The CPHE Network includes 11 sites throughout the country, comprising 229 participants representing community organizations, clinics and academic institutions.
"There was not only a wealth of ideas to learn from the good people of Cuba, but it was inspiring to be traveling with those of us who are already working together for change. The bond of the group has been strengthened more than ever…and a foundation has been laid for us to lift and leverage change like never before."
"In Cuba, the idea of doing a lot with next to nothing is amazing, but more so, their educational standard is high and their medical systems work very well. We have a lot to learn from a people who have been facing challenges for so many years.”
"I saw three pillars of the system that are mutually reinforcing - Access to Care, Prevention Focus, and Provider Training. While replicating the system as a whole seems impractical in the US, there are lessons from each of these three areas that can be adapted to our system."
MEDICC launched its first CPHE in 2005, providing the opportunity for low-resource communities in the US and their partners to observe first-hand Cuba’s working models of health. Using the right to health as a starting point, MEDICC’s approach is place-based and collaborative, each CPHE focusing on the issues local leaders decide as most important for their communities’ health and equity. Sites include communities in South Los Angeles, Oakland, Kern County and San Diego, California; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Bronx, New York; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Akron, Ohio; and the Four Corners Region of the Navajo Nation.
MEDICC helps each CPHE choose Cuban health models and approaches the leaders decide are most relevant to their community’s priorities, many of the principles aligned with ones underpinning the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While in Cuba, participants visit clinics and other public health institutions, as well as schools, community centers and health-promotion programs.
Thus far, CPHE participants have selected these key concepts of Cuba’s health system as most relevant to their health equity work:
After the exchange in Cuba, MEDICC works with a coordinator in each community to capture insights from Cuba that may lead to local innovation towards improved health. Our CPHE 2.0 program provides seed grants to support community initiatives inspired and informed by Cuba, and offers site exchanges among CPHEs.
The accomplishments of the Community Partnerships for Health Equity demonstrate that Cuba’s models and principles of health care and health access are relevant, even in a context as different from Cuba’s as our own. The CPHE national network allows participants to more broadly share insights from Cuba’s experience and their own results, by means of a listserv, site visits, webinars and annual Network meetings. Joined by local and national organizations and US graduates of Havana’s Latin American School of Medicine, CPHE contributes unique experiences and fresh perspectives to the movement towards health equity in the US, as CPHE leaders actively work together to shift the balance towards health for all.