Participants in this program will explore some of the basic tenets of community and population health during two weeks in the Dominican Republic. Students will learn about a broad range of topics, including the ethics of international work, culture and health, social determinants of health, community engagement, maternal and child health, nutrition, communicable disease, non-communicable disease, and environmental health. Two preparatory meetings and some course work will be completed prior to departure.
Students will stay in three different regions in the Dominican Republic. Field trips and community service projects in each location are designed to enhance the course material through hands-on learning and service in the local community. Culturally respectful engagement will be emphasized in all interactions with local people and organizations, as well as in the completion of student projects.
Goals and Objectives
- Enable students to understand the key determinants of health in the Dominican Republic and effective approaches to improving the health of the Dominican population
- Facilitate student learning about the political, social, environmental and economic systems affecting public health in the Dominican Republic
- Provide the opportunity for students to apply culture-specific knowledge to think critically and comparatively about public health issues faced by the country and to propose best-practice solutions
- Through engaging in diverse cultural situations, help students learn to observe while reserving judgment, interpret unfamiliar cultural contexts, and develop sensitivity to Dominican cultural norms and customs
- Provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate proficiency in Spanish sufficient to effectively interact with Dominicans, as well as culturally appropriate behavior and etiquette
A Community Health Experience
(PHS 3818/5818; 3 credits)
This course is open to all rising 3rd and 4th year undergraduates and graduate students. MPH students and Global Studies Global Public Health majors are encouraged to apply. The course satisfies the MPH field placement requirement and is a core course for the GPH program. Some experience with Spanish is recommended but not required.
Director Paige P. Hornsby | firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and directs student field placements and culminating experiences in the Master of Public Health program. She is also the Director of UVA’s Peace Corps Master’s International Program in Public Health. She received her B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University and her M.S.P.H. and Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research is in reproductive epidemiology and maternal and child health. She has traveled extensively and has studied and/or worked in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Assistant Director Aaron Pannone | email@example.com
Dr. Aaron Pannone, PhD, MS is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia. Dr. Pannone has expertise in evaluation, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and statistical software such as SAS and SPSS. Dr. Pannone’s research interest is in community understanding of health problems, and how that understanding influences community solutions.
Accommodation and Meals
The hotel in offers all modern amenities including internet, in-room safes, and full breakfast. The lodging in Puerto Plata provides simpler accommodations and three daily meals.
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual 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: Dominican Republic 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.