To improve patient care in the communities of Bariloche and Aspen through the exchange of medical personnel, education and equipment donations.
Aspen Bariloche Medical Exchange Program
The Aspen Bariloche Medical Exchange Program formed shortly after San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina and Aspen became Sister Cities in 2002. At the time Argentina had just experienced one of the worst economic disasters with the value of the Argentine peso declining to less than one quarter of its value and a drastic reduction in funding for the only public hospital in Bariloche, Hospital Zonal Ramón Carrillo. The hospital, outdated and already facing minimal government financial support, was faced with the daunting task of being the only medical provider to more than 500,000 indigent people in the Bariloche community and surrounding region. The new Sister Cities relationship with Aspen gave the medical professionals working at the Ramón Carrillo Hospital the ability to connect with medical professionals at Aspen Valley Hospital for both advise and help. Since the inception of the program, the Aspen medical community has donated over a million dollars of medical equipment and supplies to Ramón Carrillo, as well as countless hours of peer instruction and training. Every year a delegation of medical professionals from Bariloche visits Aspen to observe and learn from their medical counterparts at local hospitals and health centers. In a reciprocal manner, a group of medical professionals in Aspen travel to Bariloche every year to work, instruct and learn in Ramón Carrillo. In 2018 the Aspen Bariloche Medical Exchange Program was named by Sister Cities International as the Best Professional and Technical Program for 2017.