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Brothers of Mercy gives tour to students as part of eldercare program

Students and professionals from Brazil took a tour of the Brothers of Mercy campus on Wednesday.

BY: Kaitlin Fritz, Metro Source | November 15, 2012

Clarence Source

The Brothers of Mercy hosted a tour on Wednesday for a group of students and educators from Brazil to teach them about senior healthcare and rehabilitation in the United States. The students’ majors range from medicine and psychology to social work and physical education.

The group has traveled from the Universidade Presidente Antonio Carlos in Minas Gerais, Brazil for a program being held at the University at Buffalo. They are only in the U.S. for a couple of weeks.

The trip to the Brothers of Mercy campus has become quite a staple for this program.

“The approach of the Brothers of Mercy appears to weld long held values of care with modern medical technology and efficiency,” said John Stone, PhD, director of the Center for International Rehabilitation, Research Information and Exchange at SUNY Buffalo.

He added that the demographics in Brazil are similar to those in the U.S. and that there is an increasing number of older persons, which is why it is becoming important for these students and professionals to be learning about eldercare and rehabilitation.

The program joined with the Brothers of Mercy about four years ago and has continued to bring new groups to the campus each year. Along with bringing groups from other countries, UB also sends a group of students to Brazil to understand the practices of its students and professionals. This is a summer program that the students receive academic credit for and is part of their major.

“We are very pleased that Brazil has chosen to work with us,” said Paul Wietig, Core Curriculum Coordinator in the SUNY Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.

He added that having these groups come here could help enhance the care for the elderly and aging and people in need of rehabilitation in Brazil.

“They’re going to bring back concepts and principles that they can apply in their own practice in Brazil,” he said.

Wietig was the facilitator of the visit on Wednesday that introduced the students to the center’s rehabilitation program.

This exchange program gives all of its students a cultural understanding of the practices of each country. It was developed to broaden their knowledge and help expand possibilities.

UB is known throughout the world for its work in teaching and understanding the cultural needs in the healthcare professions around the world. In fact, Stone is one of the leading experts in the world in the cultural understanding in rehabilitation sciences.

As this program began taking its groups to traditional hospitals, the need for eldercare and rehabilitation grew and the program shifted, making its trips to the Brothers of Mercy instead.

“We’re very pleased that the Brothers of Mercy has allowed us to participate and come out there for the past several years,” said Wietig.

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