100 Years of the Panama Canal: A Century of Contributions to Global Health

| CFH, Global Health, Intl Programs, Monday Letter, Our World

“Sanitation first, construction second. Medicine before engineering.” —  President Theodore Roosevelt

As part of the centennial of the Panama Canal, the University of South Florida, the Panama Canal Authority and the Gorgas Memorial Institute have collaborated to organize an historical forum designed to highlight the importance that public health had not only for the successful construction of the Panama Canal, but for the construction of Panama City, especially its sewage collection and sanitation system. World-renowned speakers will review relevant regional and local health indicators, as well as current health research conducted in Panama, and discuss possible solutions for sound public policies moving forward.

  • Dr. Donna Petersen, dean of the College of Public Health, University of South Florida
  • Dr. Mirta Roses, director emeritus of the Pan-American Health Organization
  • Dr. John McNeil, professor, Georgetown University
  • Dr. Julio Frenk, dean of the School of Public Health at Harvard University and former minister of health of Mexico
  • Dr. Jorge Motta, research associate of the Gorgas Memorial Institute and president of the Panamanian Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Dr. David Freedman, director of the Gorgas Memorial Institute in Alabama, University of Alabama
  • Dr. Nestor Sosa , director of the Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health in Panama
  • Jorge Quijano, chief executive officer, Panama Canal Authority

Panama Canal 100 years

“The Panama Canal impacted the world in global health research,” said Arlene Calvo, PhD, a research assistant professor in the Department of Community and Family Health who promotes health education and trains community health workers in her native Panama.  “It is the perfect example of how public health affects everything from economics to policies.  For our students and faculty, it is a living laboratory to study and learn about the interactions between the environment and health in populations.”

The historic forum will close with a special recognition for Panama´s Public Health Pioneer, Alberto E. Calvo, MD, MPH-APMC,102, first MPH in Panama and twice Minster of Health, and to Jorge A. Motta Borrell, MD, MPH, for helping secure the legacy of the impact the Panama Canal had in global health.

A special exhibition of historic artifacts, documents and pictures of Dr. William Gorgas Legacy will be displayed thanks to the Museum of the Panama Canal Foundation.

The event will take place on Thursday, May 29, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Ala Gerencial, of the Ascanio Arosemena Auditórium in Balboa, Panama.

For more information:

Gladys Bernett, MBA, MHA, director of program development, USF Health, City of Knowledge, Republic of Panamá, Tel: (507) 317 1822, Cell: (507) 62512675/ USA: (813) 333-1286

-General Statement-

Established in 1984 as the first school of public health in the State of Florida, the USF College of Public Health is a recognized leader in community health, online education, maternal and child health, social marketing, and global infectious disease research. Fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, the college offers 25 concentrations that lead to MHA, MPH, MSPH, DrPH, and PhD degrees, as well as a BSPH, several dual degrees, graduate certificates, and online programs. To learn more about the college committed to passionately solve problems and create conditions that allow every person the universal right to health and well-being, visit www.publichealth.usf.edu.

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