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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

School of Health Professions – Midwifery Program

International Midwifery Program: Project History



Building Bridges for the Health of Women and Children: A US - Cuba Midwifery Exchange Program

The midwifery international project was launched in 1997. Through grant funding, Professor Aleida Llanes-Oberstein developed the first international project at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

During the summers of 1997 and 1998, midwifery students, faculty, and licensed midwives participated in an exchange program with Cuban health care workers. The project was a partnership with MEDICC (Medical Education Collaboration with Cuba). During the eight week summer elective, participants immersed themselves in Cuba's health care system and studied Spanish for health professionals. Students participated in course work and clinical experience in traditional and natural medicine with a focus on acupuncture in women's health. Students worked in collaboration with professors from Cuban medical and public health schools as well as midwifery professors from SUNY Downstate. The exchange program with Cuba is no longer available.