Population Health in Cuba


Faculty Leader: Dr. Nancy Pontes, School of Nursing-Camden

Travel Dates: Spring Break 2019

Class Meeting Times: Tuesdays from 6:00-8:50pm (1/29, 2/12, 2/26, 3/12, 4/16)

Course Number: 57:705:393

Program Cost: Approximately $3,050*

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This Learning Abroad course introduces undergraduate and graduate students to an overview of population health through the lens of community development within the Republic of Cuba. The emphasis of this course is to provide an introduction to key concepts of the Cuban health care system and sustainable community development: why they are important, and how connections among social, cultural, educational and environmental systems are core to successful community development and health. A second goal of this course is to provide a set of tools for students to utilize while interacting with the Cuban people in community, health and educational settings. A variety of techniques will be used to achieve course objectives, such as participatory lecture, case studies, discussions, team activities, service-learning projects, and individualized assignments, culminating in a rich learning experience in Cuba. Upon return, students will analyze how lessons from the Cuban experience can be applied to U.S. communities with vulnerable populations experiencing poverty, health disparities, and poor health outcomes.

This course is part of a multidisciplinary effort and approach to teaching and learning about Cuba. As part of the Rutgers-Camden MOU with the University of Havana, this course joins efforts with nursing, community development, history, psychology, STEM and foreign languages. The course will include a service and experiential learning component with the following: non-profit, Organoponico in Alamar, Cuba; Jose Fuster's Jaimanitas Community Development Arts Project; Poli-clinicas in Havana City; Office of the Historian, Multigenerational Project in Havana; and San Geronimo College, Population Health Project.

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1) Discuss the history of Cuba and cultural, social, political, and religious factors that shaped the country;
2) Analyze modern-day Cuba’s population health and their model of health care delivery;
3) Explain Cuba’s community development model of health care and their potential to reduce health disparities, and overcome barriers to care among vulnerable populations;
4) Identify key features of Cuban models of sustainable community development in the areas of work force development, housing, agriculture, education, environmental justice, health, and the contributions these approaches can make to improve health equity in the U.S. and beyond;
5) Strengthen individual conversational Spanish-language proficiency;
6) Develop increased cultural congruence and humility through community partnership.

Program Cost Includes:

  • Airfare
  • Housing
  • International Health Insurance
  • Some Meals and Excursions

Program Cost Does Not Include:

  • Passport Fee (for those without a passport)
  • Airport Entranct or Exit Fees (if applicable)
  • Vaccinations
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Remaining meals

*Program Cost is approximate and subject to change. Program cost is in addition to tuition.