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NMSU nursing professor shares health care discoveries after trip to Cuba

New Mexico State University nursing professor Geri Schmotzer traveled to Cuba in November with the American Public Health Association, gaining experience and knowledge she will use in the classroom setting.

More than 70 health care professionals from all over the world, including NMSU nursing professor Geri Schmotzer, traveled to Cuba in November with the American Public Health Association. (Submitted photo)

Schmotzer represented NMSU among more than 70 other health care professionals from around the world who traveled to Cuba. The group visited several health institutions in the country, including the National School of Public Health.

"It was a great opportunity to look at a system that works, and works fairly well, and to represent NMSU while doing so," Schmotzer said.

Schmotzer said many of the experiences and information she received in Cuba will contribute to her teaching at NMSU. Because health care reform is currently at the top of the political arena in the United States, Schmotzer can incorporate many things she learned about the Cuban health care system into her teaching to make it more relevant and interesting.

"Because I teach community health and nursing, I can use a lot of what I experienced in Cuba in the classroom," she said.

Schmotzer said trips such as this one are important and educational to people in health-related careers, and she encouraged prospective and current health care professionals to engage in a similar experience.

"It was a great learning experience," Schmotzer said. "It was also great to see how our Cuban counterparts were anxious and willing to develop a working relationship with people in the United States."