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PAHEF Awards Grant to University of Miami for Project to Improve Maternal and Infant Health in Haiti

Media Contact: Ashley Gatewood

WASHINGTON (August 7, 2009)—The Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) awarded The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies a $98,000 grant for an initiative to improve maternal and infant health in Haiti. The grant, financed by PAHEF from a fund created through the generosity of the People of Taiwan, will support the School of Nursing and Health Studies’ project to train nurse-midwives in Haiti. The 18-month project will expand the preparation given to nurses to become midwives utilizing guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization.

Expanding the capacity for maternal and infant care is a top priority in Haiti where only 14% of women receive prenatal care. There, many women lack the assistance of a trained professional during childbirth, which has contributed to the country having the highest rate of maternal mortality in the Western Hemisphere.
“For more than 40 years PAHEF has been working with various partners to reduce the health disparities among and within the countries of the Western Hemisphere. PAHEF is proud to support the University of Miami’s WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing Human Resources Development and Patient Safety,” says PAHEF Executive Director, Edward Kadunc. “Their vital work in Haiti will have an immediate impact.”

“The University of Miami and our school’s WHO Collaborating Centre are committed to supporting the nursing workforce by assisting neighboring countries with their educational needs,” says Nilda P. Peragallo, DrPH, RN, FAAN, dean and professor at the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies. “Strengthening and expanding nursing education programs is key to improving health care throughout our hemisphere. We are deeply grateful to the Pan American Health and Education Foundation and the People of Taiwan for their generosity in supporting this project to improve the health of women and children in Haiti.”

The University of Miami program will focus on building educational capacity for midwifery education through an exchange of nursing faculty members and students from the University of Miami with nurses and nursing faculty from one of Haiti’s primary midwifery teaching institutions, the École Nationale des Infirmières Sages-Femmes in Port-au-Prince.


Founded in 1968, the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) is a public 501(c)(3) foundation dedicated to fostering public health programs in the Americas that address major health concerns. PAHEF’s expertise has improved the lives of people throughout the Americas by working with the public and private sectors as well as major public health research, policy, and development groups.

PAHEF enjoys a unique relationship with PAHO, the Pan American Health Organization, which serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization.


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