MEDICC Receives $350,000 Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for Community Partnerships for Health Equity Program

    • December 4, 2014

Oakland, Calif.—Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC) today announced that it has received a $350,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support its Community Partnerships for Health Equity (CPHE) program, aimed at improving U.S. health outcomes in medically underserved communities based on lessons learned from Cuba.

“We are honored that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation wants to learn from MEDICC to inform its strategies for building a Culture of Health in the United States,” said Pierre M. LaRamée, MEDICC executive director. “There is much to be learned from other countries, such as Cuba, and applied to the U.S., despite different political and cultural contexts—including how to produce excellent health outcomes given low resources, and deliver quality preventive care at the community level.”

Cuba provides universal health care coverage and produces excellent health outcomes with a fraction of the budget spent in the U.S. By focusing on preventive strategies and primary care delivered at the neighborhood level, Cuba has a low infant mortality rate and the lowest HIV rate in the Americas. As a result, a woman born in eastern Cuba on average has the same life expectancy as a woman born in Illinois. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant will concentrate on MEDICC’s four established CPHE communities—South Los Angeles, Oakland, Albuquerque, and the Bronx—to implement interventions learned from the Cuban health care model to improve population health.

The two-year award will advance community health through the following:

  • Seed grants and technical assistance in implementing health-care system improvements inspired by Cuban models
  • Peer-to-peer visits and learning among the CPHE communities
  • Developing a national network of CPHE communities

Additional CPHE sites in their early stages include Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Summit County, Ohio, and four California sites that are part of the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities.

About Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC)

Since 1997, MEDICC has worked to enhance cooperation among the US, Cuban and global health communities aimed at better health outcomes and equity. MEDICC produced the feature film ¡Salud! and publishes the MEDLINE-indexed journal MEDICC Review.  MEDICC supports research in Cuba by US health professionals, assists U.S. students and graduates of Havana’s Latin American Medical School to return to U.S. underserved communities, and organizes Community Partnerships for Health Equity to improve health care and access in communities such as South Los Angeles and Oakland, California; Albuquerque, New Mexico; The Bronx, New York; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Learn more at

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937