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For Release: September 7, 2012

Dartmouth and Peru Partnering to Improve Lives
Focus on student education, health care delivery science, and underserved


"Through the visit of Dartmouth students and teachers, we have seen the meaning of solidarity and the commitment of a true global citizen. Together, we will discover the priority needs of the community and support them to find practical solutions that lead to improved quality of life."
--Malena Ramos (right), director general of Los Visionarios in Peru. Ramos is joined here by fellow Visionarios community leader, Lorena Mestanza Cordova. The Geisel School of Medicine is teaming up with Visionarios to build a library in one of the most underserved areas of Lima.

To support the promise of this library and broader partnership, go to The Geisel Global Health Fund - Peru.

Learn more about other Geisel global health programs in Rwanda and Tanzania.

Hanover, N.H.—Guided by Dartmouth's tradition of developing global citizens, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth is forging new partnerships in Peru to create educational opportunities and improve lives.

Dartmouth medical and undergraduate students, and a leadership team from the medical school spent time in Peru this summer learning about the Peruvian health care delivery system and public health challenges, examining health needs in low-income communities, and exploring ways to partner with the Peruvian government, and academic, health care, and community organizations.

"Peru is a natural partner for Dartmouth in global health work," said Dr. Chip Souba, dean of the Geisel School of Medicine. "It has wonderful diversity among its people and regions, a strong spirit to improve lives, and a tradition of excellence in medicine and education."

"Partnering with Peru offers important educational experiences for our students, particularly with underserved communities," added Souba. "They build their empathy, clinical skills, and leadership capabilities . . . which are integral to solving health care's most vexing problems...whether in Peru or our country.

Building a biblioteca: a space for learning, community

One immediate result from the visit includes the Geisel school joining forces with the Arenal Alto -- Villa Maria del Triunfo community, along with the Visionarios community organization, to construct a small library within this impoverished area.


L-R: Dr. Carla Tafur, emergency medicine physician at the Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia, Dr. Chip Souba, dean of Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine, Dr. Raul Acosta, chief of emergency medicine at the Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia, and Dr. Jaime Bayona, Geisel assistant professor of community and family medicine and leader of Dartmouth's Peru Program.

The four physician-educators stand in front of the hospital's expansion of its Intensive Care Unit tower, now under construction. The hospital will serve as a key training site for Dartmouth Geisel medical students in Peru.

Nearly 80 percent of residents in the Arenal Alto community live in poverty or extreme poverty. Many children and families are malnourished. Arenal Alto's housing is often make-shift, and the community's residences terrace up the side of a mountain found at the southern edge of Lima.

"In this partnership, the Geisel School of Medicine and Dartmouth are using a community-needs driven approach, starting with visiting the leaders and families of El Arenal Alto," said Dr. Jaime Bayona, Geisel assistant professor of community and family medicine and leader of Dartmouth's Peru Program. "We aim to build a sustainable, mutually beneficial partnership, putting in practice global experiences for local solutions with high impact in the community we would like to serve."

"At the same time, the lessons learned with this community in Peru will help us become truly global citizens who care about equity regardless of where we live," said Bayona, who is also director of Global Health Programs and Practice at the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science.

Prior to joining the Dartmouth faculty, Bayona was the co-founder and director of Socios En Salud Sucursal Peru (SES), the Peruvian branch of Partners In Health.

"The Visionarios team is excited and honored to begin this work with Dartmouth," said Malena Ramos, Visionarios director general. "The medical school's contribution will also strengthen our existing partnership with the community of Villa Maria del Triunfo and with the Carmelite Sisters."

To support the promise of this library and partnership, go to The Geisel Global Health Fund - Peru.

Cancer care best practices, shared decision making, community health and disaster preparedness among other potential areas for partnership


Eda and her son, George, inside their home talking with members of the Visionarios team. Visionarios, assisted by Dartmouth students, conducted a health and needs survey of the Arenal Alto - Villa Maria del Triunfo community in Lima, Peru as a first step in developing actions that will help improve lives in this high-poverty area.

Joining Souba and Bayona to assess opportunities for educational rotations and potential collaboration areas with Peruvian leaders were: Gary Snyder, Geisel associate vice president for communications and advancement; and Dr. Robert Gougelet, Geisel assistant professor of medicine and director of the New England Center for Emergency Preparedness.

The group met with senior leadership from several Peruvian governmental, health and academic institutions, including:

Jennifer Murray, global health program officer at the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science, and Talia Robledo-Gil, teaching assistant, D '12, coordinated the activities of Dartmouth students, faculty and staff in Peru this summer.

The University of the Pacific in Lima graciously served as the host institution for Dartmouth students, faculty and staff. Pacific is well known for its excellent programs in the fields of economics, law, finance, accounting, and business administration.

Dartmouth Geisel medical students participating in the Peru experience included: Anna Huh, Geisel second-year student; Sadie Marden, Geisel second-year student; and Karl Dietrich, Geisel fourth-year student.

Dartmouth undergraduate students and graduates included: Anneliesse Duncan, '13, Katherine Pujol, '13, Ricardo Vera Monroy, '12, Stephanie Takeuchi, '12, and Kat Sanders, '12.

To support the promise of this work, go to The Geisel Global Health Fund - Peru.

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