PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center

In August 1997, the University of Michigan School of Nursing was designated a Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Research and Clinical Training in Health Promotion Nursing.

This designation recognizes the school's excellent programs in health promotion research and training as well as its commitment to a global approach in education, research, and service initiatives, particularly in the Americas.

In December 2019, we were proudly re-designated through December 2023.

What is a PAHO/WHO collaborating center

2019 Annual International Research Internship for Health ResearchersCollaborating Centers for Nursing and Midwifery are part of an inter-institutional network set up by WHO in support of its mission, particularly in respect to its aim of health for all, at country, regional and global levels.

The University of Michigan School of Nursing’s collaborating center is a member of the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centers in Nursing and Midwifery.  

The role of WHO

The objective of the World Health Organization is “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.” WHO also promotes and conducts research in the field of health. To achieve these objectives the WHO collaborates with leading universities and research institutes around the world. Each collaborating center has specific terms of reference, which define the focus area of their work in support of the World Health Organization.

Terms of reference for the U-M School of Nursing PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center (2019-2023)

Collaborate with PAHO/WHO to:

  • Disseminate experiences about evidence-based practices of health promotion related to maternal home strategies and nursing and midwifery personnel.

  • Provide technical support to PAHO/WHO in strengthening and building nursing capacity in training, quality of care and communication of data related to the profession.

Optimizing Simulation: Best Practices for Nursing Education Virtual Training

UMSN’s PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center teamed up with the Clinical Learning Center to host a 3-day virtual training, “Optimizing Simulation: Best Practices for Nursing Education” for nurse educators from the Caribbean. The goals of the training were to learn from experts and share strategies for using simulations to improve clinical learning. 

Maternity Waiting Home Toolkit Website

 Phebe maternal waiting home buildingThe PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center at UMSN recently completed a project to create a web based resource about best practices for Maternity Waiting Homes. The Maternity Waiting Home (MWH) Toolkit Website is meant to provide information, resources and examples of protocols for communities and health systems that are considering MWHs as part of a strategy to improve maternal and newborn health. Individual communities and health systems will need to design their own approach and protocols, but can learn from and adapt tools and policies that have been helpful in other settings. The site is available in both English and Spanish.


As part of our collaboration with PAHO/WHO, we produce periodic webinars on important topics in health promotion.

The World Health Organization, the International Council of Nurses and the International Confederation of Midwives Nursing and midwifery events, June 2020.

Diabetes-related stigma and how nurses and midwives can contribute to dismantling it:
Dr. Kevin Joiner, Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing