CUSON Global Health News and Activities

La Clinica de Familia's Annual Summer Camp

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Online discussion on Gender Equality in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
The Heart of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Future We Want for All

Global Inequalities LogoA global conversation on Gender Equality; the first of a series of e-discussions taking place as part of the Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda at The discussion on gender equality will run until 24 October 2012.

This discussion is taking place on the Addressing Inequalities consultation site: To participate, please visit the site and post your response in the discussion forum here: It is not necessary to register, but you are welcomed to do so. The site is available in English, French and Spanish. In addition, you are invited to post your contribution in any of the sixty languages supported by the site’s Google translate feature.

Curriculum Meeting Points: A transcultural and transformative initiative in nursing education Sarah Sheets Cook, Fintan Sheerin, Suzanne Bancel, José Carlos Rodrigues Gomes. (in press) Nurse Education in Practice (2012): 1-6

Recently Published Articles in Clinical Scholars Review,
Volume 5, Number 1, 2012

Global Perspectives, from the Editor
Jennifer A. Smith, MBA, MPH, DNP

International Postgraduate Nursing Education Exchanges: Impossible?
Sarah Sheets Cook, DNP, RN-CS

Global Health and Advanced Practice Nursing: An Interview With Richard Garfield, PhD
Jennifer A. Smith, DNP, MBA, MPH

The Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centers for Nursing and Midwifery Newsletters (.pdf files)

March 15, 2012
February 28, 2012
February 15, 2012
January 30, 2012
January 15, 2012

Norwegian Nurses Visit School of Nursing

Norwegian nurses visit CUSON 2012
Left to right: Jorgen Gregersen, Stig Strucksnes, Mary Johnson, Bonnie Archer RN (charge nurse), Evangeline Veloria NP, (DNP student/faculty NP).
Jorgen Gregersen and Stig Struksnes, ICU nurses from Ulleval Hospital in Oslo, Norway visited the School of Nursing in March. They attended the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Diagnosis and Management course to hear a lecture on nutrition issues for critically ill patients. Director of the ACNP program, Dr. Mary Johnson, also led the visitors on a tour of New York Presbyterian Hospital, primarily spending time in the CTICU talking with nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician intensivists there. SON faculty NP, Evangeline Veloria, guided them through the CTICU. A discussion about different types of practices, the roles of the ICU nurse and advanced practice nurses, cost & management issues followed. Dr. Johnson will be going to Norway over the summer as a Fullbright scholar to study simulation model utilization in acute care. The WHO Collaborating Center for Advanced Practice Nursing at the School of Nursing has a Memorandum of Understanding with Oslo and Akershus University College of Nursing.

Professor Richard Garfield presented on Reconstruction after Disasters, comparison of Haiti and Sichuan earthquakes at the Chinese Institute for Social Sciences in October 2011.

Three years after a major earthquake in southern China, the Institute is reviewing its efforts to monitor needs and assist in reconstruction. Comparative international experiences have not been common in China, but modernization is creating an opportunity for such development. Dr. Garfield brought knowledge of baseline assessments, which are improving through the UN system that he helped set up when at the World Health Organization several years ago. Those assessments, created for Libya and the Horn of Africa, are now joint products of the UN-related ACAPS and the US Centers for Disease Control and have become widely used. The Chinese Institute is considering taking part in such international assessments in the future.

The famine in the Horn of Africa is the largest disaster at this time in the world. Columbia’s School of International and Political Affairs featured Dr. Garfield as a speaker in a November program Famine in the Horn - Early Warnings Unheeded?. Other speakers included Gerry Martone, Director of Humanitarian Affairs, International Rescue Committee; Federica D'Andreagiovanni, Coordination Response Division-OCHA Somalia desk; and Sibi Lawson-Marriott, External Relations for Eastern and Central Africa, World Food Programme.

The School of Nursing has been deeply involved in Haiti, especially since a major earthquake there in 2010. Dr. Garfield gave a noon-time presentation on Haiti and our involvement there as part of a series sponsored by the School’s WHO Collaborating Center for Advanced Practice Nurses. He has been featured recently in newspaper articles on the use of cholera vaccine there, and in NPR on the use of cellphone data to monitor population movements in the months after the disaster. Dr. Garfield coauthored an analysis of that data in PLOS medicine this fall. This is the first use of passive data from all subscribers’ cellphones in the country to assess conditions following a disaster. The Chinese Institute was particularly interested in that experience and is preparing now, with Dr. Garfield’s assistance, in a future large scale disaster in their country.

CUSON with Chinese Delegation
Drs. Bobbie Berkowitz, Elaine Larson and Jennifer Smith met with delegates from the Chinese Ministry of Health in November, 2011 to discuss possible joint collaboration efforts in nursing practice, education and research.

Read Article about Columbia in WHO’s Nursing and Midwifery Links journal

L to R: Dr. Livshiz-Riven, Professor Gopas, Dr. Romem, Dr. Smith, Dean Berkowitz, Dr. Carmi, Dr. Larson, and Mrs. Leiberman in the Ben Gurion University president's office.

Dean Berkowitz and Drs. Larson and Smith visit Israel

On July 17, Dean Bobbie Berkowitz, Elaine Larson, PhD, and Jennifer Smith, DNP traveled to Be’er Sheba, Israel to meet with representatives from Ben Gurion University. Ben Gurion representatives included Department of Nursing senior teachers Ilana Livshiz-Riven and Orly Leiberman, Recanati School for Community Health Professions director Jacob Gopas, Department of Nursing head Pnina Romem, and university president Rivka Carmi. They discussed potential faculty and student collaboration areas in academia and research.


Nursing Leaders call on Director General of WHO to Change Policy about Nursing Leadership

March 28, 2011

Dr. Richard Garfield to deliver keynote on reconstruction of health systems in conflict and post-conflict countries at the Swedish International Peace Research Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Dr. Richard Garfield’s latest paper on common needs assessments and humanitarian actions

Richard Garfield, Courtney Blake, Patrice Chatainger and Sandie Walton-Ellery.

Common Needs Assessments and humanitarian action. Humanitarian Practice Network Paper #69, February 2011. Accessed at

Network Paper 69 summarizes the basic characteristics of a Common Needs Assessment (CNA) and reviews experience in using assessments in recent years.

The authors note that while good Common Needs Assessments can help to develop a better joint understanding of needs, capabilities, and appropriate response, in trying to meet too many objectives, CNAs have sometimes failed to live up to this potential. Carrying out a CNA takes time and resources; even when funds and experienced assessors are available, results have not always been useful or timely.

Drawing on field experience from more than a dozen CNAs, this paper identifies the opportunities, costs and trade-offs involved in carrying them out and provides an overview of steps which can be taken to avert common problems.

Determining Humanitarian Needs in Flooded Pakistan

Dr. Richard Garfield, Professor at Columbia University School of Nursing and Mailman School of Public Health, Coordinates a U.N. Assessment of Needs Project

Flooding in PakistanThe worst flooding in Pakistan’s history has left over 2,000 people dead and as many as 20 million homeless or injured, according to the United Nations – a total that exceeds the combined number of people displaced by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Millions of Pakistanis are without food and safe water to drink.

During the last two weeks in August, Richard Garfield, the Henrik H. Bendixen Professor of Clinical International Nursing and Mailman School Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health, led field surveys in four of the most affected provinces in Pakistan to determine short and long term needs in health, water and sanitation, nutrition, agriculture, livelihoods, shelter, and gender.  This ‘combined needs assessment’ is an effort by the international community to jointly set priorities. The data will be used by the UN and other agencies to set program and funding priorities. Dr. Garfield previously took part in a similar system in Myanmar and is evaluating for the US Centers for Disease Control a similar survey process created earlier this year in Haiti. 

Pakistan floodsThe project involved teams of researchers who fanned out across the country to interview flood victims in 380 locations in the provinces of Gilgit Baltistan Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  Researchers spoke to refugees living in camps, damaged homes, and spontaneous settlements.

To be useful in an emergency, this type of assessment must be accomplished more quickly than usual.  From start to finish, the entire process in Pakistan took twenty days.  Preliminary results were presented a week ago and a draft of the report was then given in Pakistan to UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, on her second day on the job.

Not surprisingly, the survey showed that families rated food and shelter as their most critical needs. Families also identified cash and construction materials as priorities for rebuilding their lives.   There was little difference between male and female perceptions of security and recovery needs.
The survey was conducted almost entirely among rural farmers who constitute nearly all of the flooding victims.  Among those who lost assets in the floods, most lost between 75% and 100% of their income, including an average of 3 months worth of stored food stocks.  The largest loss of standing crops was cotton, important as it is one of the few crops for which women are paid directly for their labor.  Women will thus have an additional deficit in income at this crucial time.

Flooding in Pakistan
Also of note:

  • Overall water storage facilities are poor and sanitation is even poorer.  Most people do, however, report washing their hands before eating  
  • Approximately 60% of households surveyed reported that they have no food on hand.
  • Twenty percent or fewer households reported access to toilets that they perceived to be clean and functioning.
  •  Only 40% of women feel they have adequate privacy for personal hygiene, even fewer report having sufficient privacy for bathing.  Only 20%  feel they have privacy to breastfeed their children.  Some local NCOs have distributed infant formula and bottles, and many women report having since stopped breastfeeding altogether.
  • The majority of Pakistanis have access to some kind of health care within one hour of where they reside. Further analysis of the data is required for comparisons pre-flood.
  • More than half of people interviewed said they had received some food aid in the previous two weeks.

A more comprehensive account of the assessment will be forthcoming.  “The potential to minimize the long term damage is a real humanitarian challenge,” says Dr. Garfield. He believes that the possibility of rebuilding may offer opportunities to make life better than before the floods, as some of these areas had very little pre-existing infrastructure. “Perhaps as part of the recovery, children in these areas may be able to attend school for the first time.”

August 2010, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Dr. Richard Garfield addresses Haiti Nursing Foundation

This July 14-16, WHO Collaborating Center Director Dr. Jennifer Smith, and CUSON Faculty member Dr. Jennifer Dohrn, participated at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, in the first meeting of the technical reference group on nursing and midwifery education sponsored by the WHO/PEPFAR Collaboration to Scale Up Transformative Education of Doctors and Nurses. Over the next 18 months, this reference group will meet to develop guidelines for nursing education which will help achieve the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Also present from Columbia ICAP were David Schulman of INCI Swaziland and Agnes Iraguha of INCI Rwanda.
Agnes Iraguha, Jennifer Dohrn and David Schulman at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

CUSON, through its WHO Collaborating Center, became involved in the relief efforts in Haiti after the devastating earthquake this January.  We teamed up with the International Medical Corps, who helped coordinate our efforts, to supply nurses and nurse practitioners from our faculty and alumni. To date, 22 CUSON alumni and faculty have gone to Haiti.  Since February, there has been at least one CUSON representative in Port au Prince working in the main hospital compound and in the countryside for 14-18 day commitments.

Even as the immediate response to send clinicians to Haiti is winding down – the need for continued assistance is overwhelming.  The main school of nursing in Haiti was destroyed and the entire 2nd year class was killed.  Columbia is committed to helping rebuild this school – not with bricks and mortar, but with our expertise in clinical education. 

As part of its mission, the Global Health Center at Columbia University School of Nursing is committed to providing leadership and to leverage existing strengths within the School of Nursing in order to facilitate knowledge sharing among students and faculty of our international partners. Working with the Port au Prince School of Nursing (ENIP), the Haitian Ministry of Health (MSPP), other leading Haitian schools of nursing and several NGOs, we will measure our success in this case by the numbers of students who graduate from ENIP (our first objective is to reconvene faculty and students to finish the final semester for 80-100 senior nursing students and graduate them), the institution of the clinical rotation model in rural areas and adaption of nursing ward chiefs for clinical instruction. 

We hope to learn new methods of adapting our educational system to best serve not only the nursing system in Haiti by adding to the needed nursing workforce, but ultimately the care of all Haitian patients and their families.

In April, Professor Sarah Cook attended a workshop/planning meeting at the Oslo University College of Nursing in Norway, with faculty from Fairfield University School of Nursing in Connecticut, Jesnice College of Nursing in Slovenia, Instituto Politecnico de Leiria School of Health in Portugal, Riga Stradins University in Lativia and representatives from England, Sweden and Denmark. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss curricular meeting points between the European master's degree and the American Doctor of Nursing Practice degree that would enable student and faculty collaboration and exchange and possibly the creation of joint courses.

On April 13 and 14, 2010, representatives of The University of São Paulo College of Nursing at Ribeirão Preto Brazil will visit Columbia University School of Nursing. Drs. Juliana Stefanello and Juliana Monteiro will attend master’s program lectures in midwifery and women’s health and observe faculty clinicians in their community practices sites. Their interest is in factors related to nursing education and community resources. The visit is sponsored by the WHO Collaborating Center for the International Nursing Development of Advanced Practice.

On April 8 and 9, 2010, Dr. Jennifer Smith met with Dean Judit Meszaros and other faculty and administration of Semmelweis University Faculty of Health Sciences, to discuss CUSON and Semmelweis collaborations per our Memorandum of Understanding.

In March, Dr. Jennifer Dohrn represented the School of Nursing at the official signing of our memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Nazarene College in Swaziland.

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