New York City, NY, 9 July 2012 – The Rockefeller Foundation invited experts from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) to its headquarters in New York City, NY, to speak about eHealth during a learning lunch on 9 July, 2012, which included the participation of staff from the Rockefeller Foundation and other partnering organizations.
The learning lunch served as an opportunity to share the experience of the Americas on being the first and only region to have an eHealth Strategy and Plan of Action. Marcelo D’Agostino, Manager for Knowledge Management and Communications at PAHO/WHO, provided a quick overview of the situation analysis for the Americas, and explained the main eHealth strategic areas where the Region is investing efforts: Policies, tools and methodologies, horizontal cooperation, and knowledge management, digital literacy and education in information and communication technologies.
Left to Right: Romina Cialdella (PAHO/WHO), Angelica Spraggins (WHO),
Carolyn Bancroft, Karl Brown and Jeannette Vega (Rockefeller Foundation),
Marcelo D’Agostino, David Novillo and Alex Perez Palma (PAHO/WHO).
In advancing towards universal access to healthcare, experts from PAHO/WHO and the Rockefeller Foundation agreed that eHealth can be an important tool for ensuring health in all policies. The Managing Director for global health at the Rockefeller Foundation, Jeannette Vega, emphasized the need to go back to the building blocks to increase efficiency of eHealth initiatives, especially public policies on standards for information sharing and interoperability.
During the event, D’Agostino also presented a snapshot of the technical cooperation PAHO/WHO offers in the Americas, for example, in the development of eHealth policies in countries such as Chile, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. He also shared some of the projects and events in which PAHO/WHO has participated, as well as some lessons learned that could be applied to other regions, such as Africa and Asia.
Over the past decade, the Rockefeller Foundation has pushed forward eHealth projects to transform health systems. Their goal is to support innovation, tools, and global public-private partnerships and networks to develop interoperable eHealth systems that improve quality, access and affordability of health services in selected countries.
Sharing this common vision, the Rockefeller Foundation and PAHO/WHO will continue to share experiences and knowledge on eHealth to move forward in the path towards universal healthcare.