PROTECT Signs New Memorandum of Understanding with Manatí Medical Center

Apr 7, 2022 | PROTECT Team

PROTECT recently signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Manatí Medical Center (MMC) in Manatí, Puerto Rico. The MOU sets the terms for the collaboration between MMC and PROTECT, and applies to both PROTECT and associated research projects, including ECHO, CRECE, Zika in Infants and Pregnancy (ZIP), and any future research project that focuses on improving the health and well-being of mothers and children in Puerto Rico. Though this is a new MOU, MMC and PROTECT have been collaborators since PROTECT’s inception in 2010.

MMC plays a major role in the recruitment of PROTECT research participants as women are recruited at the medical offices and community health clinics associated with MMC. MMC also facilitates the process of gathering and studying samples, which makes PROTECT’s research possible. The MOU grants certified PROTECT research staff access to MMC medical facilities, such as NICUs, delivery rooms, and laboratory facilities. Access to labs allows PROTECT staff to deliver and pick up biological samples from participants. Access to delivery rooms allows staff to obtain biological samples such as placenta and cord blood. This MOU also grants certified PROTECT staff access to electronic and paper medical records, such as sonograms, CT scans, and MRIs. This accessibility is important to improving PROTECT’s Data Abstraction process. MMC’s active partnership allows PROTECT and its associated projects to continue their work investigating environmental contaminants and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Photo courtesy of Manatí Medical Center

PROTECT’s Puerto Rico clinic

This MOU also provides the opportunity for collaborative workshops, lectures, and publications. PROTECT provides annual training workshops for MMC physicians to discuss biological sample protocol. PROTECT collaborates with the Manatí Training Program to provide lectures and consultations in medical areas of expertise, such as environmental health. This partnership also furthers the experience of MMC medical residents as they can participate in PROTECT investigations and are credited as authors on publications they work on.

PROTECT is excited to continue the rewarding partnership with Manatí Medical Center!