Web Forum

Technology and Evidence in Global Health Practice: The Case of Cuba's National Health Care Telecommunications Network and Portal
Friday, February 4, 2011 | 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM Pacific

A Conversation with Pedro Urra Gonzalez, MS
Director, National Medical Sciences Information Center & INFOMED

Cuba began aggressive use of information and communication technology (ICT) to improve population health by establishing the National Medical Sciences Information Center (CNICM) in 1965. Virtual health infrastructure design aims to link health data and information cost-effectively in order to improve health care delivery and population health outcomes. The Cuban National Health Care Telecommunications Network and Portal (INFOMED), founded in 1992 with significant funding from the United Nations Development Program, the World Health Organization, the Pan-American Health Organization, and UNICEF, facilitates communication across and coordination within the healthcare system. Since its inception, INFOMED has evolved into a cutting-edge electronic health information cyber-infrastructure that enables interaction between the international scientific and medical community and Cuba's public health and clinical workforce.
Pedro Urra Gonzalez will discuss public health successes and health care delivery system innovations made possible by an e-health approach that is patient-centered, sustainable, utilizes open access software, and supports health care quality and population health goals. Mr. Urra Gonzalez will also discuss key considerations in the application of ICT in addressing global health challenges.






    Pedro Urra Gonzalez, MS
    National Medical Sciences Information Center
    Founder and Director

    Pedro Urra, MS is a Full Adjunct Professor of Information Technologies at the University of Havana's School of Library and Information Sciences. He has dedicated his professional career to information management, the development of the national virtual health infrastructure, and the training of human resources in health informatics. He helped develop the Latin American and Caribbean Virtual Health Library and the Virtual Health University. Additionally, Dr. Urra is a member of MEDICC Review's Editorial Board.
    (www.sld.cu and www.informatica2009.sld.cu/Members/maite/lic-pedro-urra)  

    Carmen Rita Nevarez, MD, MPH
    Vice President for External Relations and Preventive Medicine Advisor
    Public Health Institute
    Oakland, CA

    Carmen Rita Nevarez, MD, MPH currently serves as the Vice President of External Relations and Preventive Medicine Advisor at the Public Health Institute (PHI), one of the largest and most comprehensive non-profit public health organizations in the nation
    Dr. Nevarez has over 32 years of experience as a physician and 29 years as a public health practitioner, having served as the Director of Department of Health and Human Services and Health Officer, City of Berkeley, California, as well as in various clinical settings including serving as Medical Director at La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland.  She is Immediate Past President of the American Public Health Association (APHA).  She is past Board Chair of Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and a member of the Partnership for Prevention Advisory Board. In addition, she has served state government as a member of advisory committees on Primary Care Clinics, Binational and Border Health and Multicultural Health.  Her areas of expertise include Women's reproductive health, community based strategies for chronic disease prevention, and social media for public health. (www.phi.org and www.Dialogue4Health.org


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.

Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as Support for Healthcare in Low-Resource Regions/Pedro Urra


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