Atlantis Health Care Group to launch cultural exchange program to develop first dialysis STEM platform in Puerto Rico
Undergraduate pre-licensure nursing students, dialysis patients, High School and Middle School students from the mainland US and Puerto Rico will participate in the first dialysis science, technology, engineering and technology (STEM) educational program pilot.
The program builds upon and will interface with a unique approach to patient/family education about dialysis by having patients and family members learn more of the details of dialysis by taking them through the process at the Atlantis ESRD simulation lab. This concept was generated by dialysis patients and staff, and is closely aligned with the Center of Medicare and Medicaid services push to increase patient centered care as well as community outreach. "Engaging students early on in their academic pathway, using this program as a way to excite them about technology and science, is a very unique opportunity within the dialysis field," said Atlantis CEO, Ruby Harford.
The program will take place June 20th, 2016 - June 24th, 2016 at the Atlantis Health Care Group Dorado Training Center in Dorado, Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico background over the last year: UPRM and AHG have partnered on the development of a patient engagement program for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) for the end stage renal disease (ESRD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) program on the island of Puerto Rico. Based on the multidisciplinary and STEM nature of the program, the unique opportunity in working with the first ESRD simulation lab established in both Puerto Rico and the US mainland, it was felt the program should be opened to STEM programs at the middle and high school level. The ESRD lab incorporates a basic introduction to the bioscience and engineering aspects on bio health, bioscience, and technology. As such, a proposal to pilot a cultural STEM program between Puerto Rico and Linfield's school system was introduced. In 2015, discussions between Dr. Ruby Harford, Dr. Celia Colon (UPRM Principal Lead), and Dr. Ruth Young commenced on the coordination of an ESRD STEM project, STEM Simulation Lab Approach.
AHG currently operates 15 dialysis centers island wide and is undergoing the construction of two new facilities with a completion date of August 2016. It is the second largest dialysis company in Puerto Rico. In 2015, AHG developed the first dialysis science training program integrating basic dialysis simulation coupled with reverse osmosis (RO), water treatment and systems education. Unique to the program is the active involvement of volunteer ESRD patients who work with new nursing and biomed personnel. The teaching media is based on interactive discussions on the care of dialysis patients and their families during the pre, interim and end training period.
AHG is in the process of building a second training center in San Sebastian where the principal focus will be in water systems maintenance and water safety housing a separate RO system. The programs lead by Dr. Ruby Harford and supported by an experienced multidisciplinary team. Completion date is set for August 2016. The Dorado Training Center will serve as the principal site where the pilot program will take place. Contiguous to the center is the Renal Center of Dorado, a 28-station dialysis facility. As part of the program, students and faculty will have an opportunity to tour the unit, observe biomedical engineering operations, and work with the AHG's biomedical team in a hands-on dialysis machine mock maintenance.
The presentation also looked at expanding the program to include community relationships with local academic institutions and STEM. Underscoring the program was AHG's interest in pursuing an academic partnership with UPRM and a second nursing school, Mount Saint Mary's University specializing in the use of low fidelity and simulation labs. In addition to expanding new training opportunities for young students interested in becoming the new generation of health care professionals, the dialysis STEM platform is a dream come true for the health care community looking to expand the labor force participation in disadvantaged communities with huge health disparities challenges.
UPRM School of Engineering has an extensive academic history in working with the local STEM high school programs within the Mayaguez municipality. Dr. Patricia Ortiz, Associate Professor of the UPRM School of Chemical Engineering, serves as the coordinator for the CROEM's STEM program. The program was founded in 1967 and adopted by UPRM as part of its academic outreach. The school is nationally and locally recognized for its specialty in the areas of math and science. In 1992-1993, CROEM was awarded the Blue Ribbon Award, an award of excellence granted by the United States Department of Education. The school has confirmed ten students who will attend this year's program.
Under the direction of Dr. Ruth Young, Chief Academic Officer from LCS, implementation of a Bio Science STEM Program is under development. The CREOM/LCS STEM collaborative provides a first time cultural exchange pilot program for LCS. AHG has reserved 13 spaces for LCS's STEM program.
Launch Team Consulting has signed on to supply logistical and training support. LTC is an Organizational Development and Global Leadership Consulting company that provides strategic training, executive coaching, business logistics, and has the ability to design specific interactive organizational group/team training programs to meet the needs of business today.
Launch Team is a disabled veteran and minority-owned small business led by Dr. Joy Wright, one of the first women to integrate a Naval Aircraft Carrier, and Ray Leonard Jr., a sports and entertainment management executive. (www.LaunchTeamConsulting.com)
The program has also garnered the support of Legendary Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and his SRL Foundation. The Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation (www.sugarrayleonardfdn.org) was established in 2009 by boxing legend and six-time world champion Sugar Ray Leonard and his wife, Bernadette. The Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation is committed to funding research and creating awareness for childhood type 1 & 2 diabetes and to help children lead healthier lives through diet and exercise.
Launch Team Consulting
Dr. Joy Wright
Atlantis Health Care Group