Monday, April 9, 2018

URSP Student Gabriela Marmolejos Evaluates Maternal Health Care Services in the Dominican Republic

In 2001, the Dominican Republic approved an integrated reform of the health system. The goal of this ambitious reform was to improve the quality, delivery and accessibility of health care services for the Dominican population. My project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of this reform in improving maternal health care services in public hospitals from 2006-2016. Utilizing a hybrid study design, I am currently analyzing a mix of quantitative and qualitative sources of information to evaluate maternal care services in public hospitals over time. To that end, I recently traveled to Dominican Republic to interview several Dominican women who had given birth in public hospitals. I also had the opportunity to visit various public health institutions and tour the inside of a public women’s hospital. One interesting factor I observed during my trip was the impact of Haitian migration on the Dominican health system. I plan to take a closer look at this factor in the coming weeks.

This project is very important to me because my parents and most of my extended family are Dominican citizens. I applied to the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) because of the opportunity to give back to my community and contribute to the study of health systems across Latin America. In the future, I plan to pursue a Masters of Public Health and continue researching health systems around the world. This program provided me with invaluable experiences and helped prepare me for future studies in global public health.