The institutions signed a collaborative agreement also joined by Barnabas Health, Inc. to create an academic exchange program.
San Juan, PR - by Angel Hoyos (UPR) - In order to establish an academic exchange program for students, doctors and professors, the Medical Sciences Campus (MSC) of the University of Puerto Rico and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, established a historic collaborative agreement that fosters resilience, disaster preparedness, reduction of health disparities, promotion of equity in health and collaboration in community health. The agreement was also joined by Barnabas Heath, Inc., a healthcare system that maintains a relationship with Rutgers University to together bring the best of academic medicine.
“We continue to focus on increasing competitiveness by strengthening our academic programs via continuous improvement and by expanding our student exchange opportunities. With collaborative agreements like this one, we seek to promote innovation and the incorporation of new programs that allow us to extend our academic offer, increase our research initiatives and provide tools for our students, faculty and researchers”, said Dr. Jorge Haddock, UPR president.
“This agreement promotes the exchange of information between both institutions with the aim of expanding and addressing the opportunities and the academic and research challenges in health care. We reaffirm our commitment to academic excellence, ensuring best practices through faculty and students,” said Dr. Segundo Rodríguez Quilinchini, chancellor of the MSC campus.
Some of the topics discussed during the visit were: the creation of an advanced nursing program so that nurses can play a more active and direct role in medical care, interventions aimed at the mental health crisis, especially the increasing rate of suicides on the island.
“RWJBarnabas Health, along with our academic partners at Rutgers University, is proud to partner with the University of Puerto Rico to strengthen our system’s Puerto Rico recovery efforts and explore opportunities to foster healthy and resilient communities,” said Margie Heller, System Administrator for Global Health at RWJBarnabas Health.
In addition, the agreement seeks to design solutions for the challenge represented by the aging of the Puerto Rican population, diabetes and obesity.
“This MOU represents an opportunity for Rutgers, the State University of NJ, Barnabas, and UPR to partner and become Anchors in leveraging resources for rethinking, reinventing and reengineering a new Puerto Rico. Our framework for the work ahead is guided by four pillars: Health, Education, Public Safety, Food and Energy security. We have established two pathways to leverage the collaboration through short term projects dealing with research, teaching, student exchanges, and graduate professional programs. Second, we will establish a leadership taskforce of key leaders from both Universities, UPR government and private sector for fast tracking opportunities for collaboration and leverage funding opportunities to support these efforts”, pointed Gloria Bonilla Santiago, Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Administration and Chair of the Rutgers University Collaboration between Rutgers University and UPR.
Under this collaboration, both institutions strengthen their academic and research commitment in the field of health.