HHI News & Updates: Summer 2017
Celebrating Success: Strengthening Diabetes Treatment and Prevention Services

On June 21, HHI marked the completion of our three-year project to strengthen the Puerto Plata provincial health system's capacity to confront the challenge of diabetes, in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, PSI/SFH, and the World Diabetes Foundation. The Closing Conference was attended by over 160 guests, including the physicians, nurses, community health workers, and administrators who participated in the project, along with key leaders from the Ministry of Public Health, local media, local and provincial government, non-profit and health sector leaders, and academia.  A few highlights of the conference included:
  • Dra. Tomiris Estepan, Director of the Department of Non-communicable Disease at the Ministry of Public Health, spoke about the importance of the project for the Dominican health system, highlighting the epidemic growth of diabetes in the country and the necessity of focusing on risk factor reduction. One of the greatest accomplishments of the project, she said, was training community health workers to bring prevention interventions into the community. She acknowledged HHI's Community Health Worker Program and Chronic Care Program in Montellano as a model for the national network of primary care centers.
  • Dr. Vicente de Peña, Puerto Plata Regional Manager for the Ministry of Public Health, noted that the project represented the first province-wide intervention focused on chronic disease, addressing critical needs in training and capacity building among the province's primary care centers. Seeing the enthusiasm of the doctors, nurses, and community health workers for participating in the project, and how they have been able to put their knowledge into practice, gives him hope for positive, lasting changes in treating and supporting people with diabetes.
  • Dra. Cesia Rodríguez, physician at Hospital La Maternidad, spoke passionately about the project, including the importance of HHI's mission and the changes she has seen among the staff at Maternidad and elsewhere thanks to the training and support they received. She indicated her hope that HHI continues to grow.
Thank you and congratulations to all of the participants in this pioneering project, and to the Ministry of Public Health, PSI/SFH, and the World Diabetes Foundation for their collaboration and commitment to its success! HHI is excited to launch Phase 2 this fall, when we will expand our reach to two additional provinces and develop even more programming to evaluate, strengthen, and sustain the Dominican Republic's approach to fighting chronic disease.
Our Impact: World Diabetes Foundation Project, Phase 1
Team Spotlight: Meet Ysabel

Ysabel Bruno joined the HHI team in April 2017 as our Sano y Feliz Program Coordinator. "Sano y Feliz" is HHI's healthy lifestyle group program, focused on helping community members prevent and manage chronic diseases through nutrition, physical activity, and self care. With more than 20 years of experience working in community health, education, and development, Ysabel brings passion, expertise, and skilled leadership to this important HHI program.
Ysabel (center) with Sano y Feliz Program Assistants, Elisa and Catherine
Prior to coming to HHI, Ysabel worked at the Centro de Promoción y Solidaridad Humana (CEPROSH) as a youth mentor in 25 schools across the North Coast, as well as a HIV/AIDS counselor in CEPROSH's Puerto Plata clinic. She also worked for more than 10 years in a socioeconomic development program, focusing on community outreach and engagement. Ysabel earned her degree in nursing from the Liceo Plan Reforma in Puerto Plata, and later a diploma in Psychology from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD). She also holds certificates in accounting, personnel management, community organizing, and nutrition from UASD.

Ysabel's dedication to service has led her to volunteer as a nurse in the Ricardo Limardo Hospital, and in the senior home in Puerto Plata. She is currently the president of a Mothers Club, and president of her community's Town Council. Ysabel says, "I come from a family of humble means, but since I was a child, my parents instilled in me the value of education, and I learned to work tirelessly to obtain the knowledge and skills I needed." She and her husband live in Puerto Plata, and have two children and three grandchildren.
In case you missed it: Behind the scenes at HHI

For a peek behind the scenes, check out  this blog article  written by Laura McNulty, HHI's Transition Director and member of the Board of Directors. It  is  im portant to us that you, our supporters, have the chance to see how we are approaching  change management while we continue to recruit our next Executive Director. In her post, Laura discusses our priorities, key choices, and how we are evaluating our organizational health at this point in the transition period.

Thank you for staying engaged, for supporting our mission, and for being part of our community. We invite you to comment, ask questions, and share your ideas!  
Call for Volunteers!

We are looking for graphic designers, photographers & videographers, and storytellers to help with a print & digital materials revamp! Volunteers will play an important role in helping HHI share our mission and impact, and roles can be scoped to fit your schedule and interests. Volunteers should have experience working or consulting on communications, marketing, or advocacy projects, and be able to work independently and with remotely-based stakeholders and teammates. Please contact us at info@hhidr.org if you are interested in learning more.
Now Recruiting: Executive Director

The search for our next Executive Director continues! Excellent candidates will have a passion for global health and community development, expertise in partnering with communities and institutions, and the leadership skills to drive growth as a community-based, nationally influential organization. Check out the job description here and help us spread the word!
On the (Health) Horizon...
  • Our fall Medical Service Trip will take place from August 27 - September 2.
  • Our World Diabetes Foundation project expansion will launch in September, in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health.
  • New Sano y Feliz groups are gearing up to start this fall, alongside an expansion of our Chronic Care Program!
Our mission is to improve community health in the Dominican Republic. Through building local capacity for public health and strengthening the primary health care system, we work to promote well-being and access to quality health care.
Health Horizons International Foundation, Inc. |   www.hhidr.org