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Avances en Enfermería

Print version ISSN 0121-4500


VELANDIA MORA, ANA LUISA. Helen Howitt: A Canadian seed in Latin American nursing. av.enferm. [online]. 2009, vol.27, n.1, pp.93-101. ISSN 0121-4500.

This work's purpose is to make more visible Hellen Howitt's presence in Latin American nursing. At the same time it pretends to make an analysis on the political influence of the Interamerican Cooperative Public Health Services in nursing in the region and the presence of religious organizations, especially North American ones in several Latin American countries. Helen Howitt, a Canadian nurse who graduated from the University of Alberta, was sent in 1942 by the PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) to advise the Colombian Ministry of Labor, Hygiene and Social Provision. She became part of the opening and organization project of the Escuela Nacional Superior de Enfermeras (National Nursing School) where she be-come their first director. Helen Howitt was director of the Nursing School of Santo Tomás Hospital in the Panamá Canal zone between 1933 and 1938, later she became the founder and first director of Colombia's National Nursing School between 1943 and 1951; afterwards of Bolivia's National Nursing School between 1953 and 1959, when she was invited to fulfill a similar position in Venezuela. She arrived to all these countries first as consultant of the respective Ministry of Health, through Agreements with the Interamerican Cooperative Public Health Services. The Rockefeller Foundation used to provide scholarships to all Latin American countries, At Santo Tomas Hospital School in Panama there used to be students from all parts in Central America, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Argentina. The Rockefeller Foundation wanted to unify nursing throughout Latin America. It first arrived in Venezuela and nurses who graduated in Panama were leaders in Latin America where they tried to open schools.

Keywords : Canada; Colombia; Nursing.

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