María Laura believes that the ability of every woman to access an early gynecologic and obstetric consultation can reduce the risk factors that may affect the normal evolution of pregnancy. She plans to address the lack of access to maternal health care in remote areas of Argentina by creating a system of mobile health clinics that are coordinated by health agents to provide early pregnancy screenings. Through her project, Health Accessible to Every Woman, María Laura will leverage these mobile clinics to improve data on and guarantee access to pre and post-natal care. She plans to build teams of health agents trained in sanitary education and prenatal controls to work in partnership with local communities to implement this model.


Through the organization of collaborative efforts among doctors and medical institutions throughout the Americas, Haywood is developing leadership and skills for emergency medicine in countries ill-equipped to respond in emergency situations. In Mexico and other parts of Latin America, emergency medicine is unknown as a professional specialty, literature on the subject is sparse, and emergency rooms are often learning laboratories for students rather than professionally staffed urgent care facilities. A U.S.-trained emergency medicine doctor himself, Haywood has developed a variety of mechanisms to link doctors, technicians and public health officials in the United States, Mexico and other parts of Central and South America in a network of training, exchange and course development that leverages existing medical resources in Latin America to foster new emergency care capacity.

The “Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Program” through PACEMD has three components: ALSO (a foundational course to develop and certify obstetricians), BLSO (Basic Life Support for Obstetricians, which uses different versions of the course to train nurses, EMT/paramedics, and midwives), and the MedSpanish Program (which trains health care providers in field-specific Spanish).

To read more about Haywood’s work, click here. To read more about his organization, click here.


María Laura Casalegno will assist in developing and maintaining the ALSO network of providers and will coordinate activities both amongst the PACEMD training sites and with other similar organizations in Mexico and internationally. Specifically, she will develop collaborative models to implement the ALSO program in rural areas throughout Mexico. María Laura will also be responsible for developing a social networking tool for the organization, the goal of which will be to better integrate PACEMD’s programs internally and externally, and to provide better communication channels between instructors, faculty, directors, students, doctors, midwives, and local communities. Through the Young Champions Program, María Laura will learn the principals behind ALSO’s education and health delivery strategy, as well as its plans to scale the program throughout Latin America.