Our History

USF Health & Education International Foundation

In its search for global academic opportunities for it students and faculty, USF Health found a marvelous opportunity in the country of Panama in Central America. USF Health leadership discovered that not only is Panama superior in its international and global initiatives in the region, but offers tremendous opportunities for education and research in almost every field, rich culture, social and economic diversity, booming economy, political stability and close proximity to the U.S.

In 2006, USF Health (then formally called the University of South Florida Health Sciences Center) established a permanent presence in Panama´s City of Knowledge. The USF Health presence in Panama is represented through a private, non-profit foundation called the USF Health & Education International Foundation.

Mission & Vision

Vision: To be the premier hub for U.S. international academic activities in Panama and throughout Latin America.

Mission: To expand education, research, training and professional development opportunities for students and faculty from USF and partner higher learning/research institutions, while promoting sustainable capacity building and education in Panama and the Latin American region.

Background of the City of Knowledge

The USF Health & Education International Foundation campus is located on the previous Fort Clayton and overlooks the Panama Canal. During U.S. presence in Panama, Fort Clayton was built by the U.S. military to guard the entrance to the Panama Canal’s main Miraflores Locks and serve as the home of the U.S. Southern Command. As the U.S. transitioned out of Panama, a group of forward thinking private citizens proposed to develop an international academic and research campus, which is known today as El Ciudad del Saber, or City of Knowledge. The re-purposed fort serves as a hub to a growing number of international organizations for education, research, and innovation, with the USF Health & Education International Foundation being the academic center, with a focus in health-sciences, represented at the City of Knowledge.

Among the Foundation’s neighboring organizations at the City of Knowledge are:
  • International Red Cross 
  • Organization of American States 
  • Nature Conservancy 
  • Organization of Iberoamerican States (OEI) 
  • Regional UN House 
  • PanAmerican Health Organization’s (PAHO) Disaster Management offices 
  • Peace Corps offices 
  • Save the Children Foundation 
  • many other regional headquarters

"Creating greater access to continuing professional education, the International Foundation’s programs has a far reaching effect across the Americas. Continuing professional education is now more accessible to health professionals in private, public and non-profit health sectors than ever before through the Foundation’s courses, conferences, leadership development programs and other approaches."