A stepwise model for delivering medical humanitarian aid requiring complex interventions

J Nilas Young, Josie Everett, Janet M Simsic, Nathaniel W Taggart, Sonny Bert Litwin, Natalia Lusin, Lizbeth Hasse, Evgeny V Krivoshchekov, James P Marcin, Gary W Raff, Frank Cetta
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2014, 148 (6): 2480-9.e1

OBJECTIVES: Cardiothoracic surgeons and practitioners of cardiovascular medicine have a long history of humanitarian aid. Although this is worthwhile at multiple levels and occasionally described in some detail, few efforts have a proven algorithm with demonstrable outcomes that suggest effective educational methodology or clinical results approaching accepted standards in developed countries.

METHODS: Our report provides a stepwise approach to developing highly successful self-sustainable, replicable, and scalable humanitarian congenital cardiac surgical programs, and provides data to allow insight into the efficacy of our model.

RESULTS: This program model has evolved over 25 years, during which it has been replicated several times and scaled throughout a vast and populous country. Since 1989, Russia has undergone considerable social, political, and economic changes. Our program model proved successful throughout this time despite dynamic social, political, and medical landscapes.

CONCLUSIONS: The positive results of our program model indicate that these methodologies may be helpful to others attempting to address the worldwide shortage of cardiovascular care and particularly the complex interventions required in the management of congenital cardiovascular disease.

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