February 18, 2016
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) has signed an agreement with the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Social Development, and Labor to collaborate on initiatives to address the country’s public health needs.
The agreement, signed in Sint Maarten on February 11, creates a platform for AUC students to engage in service-learning opportunities that have a direct impact on the Ministry’s health policies and activities.
“AUC is proud to join the Ministry in developing programs to support public health research that can be used to inform the Ministry’s efforts on behalf of the citizens of Sint Maarten. This mutually beneficial partnership provides our physicians-in-training with the opportunity for meaningful volunteer experiences that are focused on the needs of the community,” said Heidi Chumley, MD, AUC executive dean and chief executive officer.
AUC has also pledged to work with the Ministry to create medical education programs and preceptorships to help enhance the capacity of Sint Maarten’s healthcare workforce.
“The shared vision of this platform allows for a win-win situation for both parties by enhancing the education of AUC medical students and providing resources and medical expertise to the Ministry. One of the main projects is a chronic disease prevention program utilizing the mobile health bus. With health care costs on the rise worldwide, prevention programs are a proven means of reducing the burden of these diseases for a population. AUC will provide dedicated volunteers, students, and faculty to assist with the execution of the program,” said Minister Emil Lee in a statement.
The new collaboration agreement builds on previous work undertaken together by AUC faculty and students and the Ministry, Sint Maarten healthcare professionals, and community organizations. Through projects like Project HELP and Community Action Day, AUC has developed numerous opportunities for students to contribute to local projects while gaining firsthand experience in providing medical assistance and preventive screening for the local population.