Strengthening the Paraguay-Kansas Family Medicine Partnership
The Kansas-Paraguay partnership is a series of bilateral 10- to 14-day faculty exchanges between family physicians in Paraguay and Kansas, dating back to 1986 and funded by Partners of the Americas.
Partners of the Americas (POA)
Initiated by John F. Kennedy in 1963 as the "Alliance for Progress," the Partners of the Americas (POA) was conceived as a government-to-government program recognizing interdependence between the United States and South America. It's now a privatized people-to-people exchange program of 65 different partnerships matching countries (or states within countries) in South America with states in the U.S. Partnerships are apolitical.
- Began in 1968
- Exchanges are arranged between committees in each country:
- Comité Paraguay Kansas (CPK)
- Kansas-Paraguay Partners (KPP)
- Exchanges can occur regarding any aspect of life but must be approved by both partnership committees
- cultural arts
- emergency preparedness
- international trade
- natural resources
- university education
- zoo management
Department of Family & Community Medicine, KU School of Medicine-Wichita:
- Edward Donatelle, M.D. - professor and chair, 1979-1988
- Merril Raber, Ph.D. - clinical assistant professor, psychologist
- Rick Kellerman, M.D. - professor and chair
- Doug Woolley, M.D., MPH - Delos Smith Professor of Geriatrics
- Scott Moser, M.D. - professor
- Steve Penner, M.D. - clinical associate professor
- Randall Goering, M.D. - clinical assistant professor
- Laura Mayans, M.D., MPH
- Wes Schmidt, M.D.
- A family physician with family roots in Kansas but a lifelong resident of Paraguay
- Past chair of Comité Paraguay Kansas
- Developed first family medicine residency program in Paraguay at Centro Médico Bautista in Asunción
- Enrique de Mestral, M.D., director, Family Medicine Residency Program, National University, Asunción
- Maria Teresa Baran, M.D., director, Family Medicine Residency of the Ministry of Health, Encarnación
- Andres Szwako, M.D., clinical supervisor, Family Medicine Residency Program, National University, Asunción
- Mario Feltes, M.D.
- Develop international faculty relationships and resources in support of efforts to strengthen academic credibility for family medicine at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.
- Learn clinical methods for working with limited resources among diverse populations.
- Establish opportunities for Kansas students to study in Paraguay.
- Develop opportunities to restructure health care using a family medicine-based model in order to better meet the needs of Kansas' population.
- Develop faculty mentoring relationships and international resources in support of efforts to establish academic credibility for family medicine at Paraguayan medical schools.
- Obtain consultation regarding family medicine training at the predoctoral, residency and continuing medical education levels.
- Obtain resources, including computer support, for clinical care and medical education.
- Develop opportunities to restructure national health care using a family medicine-based model in order to better meet the needs of Paraguay's population.
- Series of bilateral 10-14 day faculty exchanges between family physicians in Paraguay and Kansas from 1986 to present.
- Consultation with medical schools, residency programs, health care facilities
- Meetings with medical and political leaders
- Presentations by visiting faculty on clinical, health policy and medical education topics
- One-to-one and small group consultation and mentoring
- Funded by
- Partners of the Americas, Washington, D.C.
- Medical Student Education
- International elective in Paraguay for KU School of Medicine, established in 2000. Twelve medical students from Wichita and 15 from Kansas City to date.
- Department of Family Medicine faculty increased at Paraguayan medical schools.
- Residency Education
- Increased residency programs in Paraguay from 1 to 7.
- Residents increased from 15 to 120 per year.
- Presentations to the Paraguay Society of Family Medicine and Kansas family physicians.
- Postgraduate training to practicing physicians in rural Paraguay established through a government project in consultation with Dr. Kellerman.
- Material Support
- Assisted financially in renovating a family medicine residency facility at the University medical complex, Asunción.
- Purchased high speed computer for the family medicine center, Asunción, to access online literature.
- Faculty Development
- Provided curriculum and precepting models for predoctoral family medicine community experiences.
- Assisted Dr. Baran in her application to become STFM International Scholar and served as her translator at STFM.
- Assisted in developing other U.S. family medicine contacts, including the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The exchange has met or exceeded most of its initial goals.
Both Paraguay and Kansas have ongoing challenges in family medicine education and health care policy leading to opportunities for future exchanges.