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Dr. Donna Petersen moderates global health panel in Panama

As part of the centennial celebration of the Panama Canal, Donna Petersen, ScD, MHS, CPH, moderated a panel discussion that delved into how public policy might be formed to address current health challenges, both in Panama and in other tropical regions of the world.

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Dr. Petersen, senior associate vice president of USF Health and dean of the USF College of Public Health, was invited to moderate the panel at a global health conference called 100 Years of the Panama Canal: a Century of Contributions to Global Health, held May 29 in Balboa, a district in Panama City, Panama.

Among the invited speakers were Dr. Mirta Roses, Director Emeritus of the Pan-American Health Organization, Dr. John McNeil, professor at Georgetown University, and Dr. Julio Frenk, dean of the School of Public Health at Harvard and former Minister of Health of Mexico.

The event was a collaborative effort between USF, the Panama Canal Authority and the Gorgas Memorial Institute to highlight the impact public health had on the successful construction of the Panama Canal and the construction of Panama City.

USF has a presence in Panama through the USF Health International Foundation as a way to increase collaboration in education, research and patient care between USF faculty and students and Panama, and other health professionals and organizations throughout Latin America. The Foundation is located in the City of Knowledge, an international complex of organizations for education, research and innovation and host to the Regional UN House, International Red Cross Federation offices, Pan-American Health Organization Disaster Management offices, and Peace Corps offices, among other regional headquarters.