The participants in this course will study the fundamentals of public health and disaster preparedness by exploring the public health in the West Indies by learning about the major public health threats of the islands including disasters and chronic diseases. Students will have experiential opportunities to deepen learning during the two week course.
This course may be of interest to any undergraduate or graduate student (all majors) and is an unparalleled opportunity to learn from UVA faculty, and public health professionals from St. Kitts and Nevis. The course will include assessment of planning, prevention, mitigation, response and recovery relating to all types of public health hazards. Upon completion of this course, students will be eligible for CPR and first aid certification. Participants will also collaborate with local public health professionals to develop strategies to address chronic diseases that are prevalent on the islands.
Students will have the opportunity to go on field trips to relevant historic sites as well as to visit important parts of the local health system including the two hospitals and the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine.
The faculty teaching the course have collective experience in public health and health care including emergency medicine, "all hazards" preparedness and response, disaster simulations, health impact assessment and program planning and evaluation.
West Indies Health Care: Disaster Preparedness, St. Kitts and Nevis (PHS 2810; 3 credits),
West Indies Health Care: Disaster Preparedness, St. Kitts and Nevis (PHS 5810; 3 credits)
This course is open to all UVA undergraduates, regardless of major. Public health sciences, global health and graduate nursing students may also apply.
Public Health Competencies
- Discuss public health research done in the St. Kitts and Nevis communities and how programs and policies support individual and population health improvement.
- Discuss the roles of history, power, privilege, and structural inequality in producing health disparities.
- Discuss how professional ethics and practices relate to equity and accountability in diverse community settings.
- Discuss public health strategies responsive to the diverse cultural values and traditions of the West Indies compared to the U. S.
- Discuss social justice and human rights principles related to community needs.
- Learn the cultural nuances of health care in the West Indies while interacting with health system leaders and providers of care with ethnic backgrounds atypical to the US
- Study fundamentals of emergency care and the infrastructure for disaster preparedness specifically as it relates to St Kitts and Nevis, two small countries vulnerable to natural disasters
- Observe and interact with pre-hospital and hospital clinicians while also learning the fundamentals of emergency care and elements of basic life support
- Contribute to a group report on St. Kitts and Nevis health care and disaster preparedness.
- Interact with faculty and students who are enrolled in Nursing, Medicine, and Veterinary Schools in the offshore setting culturally and socially
- Interact with and learn from nationally recognized UVA Health System faculty
Wendy Cohn, M.Ed., Ph.D. | firstname.lastname@example.org
Program Director Wendy Cohn is an Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences and Principal of Hereford Residential College and has taught conducted research in core areas of Public Health for over 15 years both locally and globally.
CCEMT-P Emergency Education and Response Coordinator in the Department of Emergency Services at the UVA Health System and member of the American Heart Association Educational Science and Programs Committee for Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Kostas has served as faculty for the St. Kitts & Nevis J-term course since its inception in 2008 and will provide direct instruction in emergency care, cultural nuances, and disaster management.
Heather Borek, MD
Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and is a Medical Toxicologist. Dr. Borek is an experienced global traveler and educator who will provide instruction and medical context related to the environmental hazards and related public health issues on the islands.
Accommodation and Meals
Students will be housed together at local hotels where morning and evening group discussions will take place.
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.
Passport and Visa
All participants will need a valid passport in order to participate in the program. Students must ensure that their passport is valid at least six months past the program return date. US passport holders will not need a visa to participate in this program. International students should meet with their International Student Advisor and Education Abroad Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process.
Health and Safety Information
Check the CDC website: St. Kitts & Nevis Health info
All students considering Education Abroad should consult the Students Abroad section of the U.S. Department of State’s web-based travel resources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health web resources to research health, safety, and security conditions; visa requirements; immunization requirements; and recommendations on staying healthy and safe in their target destination(s). Students should also carefully review the UVA Education Abroad Health & Safety Abroad web page. Parents and guardians are strongly advised to review all of these resources, as well. UVA students and visiting students enrolled in UVA Education Abroad programs are subject to the University of Virginia’s Policy on Student International Travel.