El Centro Joins Institutional and Academic Partners to Promote Awareness of Public Health Issues

October 07, 2013 — The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies’ Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research: El Centro in conjunction with UM’s Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS), hosted a seminar on “Pressing Health Issues in Latin America.” This event was held at the Miami-Dade College (MDC) Benjamín León School of Nursing and featured keynote speaker Dr. Silvia Cassiani, Regional Advisor on Nursing and Allied Health Personnel for the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). Dr. Amy Pettigrew, Dean of the Benjamín León School of Nursing, welcomed over 120 MDC nursing students, faculty, and administrators to this signature event. Cassiani opened the seminar with a presentation concerning PAHO’s strategic health priorities and the increasing need for nursing personnel in the regions of the Americas, given ongoing demands for universal health coverage. Invited panelist and El Centro investigator Dr. Natalia Villegas, Assistant Professor of Nursing at the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies, reported on her research and pilot studies on HIV/STI intervention methods among young women in Chile, and Dr. Andres Caiaffa (MDC) discussed non-communicable diseases and their relation to social disparities in the region.

EL Centro’s co-hosting of this event with the UM CLAS and MDC is in keeping with its mission to advance the science of reducing health disparities in Hispanics, blacks, sexual minorities and people in Caribbean nations and Latin America through research, education and collaboration with community and academic partners. El Centro has been continuously funded since 2007 by a major NIH/NIMHD grant to the School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS), which is also a designated Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. Educational initiatives in collaboration with intradepartmental and regional partners, such as this seminar, are in keeping with El Centro and the SONHS’ role as a recognized leader in the enhancement of health care research capacity, knowledge dissemination, competence and practice in the global arena.

The seminar was supported in part by CLAS’s Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

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