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Albuquerque Business First

Dennis Domrzalski, Reporter- Albuquerque Business First

Some of the problems in health care are the same no matter where in the world you are.

Sheri Milone, CEO of Lovelace Women’s Hospital and her staff discovered that on Sept. 10 when an international delegation from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Russia and St. Vincent of the Grenadines visited the hospital to learn how Lovelace approaches women’s health issues.

Some of the same issues were doing public outreach and getting women to sign up for insurance and implementing standardized treatment procedures to reduce variances outcomes in patients, Milone said.

“Even though we are in different parts of the world, some things are quite different but there are things that are very similar,” Milone said. “They have similar issues in their countries of getting people access to care.”

The six-person delegation learned about Lovelace’s outreach efforts, particularly its Labor of Love program, and how the hospital has developed teams to reduce patient outcome variances. The idea is that all team members, from doctors to nurses and other providers, have to feel comfortable enough to speak up and challenge ideas, Milone added.

“We’re trying to get rid of the hierarchy where what the doctor says is right and no one questions it. We need everybody to be comfortable speaking up so the patient can be safe,” Milone said.

The delegation came to Albuquerque through the efforts of the Albuquerque Council for International Visitors, the local branch of the International Visitor Leadership Program run by the U.S. Department of State.

ACIV is now bringing an average of 10 international delegations a month to the city, said the organization’s executive director Micaela Brown.

“You can see why Lovelace was such a strong resource for the group,” Brown said. “They just completely opened their doors to us and provided such an open dialogue and our group came away absolutely impressed with the wealth of resources Lovelace provides to the community and their openness to talk with people from all over the world. They were impressed.”

Brown said that in its first 30 years of existence, ACIV brought an average of one international delegation a month to Albuquerque.

“In the past six months we’ve gotten that up to 10 a month,” Brown said.

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