International Field Experience Home in Albrook, Republic of Panama

Palencia PanamaJune 2008
- Helicopter Pilot Pablo Palencia and his wife Sofia walk through their house in Panama pointing up, down, here and there. All around them are reminders of the USF public health students they’ve hosted in the last year-and-a-half. There is the painting from Tada, a collection of teas from Rachel, the photo album from Harley and Jenny – not to mention the countless number of photos of their “USF kids”.   

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USF Health International Foundation Opens in Panama

Panama CanalThe USF Health International Foundation officially opened its doors in Panama June 2, 2008. Their mission: to increase collaboration in education, research and patient care between USF faculty and students and Panama, as well as other health professionals and organizations throughout the region.

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Research delegation from China

Research delegation from China

Shown at left, Dr. Amy Borenstein, COPH Professor of Epidemiology hosted a delegation of seven Chinese officials from the Administration of Human Genetic Resources of China (Beijing and Shanghai) this May in relation to her research on memory loss and dementia in China.  

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Research delegation from China

Here they come and off they go— Nearly twenty public health students are world-bound this summer, to various locations from Liberia and Ghana in West Africa to Tanzania in East Africa to South Africa to Switzerland to Germany to India to Bolivia to Brazil to Costa Rica, Guatemala and Belize.

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Research delegation from China

Global health researchers share state-of-the-art malaria expertise

Research delegation from China

First Indo-USF Workshop on Adolescent HIV/AIDS Research Training

Research delegation from China

COPH Dean helps tackle India's challenge of traffic fatalities

The Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida College of Public Health, announces International Health Education (PHC 6765) also known as the 10th Annual Health Education and Injury Prevention Field Course and Conference in Germany to be held during the summer term 2008, May 8-18th. More. .  .

For more information on USF’s AIDS Week activities, please contact Jordan Markel, President of the Student Global AIDS Campaign at USF, at 813-900-9003.

China visit to USF

China visit to USF:  Mr. Shixing Wu, Consul of Education (shown speaking with Dr. DeBaldo) and Mr. Changsong Ren, Consul, from the Chinese Consulate General in Houston came to USF to meet with representatives from USF, Tampa and Tampa’s Chinese community and to discuss a proposed Confucius Institute.  Also pictured are Dean Donna Petersen, Dr. Victor Peppard, Chair of World Languages, Dean María Crummett of International Affairs (IAC) and Dr. Dajin Peng, Government and International Affairs who were there to promote the proposed Institute as well.

India visit to USFIndia visit to USF:  Dr. Indira Chakravarty, Dean and Director of the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health in Kolkata, India received an exuberant welcome at USF Health and met with faculty in the Colleges of Medicine and Public Health, Dean María Crummett (IAC) and the Dean of Public Health.  More. . .

“21st Century Grand Global Challenges” was Dr. Haile T. Debas’ theme for the Dean's Lecture Series this past week.  Dr. Debas, Executive Director, Global Health Sciences and Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Medical Affairs University California, San Francisco discussed the meteoric rise of interest in Global Health among universities, the private sector and funding agencies.  More. . .

Magellan BioScience Group, Inc. (Magellan), a pioneer in innovative drug discovery and development from marine microbial sources, will team with USF scientists Drs. Dennis Kyle and Alberto Van Olphen of the Department of Global Health, College of Public Health, and Dr. Bill Baker of the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences in a new multidisciplinary drug discovery collaboration for novel anti-malarial drugs. More. . .

COPH Masters International Peace Corps student Zac Dreaden has been working in Cuerpo de Paz, Yantzaza – Zamora in Ecuador for nearly a year, at the Hospital Cantonal Yantzaza. “Peace Corps is what you make of it and most of that has to do with changing your own behaviors and views, “  More. . .

Students experience challenge of global health fieldwork  Dr. Wayne Westhoff and Dr. Jaime Corvin of the Department of Global Health, USF College of Public Health, traveled to the Dominican Republic to work with local communities this May on a yearly academic and field study with public health students Brian Cull, Juan Santiago and Rebecca Sorenson.  More. . .

2007 National Public Health Week

“They are breaking ground as we speak—they are setting the first stone for the foundation!” in Hyderabad. Anitha Thippaiah (at left), physician from India and Master of Public Health student at USF was clearly beaming, knowing that she is part of a new initiative in India to improve public health throughout the country.


2007 National Public Health Week

Nine MPH students in the Executive Public Health Practice Program returned from an intensive field experience program in Panama in February.  “The trip was fantastic,” says Somer Burke, Academic Coordinator for the Public Health Practice Program


The visiting delegation from the University of Malaysia –Sarawak (UNIMAS) met with a range of USF faculty this past week to promote continued academic/research exchanges of faculty and potential doctoral students across campus, to operationalize a proposed USF-UNIMAS Research Center based at UNIMAS and to outline research opportunities across USF-UNIMAS campus.  These opportunities cover such public health issues as SARS, Avian Flu, Malaria, Dengue, Parasitic Infections, HI/AIDS.  The delegation included Professor Dr. Mohd Azib Salleh, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic & Internationalization); Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Taha Ariffin,  Dean of Medical and Health Sciences; Professor Dr. Peter Songan, Dean, Centre for Applied Learning and Multimedia; and Associate Professor Dr. Kasing Apun, Head, International Relations Unit.

Social and Public Health Issues in Borneo

The visitors were also featured panelists at the Society for Applied Anthropologist’s conference in Tampa this past week, addressing Social and Public Health Issues in Borneo, chaired by Dr. Boo Kwa and including COPH PhD student Elizabeth Elliott Cooper.  (Photo at left illustrates traditional Borneo Penan basket weaving.)

Dr. Ann DeBaldo commented, “We were really happy to welcome our friends from UNIMAS last week.  It’s time now to build upon our formal collaborative agreement with active student and faculty exchange and productive research projects.  We are looking forward to a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with UNIMAS.”  This relationship started in 2000 with two USF Fulbright scholars there, followed by funding through a US Dept of State Educational partnership, with Dr. Michael Churton coordinating for a wide range of training and research exchange in anthropology, public health and education.  At present two UNIMAS faculty are studying at USF.

Dr. Eduardo Gotuzzo

Dr. Eduardo Gotuzzo presented the 2007 Juan Bosch Lecture, sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean (ISLAC) in conjunction with the Global Health Department, College of Public Health/USF.  During his talk on “Emerging Diseases in the Americashe outlined a range of new, reemerging and neglected diseases of requiring urgent attention by clinicians and researchers, such as MDR-TB, new rabies outbreaks, ATLL, HTL, Acanthamoeba in a number of countries. He said he hopes to follow up his talk with continuing cooperation between his Institute and USF.  Dr. Gotuzzo is professor of medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru and the director of both the Alexander von Humboldt Institute of Tropical Medicine and the Gorgas Course in Clinical Tropical Medicine. 

This Lecture is available on the College of Public Health website at:

Paul Farmer’s talk on Social justice and global health equity: The PIH experience in Haiti, Rwanda, and Lesotho March 28, 2007 is available via:

>> New opportunities in educational exchange, research and development with Chinese institutions -- Dean of USF International Affairs 玛丽亚 克鲁麦特 博士 (María Crummett) and Associate Dean for International Programs 安 . 狄百多 博士 (Ann DeBaldo) visited China in December, 2006.


>>IT and Public Health in India -- It all began in the fall of 2004 when seven Indian students sat in a classroom in Hinjawadi, India and listened to their first College of Public Health lecture.


>>Violence against Nurses — Dr. Marti Coulter (CFH) and Drs. Wendy Nembhard, Kathleen O’Rourke, Heather Stockwell and Yiliang Zhu (EPB) represented the College of Public Health at the 11th World Congress on Public Health held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


>> Maternal Health and Women in Afghanistan - Although Dr. Moussada Jalal, former Interim Minister of Women's Affairs, Afghanistan, was unable to come to USF as planned to discuss maternal health and women's situation in Afghanistan, she did the next best thing. Nancy Delahoya, a USF COPH alumna, MPH in Environmental Health (2003) taped Dr. Jalal in an interview in Afghanistan and sent her special message to us in Tampa.

Watch Video: Clip 1 | Clip 2 | Clip 3 | Clip 4 | Clip 5

>> The Indian and U.S. governments renewed the Indo-U.S. Collaboration in Environmental and Occupational Health for another five years, and the USF College of Public Health recently named COPH Dean Donna Petersen, ScD, as a senior consultant to its Joint Working Group.

For more information on the Indo-U.S. meetings’ focus on urbanization and motor vehicle injury, social and economic problems in India and the US, click here.

costaricaWaste Water Field Research – In Monteverde , Costa Rica , USF students learned to design and implement qualitative research projects, combining anthropological and public health methods in their 6 week field experience there. Desirae Nasrallah (in the photo at left), a recent graduate from the Global Health Department, was administering a survey on the impact of waste water in the Monteverde Zone. 

Monteverde’s huge ecotourism industry is contributing to environmental damage, combined with the lack infrastructure to support the rapidly growing population. Her survey results “showed that over 95% of respondents were in favor of a waste water treatment plant.  At this time there is no sewer system in Monteverde and most waste water either flows into the streets or into septic pits,” Ms. Nasrallah explained. “The community residents were worried about the future implications of the grey water running through the streets. A local microbiologist also found an increase of parasites in the local rivers, which is a red flag for contamination.”  About 60% of respondents had recently taken antiparasitic medications. 

While there, the students also assessed blood pressures, glucose, ht/wt, and skin fold measurements as volunteers at a health fair.

¿Qué pasa?  How many languages does our faculty speak?  Twenty-nine COPH faculty members responding to the 2006 international survey indicated other languages they spoke, aside from English. . .

Colleen Reinert, MPH and Peace Corps recruiter at USF, nominated the most Peace Corps volunteers in the Eastern region this year:  25. 

The Vaccinology and Infectology in the Tropics Conference held this June in Panama, was a great success, according to its more than 300 participants. 

The President of Panama and the Minister of Health and other participants and speakers in this conference focused on current infectious diseases that affect global health. With an historical perspective of vaccine discovery, the conference dealt with available vaccines for tropical disease prevention, and identified future trends in vaccine development. Sessions also provided an update on management of infections key to public health. Speakers included Dr. Barney Graham of National Institutes of Health (NIH) who presented a keynote speech about the advances in the development of the HI/AIDS vaccine; Dr. Dennis Kyle of the University of South Florida who along with Dr. Nicanor Obaldía of the Gorgas Memorial Institute, discussed malaria; Dr. Eknath Naik of the University of South Florida, who presented on AIDS; Dr. Rolando Herrero from Costa Rica who spoke about the impact of the human papilloma virus on global health and future vaccines, among others. 

The conference was organized by the USF HEALTH Panama Program, Infectious Disease Society of Panama, the City of Knowledge and Gorgas Memorial Institute.  La Prensa and the local press covered the conference topics and commitments achieved, for example “La vacuna contra el sida todavía es un proyecto lejano” and “Panamá adquirirá vacuna contra el cáncer de cervix”.

The President of Panama and the Minister of Health and other participants and speakers in this conference focused on current infectious diseases that affect global health.

Kathleen O'Rourke and Wendy Nembhard, College of Public Health faculty in a Kerala tea and pepper plantation-learning both culinary and medicinal plant qualities.Health and Culture in South India—exploring the challenges

Drs. Kathleen O’Rourke and Wendy Nembhard of the College of Public Health and Naomi Niskala from the College of Visual and Performing Arts traveled to South India as the faculty contingent of the first Student Study Abroad and Faculty Development trip to South India this summer.  Dr. Ann DeBaldo led the faculty group and teamed up with Dr. Gurleen Grewal from Women’s Studies who led the student experience.  “Bringing together the students and faculty enriched the experiences of all participants. It was particularly gratifying to identify potential opportunities for international research and further study for faculty and students alike.  I look forward to offering more of such international Faculty Development programs in collaboration with the USF International Affairs Center, to enhance the global perspective of our teaching and outreach efforts,” said Dr. DeBaldo.

International Interest and Experience Survey

This spring, USF Health International Programs surveyed faculty in the Colleges of Public Health, Nursing, Medicine and Physical Therapy to capture an overall picture of our international involvement for future international programming. Over forty COPH faculty indicated an interest in exploring collaborative research, projects or linkages. In response, we documented their experience (for example on the world map) and will be gathering those interested faculty to feed back these responses received and discuss the international strengths, opportunities and choices ahead.

All USF campuses implemented this survey through the International Affairs Center, so that we'll also be able to integrate and build on university-wide links and activities. A total of 410 faculty members responded, recounting an astounding range of activity. In COPH alone, examples ran from teaching in the department of epidemiology and economics at the Veterinary Faculty Sarajevo in Bosnia on epidemiology projects - to studying school-aged children in rural China on their health insurance, access, behavior, and outcomes - to working in the Americas in zoonoses and emerging diseases; information and surveillance systems, diagnostic laboratory networks, and on environmental health indicators.

Country-specific information gleaned from the survey is available on the Research and Practice website page on the Research around the world map.

New Public Health Foundation of India Dr. Ann DeBaldo, Associate Dean and Associate VP for International Programs, was recently honored as invited USF College of Public Health representative at the Public Health Foundation of India's inauguration in New Delhi, March 28.

Congratulations to three COPH Fulbright-PAHO Interns in Public Health
Congratulations to three COPH Fulbright-PAHO Interns in Public Health “We are all very proud of your accomplishments!” Dr. Karen Liller said of the recently selected College of Public Health (COPH) interns for the new Fulbright- Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Internship in Public Health. This is an initiative bringing five Fulbright students in Public Health from Latin America and the Caribbean to PAHO headquarters in Washington, D.C. for a summer internship in 2006.  Three of the five are USF COPH/ Masters of Public Health Fulbright students.  In center: Dr. Erika Arteaga (Fulbright student-Ecuador, Global Health, MPH); Dr.  Rachel Cassagnol (Fulbright student-Haiti Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MPH), Dr. Abraham Salinas (Fulbright student-Nicaragua, Child and Family Health, MPH) at the PAHO launching in February, 2006

Dr. Arteaga is carrying out her field work at the PAHO Healthy Communities' Department.
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