Dr. Hermes Florez, professor of public health sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Dr. Denisse Pareja, research assistant for Dr. Florez and a graduate from the University of Miami Department of Public Health Sciences, are working on a partnership with MedGlobal, Inc., a medical nonprofit based in Chicago that works to provide health care for vulnerable populations. Drs. Florez and Pareja organized a series of missions with MedGlobal to provide supplies and medical care to Colombia, where a majority of Venezuelans are migrating to on a daily basis.
In an interview with InventUM, Dr. Florez, who is division director of epidemiology, said “The situation is very difficult, and basic health care services are not being provided in Venezuela. Hopefully, we can move the needle to support the country, and health and education are two areas where UM can help.”
Dr. Pareja, who recently visited Colombia with MedGlobal representatives, said that the health issues are a result of lack of food, medications, vaccinations, and supplies. During this trip, Dr. Pareja was also hired as the non-profit’s medical and volunteer coordinator for the Venezuela-Colombia project.
While providing medical assistance to Venezuelan migrants, Dr. Florez said that the partnership with MedGlobal could also provide opportunities for students in public health, nursing and medicine.
“The idea is that in the near future our students can go to Colombia for their capstone projects, and with the proper safeguards, be sent there to offer health care initiatives on vaccination, as well as on education on chronic disease management,” Dr. Florez said. “Topics that are basic to preventing major outbreaks and to enhancing their perspective as public health students.”Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on June 14