Ms. Morgan Hess-Holtz earns second place honors for USF Health in Panama

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Ms. Morgan Hess-Holtz earned second place honors at the USF Research that Matters Conference. Sponsored by the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships (OCEP), the event focused on “Social Enterprise, Social Entrepreneurship, and the Economic Impacts of University–Community Engagement.”

Morgan Hess-Holtz

Her winning poster “Participatory Processes in Developing Culturally Competent Material addressing Ngäbe-Buglé Indigenous Health Issues: Case Study Domestic Violence” earned 12 out of a possible 15 points.

“The judges were especially impressed with the community partnership described in the research,” said Dr. Elizabeth Strom, director of USF’s OCEP.


Global health doctoral student Dr. Arturo Rebollon presented the winning poster in Ms. Hess-Holtz absence.

Global health doctoral student Dr. Arturo Rebollon presented the winning poster in Ms. Hess-Holtz absence.


In addition to Hess-Holtz, several members of the USF College of Public Health community shared their transformational research and interdisciplinary approach at the conference. Dr. Rebollon presented additional research on the Ngäbe-Buglé indigenous group and associate professors Stephanie Marhefka, PhD and Etienne E. Pracht, PhD served on a plenary panel, “Studying economic impacts of engaged research.”

Through its Panama Office, USF Health is leading the effort in health research and academic entrepreneurship.

Located at the City of Knowledge, an international complex of organizations dedicated to education, research, and innovation, USF Health Panama’s neighbors include the Regional UN House, International Red Cross Federation offices, PAHO Disaster Management offices, Peace Corps offices, and many other regional headquarters.

By collaborating with The City of Knowledge Foundation, Gorgas Memorial Research Institute, University of Panama, and Universidad Latina among many other Panamanian and international organizations and agencies, USF Health is able to fulfill its mission to increase education, research, and patient care in the region. The program offers opportunities for research, international field experiences and internships, study abroad groups, and different international courses.

Arturo Rebollon is earning a doctorate degree in  global health and Morgan Hess-Holtz is earning a master of public health degree in epidemiology and global health from the University of South Florida. In recognition of her second place award, Hess-Holtz received $150 in prize money.

To discover more ways College of Public Health researchers are practicing their passion in Panama, visit them online or on Facebook.

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