In June 1986, the UIC College of Nursing became the first U.S. institution to be designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) in Nursing and Midwifery.
Collaborating Centres "are institutions such as research institutes, parts of universities or academies, which are designated by the [WHO] Director-General to carry out activities in support of the Organization's programmes." We have maintained our designation as the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for International Nursing Development in Primary Health Care for over 30 years.
The UIC College of Nursing designation as a WHO Collaborating Centre indicates the college's "scientific and technical standing" at national and international levels, and the high "quality of its scientific and technical leadership" in nursing. In keeping with the mission of the UIC, the College of Nursing has pledged its leadership to the creation of a network of nursing educational institutions oriented to primary healthcare and its support of nursing leadership capabilities of other countries as to effect the changes required in nursing practice, research, education, and service.
The WHO Collaborating Centre serves as a resource to nurses around the world. We continually work with WHO to promote technical cooperation among countries, to develop and share educational materials, to disseminate information, and to initiate collaborative nursing research projects of regional and international significance.
Our WHOCC designation includes Terms of Reference (TOR) and a plan of work, which includes collaboration in activities related to development of nursing education, practice, research, and leadership to strengthen human resources for health and promote innovative primary healthcare practices.
Terms of Reference (TOR) and Activities
To support PAHO/WHO’s efforts to disseminate primary health care research findings and best practices to address Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage.
- Activity 1: Develop a compendium of best practices and contributions of nursing and midwifery practice in primary health care and universal access to health and universal health coverage in the Region of the Americas
- Activity 2: Provide support to PAHO/WHO in producing a collection of videos and photos to illustrate how nurses are applying evidence-based practice and the contributions of nurses and midwives to enhancing universal access to care
To support PAHO/WHO’s efforts to promote and facilitate interprofessional research, education and practice focused on primary health care, with emphasis on capacity building of nursing.
- Activity 3: Develop evidence-based interprofessional workshop(s) on health promotion, prevention and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Caribbean
- Activity 4: Support PAHO/WHO efforts to support Guyana in the development of an action plan on Interprofessional Education for Chronic Diseases
- Activity 5: Develop a manuscript on interprofessional education and collaborative practice to advance the training of primary health care on vulnerable populations
- Activity 6: Develop and deliver webinars on exemplars of interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP), in the areas of research, course development and practice
What is Primary Health Care (PHC)?
Declaration of Alma-Ata
In 1978, delegates of the International Conference on Primary Health Care (PHC) (Alma-Ata, USSR, 6-12 September 1978) issued a declaration stating that “Primary health care is essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation and at a cost that the community and country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination.” The PHC approach has since been adopted by the World Health Organization. Read the full declaration.
Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing/Midwifery Development
The Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres (WHOCCs) for Nursing and Midwifery Development is an independent, international, non-profit, voluntary organization comprising the worldwide WHOCCs as its members. At its core, the membership includes internationally renowned nursing and midwifery leaders underlining the significance of this expert group.
In a 1987 meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, representatives of the UIC College of Nursing met with colleagues from other WHO Collaborating Centres to form the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery Development. Over 40 such Collaborating Centres are located worldwide. More information about the Global Network is available at the link above.
Since its inception, the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery Development has worked in partnership with WHO and its member states, non-nursing WHO Collaborating Centres, non-governmental organizations, and others interested in promoting the health of populations. For the first seven years of the Global Network’s existence (1987-1994), the UIC College of Nursing served as the Secretariat for the Global Network. The early history of the Global Network can be found in two publications:
- Kim, Mi Ja (1996). Primary Health Care: Nurses Lead the Way. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing: Washington, DC.
- McElmurry, Beverly J., Norr, Kathleen F., & Parker, Randy S. (Eds.) (1993). Women’s Health and Development: A Global Challenge. Jones & Bartlett: Boston, MA.
The Secretariat for the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing/Midwifery Development is elected from amongst the member Collaborating Centres for a predetermined period and coordinates and fosters collaborative efforts between the member Centres. UIC College of Nursing is proud to have served as the first Secretariat of the Global Network from 1988-1994.
The current Secretariat is Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (USA).
Pan American Network of Nursing and Midwifery Collaborating Centres (PANMCC)
The Pan American Network of Nursing and Midwifery Collaborating Centers (PANMCC) is a network of Nursing and Midwifery WHO Collaborating Centres based in the Americas (WHO AMRO Region) and focused on fostering partnerships and advancing nursing and midwifery within the region.
In 1993, the 11 designated WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery Development in the Region of the Americas established a regional association that meets annually to strengthen nursing goals and activities specific to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) agenda. Now numbering 20 WHOCCs, the organization is known as the Pan American Network of Nursing and Midwifery WHO Collaborating Centres (PANMCC). Its mission is to advance the global cause of Health for All by cooperative actions among the WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery Development within the PAHO Region.