HSC to become World Health Organization Collaborating Center

UNM Health Sciences Center was recently designated by the World Health Organization as a WHO-Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Collaborating Center.

WHO/PAHO cited a number of factors in designating the center, including the HSC's history of innovations in education, it's track record of implementing innovative community health programs throughout New Mexico, and its role in fostering reform in other academic health centers in developing countries.

The Collaborating Center will focus on five areasReducing Health Disparities;

Integrating Primary Care and Public Health;

Linking Education and Service Innovations;

Promoting the Health of Indigenous Peoples;

Disseminating Innovations in developing countries.

"There's wonderful synergy here," said Art Kaufman, M.D., chair of the UNM Department of Family and Community Medicine. "We are actively seeking partners and welcome the interest and participation of those across campus and in the community to deepen our collaborations regionally and abroad in significant ways."

The Center will allow the HSC to expand on an international scale in a number of ways. For example, during a PAHO site visit, Gayle Diné Chacon, M.D., director of the UNM Health Sciences Center for Native American Health Center briefed visitors about the center's partnerships with New Mexico Native American Tribes and as a member of the International Network of Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development, an international partnership between the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Canada. There was great interest on the part of PAHO in extending this international partnership to Central and South America.

In addition, The Network, Toward Unity for Health, a non-government organization affiliated with WHO and led by Dr. Kaufman, will convert its Medline-indexed professional journal,Education for Health, into an open access, electronic journal so that all people in developing countries with internet access can receive articles free of charge. PAHO has become a co-sponsor of the journal and has asked that one priority for the journal be to receive manuscripts from indigenous people and from indigenous health organizations.

Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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