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Hopkins Nursing Launches International Midwifery Online Community of Practice

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Posted: 9/11/2006

The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO-Geneva) and other partners, launched the Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery Community of Practice (GANM CoP) on September 11, 2006. 

The new online community offers nurses and midwives throughout the world-despite their geographic location and physical settings-a forum for sharing ideas, best practices, and new knowledge.

The GANM CoP employs an electronic communication system that is specifically designed for use in remote and/or low bandwidth settings and requires only an e-mail address in order to participate. "We can use the system to reach isolated nurses, midwives, and health workers who are desperate to communicate with others around the world," says Patricia Abbott, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, co-director of the school's WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center for Knowledge, Information Management, and Sharing, the unit which serves as the Secretariat for the GANM CoP.  "E-mail is seeping into even the most remote of places-from internet kiosks in the jungles of Peru and Bolivia, to the African bush, at the top of mountains, and in neighborhoods without running water." 

The Community of Practice launch on September 11, 2006 featured an Online Global Discussion Forum analyzing the contribution of nurses and midwives to health and the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Through a seven country video conference, the Forum was introduced by Her Royal Highness Princess Muna al-Hussein of Jordan and His Excellency Dr. S. Darwazeh Minister of Health of Jordan.  Guest experts from the World Health Organization, Ministries of Health, Nursing and Midwifery Associations, and other organizations and institutions from around the world hosted and moderated the discussion.

Abbott and her colleagues invite and encourage nurses, midwives, and other health care professionals worldwide to join the Community of Practice to share views, experience, and expertise.  An e-mail address is all that is needed to join the GANM Community of Practice at http://my.ibpinitiative.org/public/ganm/ and to become part of a global forum where members will network with colleagues; access up-to-date information, resource materials, toolkits, and educational opportunities; and learn the best practices to improve the health care in their local communities. 

The GANM CoP electronic communication system has been developed with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO).  The project also is a component of the Information and Knowledge for Optimal Health (INFO) Project's Implementing Best Practices (IBP) Knowledge Gateway at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.