Global Women's Health Service
The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago has a commitment to women's health not just in Chicago, but globally as well. Please read on about some of our global health clinical work.
Drs. Stacie Geller, Therese Kirsch, and Nuriya Robinson are active in women’s health projects across the globe.
Examples of clinical work
Dr. Therese Kirsch, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of OB/Gyn recently returned from Georgetown Public Hospital, Guyana. In collaboration with WONDOOR Dr. Kirsch provided clinical and didactic teaching to Guyanese OB/Gyn residents.
WONDOOR, based in the University Hospitals/Case Western Medical Center Department of OB/Gyn and Reproductive Biology in collaboration with Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, the Ministry of Health-Guyana and the University of Guyana, created the first residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology in the country of Guyana. Guyana currently has the 49th highest Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in the world, with 270 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. The goal of this program is thus to improve the health care of women in Guyana through the training of qualified OB/Gyn specialists that will remain in the country and improve the physician workforce in the public health sector in Guyana.
The country’s largest hospital, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), has over 6,000 deliveries per year. The program is now in its third year, has a total of 16 residents. This four-year training program is well situated to become a sustainable and self-perpetuating force in women’s health care throughout the country.
Dr. Kirsch has made three trips to Guyana, most recently in January 2015. On this most recent trip, the positive impacts of the residency program were evident throughout the maternity and gynecology units of the hospital. During her stay two years prior, there had been one or two functioning fetal heart monitors on the entire ward, and very few people had the training to interpret the tracings. Now, there are over twelve monitors, with both residents and nurses immediately available and capable of interpretation. Since the start of the program in 2012, donated ultrasound equipment has enabled the residents to obtain skills in diagnosis of early pregnancy failure, ectopic pregnancy, and ovarian pathology. One of the most impactful initiatives has been the residents’ active involvement in developing a series or evidence-based protocols to guide care at GPHC, and in teaching these protocols to nursing staff and midwives.
The focus of this recent trip was to help the residents prepare for the upcoming CREOG exams (administered annually in accordance with ACOG standards) and mock oral board exams. Dr. Kirsch held a series of review sessions throughout the week. In addition, Dr. Kirsch provided clinical teaching both on the wards and in the operating room by performing hysterectomies and ovarian cystectomies with the residents assisting.
Stacie Geller, PhD works with the Jawaharial Nehru Medical College (JNMC) toward improving maternal health and the development of a family planning curriculum and training program. Julie Chor, MD, previously a Family Planning fellow at UIC, went to India to help develop their curriculum on Family Planning. Dr. Chor also visited primary health centers in rural villages in India to learn more about their services and their educational needs in relation to family planning.
Resident Opportunities for Involvement
Interested residents have multiple opportunities for involvement in global health work by taking part in our work in Guyana or Guatemala. Residents can also attend the Center for Global Health network meetings and journal clubs. Residents can also become involved in projects with our collaborators; Dr. Alex Golobof has worked with Dr. Stevan Weine on a project focused on female sex workers in Moscow.