Dominican Republic Community Health Program:
The intent of this project is to provide Decker School of Nursing undergraduate and
graduate students with a six credit academic international experience in the Dominican
Republic for two weeks during the summer. Participants will travel to the rural Juan
Dulio area of the Dominican Republic with a faculty member from the school who is
knowledgeable about the region and fluent in Spanish. The students and faculty member
will engage in direct care of individuals in two established clinics in the region.
The students will also participate in health education to address health-promoting
behaviors to mitigate the impact of major sources of morbidity and mortality (accidental
injury, diabetes, cardiovascular risk and infectious environmental disease). Students
will also benefit from presentations by faculty and local health care providers regarding
local culture, health practices and health problems. This will provide the students
with the opportunity to increase their knowledge about medical and nursing education
and practice in the Dominican Republic.
The program faculty director, Laura Terriquez-Kasey, is a faculty member in the Decker School of Nursing. She has relevant professional education and experience to direct the program. Professor Terriquez-Kasey is prepared educationally as a certified emergency nurse specialist and medical surgical clinical nurse specialist. During summers and semester breaks Professor Terriquez-Kasey serves as a member of the Episcopal Mission Medical Team. She has traveled to the Dominican Republic, specifically to Juan Dulio and the surrounding area once or twice a year for more than a decade. In that role Professor Terriquez-Kasey has become intimately knowledgeable about the peoples of this region including their culture, life style and health problems. She is knowledgeable about existing services and is able to access experiences for students who participate in the program.
The region of the Dominican Republic where the program takes place is rural and remote, away from the resort areas of the nation. It is impoverished with limited services and major health problems, such as accidents, high rates of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular illness, and environmental illness resulting from water and food borne pathogens. Under the auspices of the World Health Organization, the Episcopal Mission Team of the Dominican Republic has established a construction team to address infrastructure of the region and a medical team to improve the health of the region. The medical team has agreed to host the program by providing access to two clinics in the area, organizing health promotion events, providing speakers, etc. to assist the program participants in their learning.
The program runs for two weeks in the beginning of June.