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Cultural, Healthcare & Nursing Journey to Havana & Santa Clara, Cuba

Dr. Sharon Byrne is joining a national Nursing Delegation to Cuba this fall semester that will be led by Trudi McFarland, Health Scientist Administrator (Ret), Nursing Research Study Section, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and former Nursing Education Consultant, Division of Nursing, HRSA, US Public Health Service. During her 10 days in the country her focus will be tri-fold. The first priority is exploring the Cuban healthcare system including healthcare delivery, access to care, health promotion and disease prevention, prevention of vector borne diseases and unique approaches to the care of the elderly with staff at the Cira Garcia Clinic in Havana and a rural hospital near Santa Clara. Particularly Dr. Byrne is interested in and lending her experience in the area of healthcare promotion and disease prevention related to her professional role as a certified primary care family nurse practitioner and advanced certified oncology nurse practitioner focusing on early detection of cancer. A second goal of the delegation is to discuss the educational trajectory for professionals such as nurses, physicians, other health professionals and teachers with Cuban professionals from the Ministry of Health and the Cuban Nurses Association. As an Associate Professor in the Department of Nursing, the knowledge gained will be incorporated into NUR 301: Perspectives in Global Health Nursing a liberal learning course that Byrne teaches and is being offered this J-term 2017. Finally, Dr. Byrne is looking forward to immersing herself in Cuba’s rich cultural heritage in art, music, ballet, literature, architecture, cuisine by living among and developing relationships with Cuban citizens.