Dr. Gaus and AHD are fundamentally changing rural health care in Ecuador by providing sustainable, quality medical care today and by training the rural health care leaders of tomorrow. We do this by working with partners in Ecuador, in the US, and internationally.
Partnerships with the Local Ecuadorian Community
First, we are making equilibrium change locally by providing health services to traditionally marginalized populations in a way that empowers local health care professionals. We recruit and train local staff from the prestigious Catholic University of Ecuador Medical School and the Luis Vargas Torres Nursing School. These professionals bring AHD’s best practices into the field to encourage other hospital administrators to adopt this model. Upon graduation, they become part of the AHD Graduate Network, which encourages continuing medical education and knowledge sharing among AHD physicians, nurses, and administrators. These graduates will become tomorrow’s advocates for sustainable, quality health care.
We have a contract with Ecuador Social Security Institute, which provides payments to the hospitals on a services-rendered basis. This public-private partnership is responsible for Hospital PVM being financially self-sustaining. Funds from the U.S. are not required to operate the hospital.
Partnerships in the United States
Next, utilizing partnerships with US universities is paramount to causing equilibrium change.
We partner with Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine who will help design our simulation center in Hesburgh Hospital’s Physician Training Center. The sim lab will be contextualized for rural Ecuador and will assist in training AHD’s doctors as well as those in the Ministry of Health.
We also currently have educational exchanges with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of California-Berkeley. These relationships will catalyze research efforts in the field and thus support expansion to new sites in Latin America. Click here to learn more about medical volunteering for medical students and medical professionals. We work with U.S. foundations, such as the Ronald McDonald House Charities, to help advance our mission.
Partnerships with International Organizations
Finally, AHD has allied with international institutions, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), to bring about change to Latin American health services delivery. Drs. Gaus and Herrera recently presented at the WHO conference on the “Role of the District Hospital in Primary Health Care Renewal” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Pan American Health Journal published AHD’s work in Making Secondary Care a Primary Concern. Dr. Gaus’s latest article appears in the Global Health Council’s Health Affairs, The Rural Hospital in Ecuador. These institutions are recognizing that replication of the AHD Model can lead to fundamental and systemic changes in health care delivery in the developing world.