GPHC to benefit from variety of health services in 5-year pact with NYC medical facility 

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony and Northwell Director Dr Eric Cioe-Peña signed a 5-year medical agreement

The Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) is expected to benefit from a variety of medical services after signing a five-year partnership agreement with Northwell Health – New York State’s largest healthcare provider.

This medical partnership follows a two-year relationship between the two health providers and was signed by officials of the NYC medical facility and Guyana’s Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, on Friday.

According to a missive from Northwell Health, this partnership will also mutually support and enhance a variety of services from maternal-child health, family medicine, pathology, surgery, psychiatry and bring necessary equipment to GPHC.

The agreement also joins Northwell into partnership with the University of Guyana (UG), which has goals of expanding its medical education programmes, in particular, nurse training programmes to help bring more advanced nurses to GPHC.

With over 140,000 Guyanese Americans living in New York City, Northwell Health’s Director of the Center Global Health (CGH), Eric Cioe Peña, MD, said this investment in Guyana is also about investing in communities back in the United States.

“This partnership is designed to first, strengthen Guyana’s health system and secondly, strengthen Northwell’s relationship with the people of Guyana. Our doctors, nurses and health professionals take care of the largest diaspora of Guyanese people in the United States. Working with the communities locally in Queens and internationally in Georgetown is an important step to further our mission to raise healthcare for all people and all communities,” the Northwell Director posited.

Northwell Health plans to learn and adopt the very effective Guyanese model of Family-Centred Medicine and its delivery of primary care to its network of 23 hospitals in New York.

Team building 

Also working with its partners in Brooklyn, paediatricians representing the Maimonides Medical Center Global Health Institute assessed paediatric care at GPHC. Maimonides Medical Center, an affiliate of Northwell Health, has a decade-long relationship with GPHC through the Caribbean Heart Institute, the country’s first cardiac surgery programme.

This programme was established by Maimonides surgeon Dr Gary Stephens in 2006, who is Guyanese. The Maimonides team has supported Dr Stephens on more than 50 trips to Guyana to provide open-heart surgeries to those in need.

Northwell and GPHC’s relationship goes back to 2018 when radiologists went to the US for imaging training.

In 2019, CGH travelled to Guyana to perform a needs assessment in advance of a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), then international travel restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic put the world on hold. In support of GPHC and its other strategic partners in Ecuador and India, Northwell sent critical supplies and PPE during the pandemic.

After the five-year commitment, metrics and goals will be reviewed to ensure accurate benchmarks and a new five-year plan will be created.

Dr Cioe Peña said through global health programmes, doctors and nurses learn and share invaluable skills that improve the care they provide when returning from these trips.

Northwell Health is New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals, 830 outpatient facilities, and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians. It cares for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from communities.

The facility’s 77,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4900 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change healthcare for the better.

They are making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. They are also training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies.