PAHO conducted the Emerging Trends on Health Professions Education in Post-Pandemic Times and The Virtual Campus of Public Health - Caribbean Node Meeting

The Pan-American Health Organization conducted the Emerging Trends on Health Professions Education in Post-Pandemic Times and The Virtual Campus of Public Health - Caribbean Node Meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 11-12-13 October 2022 with the participation of HSS advisors throughout the region and delegates from regional partners including UWI, CARPHA, CARICOM, RNB. The meeting also included special guests from The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH), University of British Colombia, University of Miami, THEnet – the Training for Health Equity Network, and The Network: Towards Unity for Health the Alliance.

The aim of the meeting was to strengthen the support given to countries and the sub-region in building capacity for education of health professionals within the Caribbean and to achieve the institutionalization of the Caribbean Node.  It sought to ensure quality standards educational proposals developed by collaborative work among national authorities, universities, Sub-regional Organizations and PAHO.

Presenters during the three day session included Dr Gabriel Listovsky, Director of the Virtual Campus for Public Health who discussed the background of the VCPH and its role in education of health professionals, Dr. Jose Francisco Garcia who discussed the emerging trends in the education and training of health professionals during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and Dr Benjamin E Puertas, Sub-regional Advisor for Human Resources for health, who presented the situation of HR in The Caribbean Subregion with emphasis on the HRH Action Task Force and its priorities for training and capacity building.

Dr. Erica Frank, and Dr. Cindy Munro shared their experiences related to Academic Health Professions Education, free healthcare education, the NextGenU initiative, and the future of nursing. Dr. Bjorg Palsdottir discussed the subject of Interprofessional education and social mission of academic health sciences institutions and presented empirical methods for attraction and retention and human resources for health.  Dr. Nicholas Torres and Dr. William Burdick presented on the trends in Public health education after the COVID-19 pandemic, and gave suggestions on how to ensure quality of health workforce education and practice through the strengthening roles of accreditation and regulatory systems.

The group participated in a workshop dedicated to the “Current and future management of the VCPH Caribbean Node”, facilitated by Mrs. Fiona Harris-Glenville, Ms Escarle Pena and Mr Carlos Leon. The Caribbean Node was presented as an integral tool for the strengthening of human resources for health in the Caribbean. As a workshop activity, a collaborative discussion between groups/countries covered the importance and objectives of the Caribbean Node, the priority training needs for the Caribbean region, and ideas on how the Caribbean node can assist in meeting these needs. As a final activity, participants were invited to join the Virtual Classroom in the VCPH, to continue the collaboration and work on strategies for strengthening the Caribbean Node.

The Joint Action to Strengthen the Health Workforce in the Region of the Americas: Americas Health Corps was presented as a webinar “Conference Special Session” with presentations from Ms Mara Burr and Dr. James Fitzgerald. Twenty-four external participants joined the webinar virtually and participants showed great interest in the initiative. The webinar was moderated by Edwin Bolastig.