling to Guyana on a rotating basis since 2012 to train Guyanese medical residents. The objective was creating a sustainable ObGyn residency program in a resource-limited country to help improve maternal and neonatal health through collaboration with international teaching institutions. To date, the program has decreased maternal mortality by 50 percent in Guyana, according to Director of the University Hospitals Center for Clinical Excellence, Diversity & Inclusion Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew.
A large part of the WONDOOR program is educating residents to be better global health providers, recognizing that many problems encountered by women in resource-poor countries also are faced by women everywhere. “All women should have the same access to quality health care,” Larkins-Pettigrew said.
Prior to 2012, there were no locally trained Obstetrician Gynecologists in Guyana. The maternal mortality ratio in Guyana was 250 per 100,000 live births according to World Health Organization data, compared to the regional average of 68. Inadequate quality of care, shortage of skilled healthcare professionals, and systemic limitations have been recognized as primary contributing main factors. To change this, UH Cleveland Medical Center collaborated with the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and University of Guyana to develop the country’s inaugural training program in Obstetrics and Gynecology. They launched a four-year Guyana ObGyn residency program modified for local needs and capabilities. This year, nearly two dozen residents are being trained in the residency program and five residents recently graduated. Full time staff are now present in Guyana, and 52 faculty members from UHCMC and partnering institutions have travelled to Guyana to teach and provide patient care.
Success is due in large part to the shared vision of local institutions, establishment of partner organizations, investment in resident leadership development, concomitant infrastructure changes and systems-based improvement.
UH Cleveland Medical Center is a nationally renowned academic medical center which specializes in adult/pediatric medical and surgical specialties. It is an affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Together, they form one of the largest centers for biomedical research in the state of Ohio.