The mission of Health Horizons International (Horizontes de Salud in Spanish) is to provide quality primary health care to underserved patients in the Dominican Republic and to build local capacity for achieving improved community health. Through partnering international medical service trips with community-based initiatives, HHI works to promote well-being and access to health care.
HHI focuses on rural villages in the mountainous inland of the Puerto Plata region and on bateyes surrounding the defunct Montellano sugarcane refinery. The bateyes were constructed by Dominican sugarcane companies in the early 1900s to house Haitian migrant workers and their families. Now, the bateyes on the north coast have expanded beyond the original barracks into full communities, and are home to poor Dominicans and Haitians alike.
Medical Service Trip Teams
HHI’s Medical Service Trip Teams are composed of eight to twenty-five physicians, allied health professionals, and students. These teams volunteer their time, energy, and expertise during each of three annual week-long trips to the Dominican Republic. At each primary health care field clinic, they collaborate with community health workers and local partners to provide preventive healthcare services, education, and treatment for both acute and chronic conditions to over 500 individuals.
Community Health Workers Program
HHI builds the local capacity of its partner communities by training community health workers, or cooperadores de salud. The cooperadores promote community health and provide access to health care by connecting their communities with local resources. The cooperadores are the key to ensuring continuity of patient care. Patients requiring follow-up after HHI’s primary health care field clinics are connected directly to their cooperador, who facilitates referrals to HHI’s network of local specialists and provides home-based support to the patient and family.
HHI is doing great things in the Dominican Republic. Read about it in the 2011 HHI Annual Progress Report here.