Delegates From Peru’s Ministry of Health Travel to Dartmouth

Two delegates from Peru’s Ministry of Health were on campus this week, discussing health care reform and strengthening a newly formed partnership between Dartmouth and the South American nation.

Doctors Vidaurre and Castillo exchange ideas with Dartmouth officials at The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science. From left: Jennifer Murray ’09, Rick Johnson (sitting), Michael Lewis, Tatiana Vidaurre, Jaime Bayona, and Humberto Castillo (sitting). (photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

“It’s been a very exciting and productive visit, as we’ve exchanged ideas about how we can work together,” says Michael Lewis, a senior fellow at The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science (TDC), which sponsored the visit.

Tatiana Vidaurre and Humberto Castillo, both physicians, delivered presentations, toured facilities, and met with representatives from The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, TDC, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI).

Vidaurre serves as the chief of the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplásicas (National Cancer Institute), and Castillo is the superintendent of Superintendencia Nacional de Aseguramiento en Salud (Peru’s National Health Insurance agency within the Ministry of Health).

Castillo says Dartmouth and Peru share many ideals for medical care, especially when it comes to patients' choices and emphasizing patient rights. “We love that [Dartmouth is] advancing the patient in the same way we are doing in our country,” he says.

This summer, Dartmouth students and faculty traveled to Peru as part of a pilot program, building relations with Peruvian communities, universities, and government and exploring areas for future collaboration.

In September, The Geisel School of Medicine announced a partnership with Peru aimed at creating educational opportunities and improving lives in the nation of almost 30 million people.

“Drs. Castillo and Vidaurre’s interests touched upon many of Dartmouth’s strengths in medical education, cancer care, shared decision-making, and measurement of health system performance,” says David Goodman, director of the Center for Health Policy Research at TDI. “It was clear that Peru had the interest and capabilities to partner with Dartmouth to develop measurement techniques that could lead to meaningful improvement in health care.”

One topic discussed by the Peruvian delegates and Dartmouth representatives, was how to implement shared decision-making in health care delivery—so that organizations providing aid consider the perspective of those receiving aid.

“We’re trying to look at a model for health care reform,” Vidaurre says, adding that the Peruvian delegates were specifically interested in examining Dartmouth’s model for cancer care and primary care. The delegation toured the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and Dartmouth Health Connect, a primary care practice for Dartmouth employees. Viduarre says she is looking for ways to improve Peru's only cancer center.