The Department of Anesthesiology at HSS is dedicated to advancing the practice of regional anesthesia among the global community. The Global Health Initiative, led by Swetha Pakala, MD, provides regional anesthesia training to medical providers in several developing countries.
While many surgical mission trips exist, many of these trips focus on sending teams to underprivileged communities to perform surgeries with their own staff and resources, according to Dr. Pakala. The Global Health Initiative focuses on medical education and training, with an emphasis on ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia. This model of education seeks to provide sustainable growth within local communities, so that the standard of anesthetic care is improved in a long lasting way.
Currently, the Global Health Initiative partners with anesthesia providers in several countries, including:
In 2014, the Global Health Initiative launched its first clinical elective opportunity dedicated to international practice and education within the Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Fellowship. Each year, one Fellow is designated as the Global Outreach Fellow; his or her clinical elective time focuses on providing regional anesthesia education to our partner hospitals.
In 2016, the Global Health Initiative returned to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for its fourth year of leading regional anesthesiology training for anesthesia providers. To measure the effectiveness of the training program and identify ways to improve its impact, the Global Health Initiative is submitting a research proposal to the Internal Review Board at HSS. Anecdotally, the changes in anesthetic practice have been drastic – a large majority of surgical anesthesia is now done using ultrasound after successful education and training with HSS providers.
Incoming Fellows, once confirmed, will have the opportunity to apply for the Global Outreach Fellowship a few months prior to their academic year.
Lauren M. Nakawaza, MD
Dr. Nakazawa became interested in regional anesthesia after seeing its impact on patient care in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as a Traveling Fellow with the Society for Education in Anesthesia – Health Volunteers Overseas. Dr. Nakazawa looks to continue expanding regional anesthesia education to the Global Health Initiative’s clinical partners in Vietnam and Uganda throughout her fellowship year.
Lee Rasamny, MD
Dr. Rasamny brought his prior experience providing medical care in India to his role as the first Global Outreach Fellow. Dr. Rasamny focused on providing clinical instruction in regional anesthesia to providers in Amritsar, India; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Entebbe, Uganda.
Read Dr. Rasamny's travel blogs
by Lee Rasamny, MD
2015-2016 Global Outreach Fellow
by Jennifer Charles, MD
Mary J. Hargett
Administrative Director, Education & Clinical Initiatives