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Strengthening the Paraguay-Kansas Family Medicine Partnership

Image of North and South AmericaPartners of the Americas (POA)

  • Initiated by John F. Kennedy,1963, as the "Alliance for Progress"
  • Conceived as a government-to-government program recognizing interdependence between the United States and South America
  • Now a privatized people-to-people exchange program of 65 different partnerships matching countries (or states within countries) in South America with states in the US.
  • Partnerships are apolitical.  

Kansas/Paraguay Partnership

  • Began in 1968.
  • Exchanges are arranged between committees in each country:
    • Comité Paraguay Kansas (CPK)
    • Kansas-Paraguay Partners (KPP)
  • Exchanges can occur regarding any aspect of life but must be approved by both partnership committees

Exchanges occur in the areas of:

  • agriculture
  • cultural arts
  • emergency preparedness
  • health
  • international trade
  • natural resources
  • sports
  • university education
  • youth
  • zoo management

Key Health Partners

Department of Family and Community Medicine, KUSM-Wichita:

  • Edward Donatelle, M.D. - Professor and Chair, 1979 - 1988
  • Merril Raber, Ph.D. - Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychologist
  • Rick Kellerman, M.D. - Professor and Chair
  • Doug Woolley, M.D., MPH - Delos Smith Professor of Geriatrics
  • Scott Moser, M.D. - Professor
  • Steve Penner, M.D. - Clinical Associate Professor
  • Randall Goering, M.D. - Clinical Assistant Professor
  • Laura Mayans, M.D., MPH 


  • Wes Schmidt, M.D.
    • A family physician with family roots in Kansas but a life-long resident of Paraguay
    • Past chair of Comité Paraguay Kansas
    • Developed first family medicine residency program in Paraguay at Centro Médico Bautista in Asunción
  • Enrique de Mestral, M.D., Director, Family Medicine Residency Program, National University, Asunción
  • Maria Teresa Baran, M.D., Director, Family Medicine Residency of the Ministry of Health, Encarnación
  • Andres Szwako, M.D., Clinical Supervisor, Family Medicine Residency Program, National University, Asunción
  • Mario Feltes, M.D.



Last modified: Oct 01, 2018