IU School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology is a co-sponsor of the AMPATH reproductive health program along with the University of Toronto. OB-GYN faculty mentors, residents and medical students began participating in the AMPATH program in 2010 and supported the first reproductive health field director.
Scope of Work
AMPATH Reproductive Health focuses on the tripartite mission of care, training and research. It has expanded beyond the original focus of the prevention of maternal-to-child transmission of HIV to include emergency obstetrics training, maternal-neonatal-child-adolescent health, primary health care, family planning, fistula repair, cervical cancer screening and treatment and quality-improvement programs for hospital and community-based reproductive health care. The program supports the long-standing advanced training in reproductive health (the equivalent of US residency) and the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship at Moi University. The research portfolio has also grown into a strong multidisciplinary research collaboration with the department’s Kenyan colleagues in reproductive health, pediatrics, pharmacy and more.
Rachel Spitzer, MD from University of Toronto is the AMPATH-RH program lead. Caitlin Bernard, MD, MSCI from IU School of Medicine Department of OB-GYN is the program lead from IU School of Medicine. The department supports a full-time, on-the-ground team leader, Julie Thorne, who provides clinical care, oversees learners from AMPATH institutional partners and provides research oversight and support. All reproductive health initiatives in care, training and research are co-led by Kenyan partners and there is a bilateral exchange for Kenyan residents and medical students to IU School of Medicine and University of Toronto. The department welcomes learners from medical students to fellows in addition to researchers and clinical faculty from all AMPATH Consortium institutions to participate in and contribute to the reproductive health program.
A number of IU School of Medicine OB-GYN faculty members have visited Kenya to provide special skills and expertise, including Kelly Kasper, MD and Greg Raff, MD, who traveled to Moi University to instruct and mentor staff in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery procedures. Raff conducted lectures and a hands-on workshop for staff physicians and residents. He took box trainers with him to help the staff practice the techniques and improve their skill sets. He also left them with a small video library to continue their training. Other faculty members visit to Kenya to support the reproductive health program and to engage in student and resident teaching, evaluation and research mentoring.