GHI Belize Partnership Directors: Jim Shropshire, MD, Family Medicine, HHCI Board of Directors; Mara Kieser, PharmD, UW School of Pharmacy.
The Hillside Clinic has experienced significant growth under the leadership of Dan and Maria Thiabault, both Licensed Family Nurse Practitioners, who have served as Clinic Directors the last two years. Dan Thibault is the Stateside Director of Operations. Mischa Ronick, MD, and Loretta Charles, F.N.P., will serve as medical director and assistant medical director and on-site supervisors for 2014-2016.
Abby’s House, the new dormitory facility named for a past University of Indiana medical student volunteer, Abigail Brinkman, MD, has been occupied to capacity as the number of students accepted monthly has increased to 11. This includes three pharmacy students per month in addition to the eight Medical and PA student spots. The School of Pharmacy partners with several other Midwestern Pharmacy Schools to provide student rotations, on site pharmacist supervision, and a year round presence. The clinical schedule has been expanded to include two teams providing care independently each day. One team sees patients at Hillside Clinic, and the other team goes out on mobile clinics to rural villages in the area. The educational curriculum is continually being improved, and includes video captured talks, readings, and a lecture series. All learners are also asked to prepare a talk on an assigned topic prior to their arrival. The public health activities include educational talks in the communities, performing physical exams on school children in the District, and applying dental sealants to children in the schools. There are also rotations being developed for Physical Therapy students this year. Through the assistance of the UW Department of Pathology, the clinic has a new laboratory that is under development, providing some of the only on site services in the district.
The academic partnership between Hillside and the University of Wisconsin provides a guarantee of four spots for PA students every March and medical students every April. The rotations otherwise fill over a year in advance. Hillside and the UW GHI continue to explore ways to strengthen our academic partnership while improving health care and services in Belize.