Kenyan Minister of Medical Services Tours Nursing School

Coral Gables (May 07, 2012) — Visiting Miami on April 23 for a series of meetings focusing on trade, education, tourism, and technology, Kenya’s minister of medical services paid a visit to the University of Miami’s School of Nursing and Health Studies to observe its high-tech simulation program and learn how making greater use of nurse practitioners can help ease the strain on his country’s ailing health care system.

Anyang’ Nyong’o met with UM nursing school Dean Nilda Peragallo, Vice Dean Doris Ugarriza, and Associate Dean JoAnn Trybulski before touring the school’s M. Christine Schwartz Center for Nursing Education and getting a firsthand look at one of its signature features—a simulation lab where student nurses practice medical procedures on lifelike mannequins that can register a heartbeat, perspire, and even deliver a baby.

He visited the lab’s fully equipped mockup of a hospital emergency room, watching faculty members care for a mannequin soldier who had been injured by an improvised explosive device.

Nyong’o’s UM visit was arranged by Folorunso Ibraheem, a School of Nursing and Health Studies alumnus who launched an initiative in which nurse practitioners screened villagers in his native Nigeria for chronic illnesses.

It was that initiative that made Nyong’o realize how nurse practitioners could help deliver basic health services to people in his own country who don’t have access to quality medical care.

“He was impressed with how nurse practitioners were able to identify serious health conditions in patients using only the most basic of medical equipment such as stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and audioscopes,” said Associate Dean Trybulski, noting that Nyong’o is leading an effort to change the Kenyan health care system so that it concentrates more on the detection and treatment of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Nyong’o’s three-hour UM visit also included a meeting with President Donna E. Shalala; Victoria Mitrani, associate dean for research at the nursing school; and David Zambrana, chief operating and nursing officer at University of Miami Hospital.


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With Kenyan Minister of Medical Services Anyang' Nyong'o (standing, second from right) looking on, Valerie Bell, right, associate professor and director of simulation for the Nurse Anesthesia Program.

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