Michael Brodman, MD, Chairman of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Mount Sinai, will continue his vitally important work in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, where his medical teams have corrected fistulas and other disabling and disfiguring gynecologic conditions in women who would otherwise be doomed to lifetimes of exile and ostracism.
Economically disadvantaged communities throughout the world are deeply affected by the health-related consequences of poverty. And few of the more than 16,000 students who earn medical degrees in the U.S. each year have been trained to address the health needs of these most vulnerable populations. Mount Sinai’s Global Women’s Health programs combine resident education with real world charitable care in order to:
- Establish sustainable programs
- Improve access and availability of services
- Reduce maternal morbidity and mortality
- Educate and train providers around the world to deliver quality women’s health care
In short, we’re preparing our physicians to be good global citizens, and we are building programs internationally to facilitate this goal.
Our goals are to:
- Provide clinical care, education, and public health outreach to women around the world through partnerships with local health care professionals in order to improve access to quality obstetric and gynecologic care.
- Utilize education and training of local health care providers abroad in women’s health – nurses, midwives, medical students, and physicians – in order to provide a sustainable health care model.
- Facilitate U.S. resident training experiences that will nurture interest and experience among future leaders in international women’s health, and educate residents and faculty on the broader implications of women's health care needs.
In Monrovia, Liberia, we have partnered with other Mount Sinai departments as well as other US academic medical centers to send teams of physicians to a tertiary care hospital. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) cites Liberia as a country with only six obstetrician gynecologists, where the average life expectancy for women ranks 186 out of 194. Here, our physicians provide critical training and education for local healthcare providers to help improve these odds.
In the foothills of Santiago, Guatemala, we have partnered with a small community hospital to provide clinical care and birthing kits to the rural community. The CIA World Factbook states that Guatemala not only has the highest infant mortality rate in Central America, it is also home to numerous indigenous tribes with in cultural and language barriers to healthcare. We provide training and resources in both Spanish and the local Mayan dialect. Through our birthing kit initiative, we teach traditional birth attendants about how to perform clean, safe delivery and about how to detect early warning signs in labor.
The Pan American Health Organization estimates that El Salvador is a country with one of the highest incidence of cervical cancer in Latin America. Our team provides training for healthcare providers to perform and treat colposcopy for early cervical cancer screening.
We’ve partnered with Saving Mothers a non-profit organization that aims to prevent neonatal and maternal death around the world by supplying women with materials to promote safe delivery. One current project is the distribution of birthing kits to women in Sierra Leone and Tanzania, areas that have long been afflicted with the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. In Guatemala, Saving Mothers sends volunteers to provide clinical care at the local Hospitalito and birthing kits to the rural communities of Santiago.
Saving Mothers is building awareness about global women’s health care issues and has established graduate, medical and undergraduate student chapters across the U.S. to give students the opportunity to take part in high impact projects that promote women’s health.
We believe that everyone can play a role in improving the lives of women around the globe by joining constructive, organized programs that form sustainable relationships with local providers and organizations.
Dr. Shirazian talks about Mount Sinai's extensive global women's health programs.