Sandra J. Cadena receives Chitre’s Key to City during trip in Panama
Sandra J. Cadena, PhD, APRN, CNE, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Global Health at the University of South Florida College of Nursing, received the Key to the City of Chitre, Panama during the Community Health International Clinical Experience trip she took with 19 Nursing students on the week of USF Spring Break in March. The trip was part of the USF Nursing Global Health program, which aims to develop international relationships to facilitate and support future research and educational experiences for students and the communities in Hispanic countries.
The eight-day trip included ongoing community health work in clinics assessing the rural communities and building on sustainable projects in collaboration with the University of Panama’s nursing faculty and students.
Chitre Mayor, Manuel ‘Papito’ Solis, bestowed upon Dr. Cadena the honor of “Key to the City” on March 15, 2012 during a ceremony attended by Chitre city officials, University of Panama faculty and students, and USF College of Nursing students.
Dr. Cadena was honored by the Chitre Mayor for her contributions to the community and the University of Panama as well as for the benefit of the country and the region within the frame of the academic pursuits between Panama and the University of South Florida.
“I am humbled by the honor bestowed on me,” Dr. Cadena said. “In one’s academic career, acknowledgement for work, publications, clinical practice and grants is usually based on knowledge, expertise and sometimes luck. To be awarded a key to a city for collaboration built on partnerships, compassion and unity from the other side of the world is a special gift I will always treasure.”
Since 2005, Dr. Cadena has been working closely with the University of Panama to build relationships and provide collaborative projects for community health, scholarship, and student exchanges. In the last eight years, Dr. Cadena has taken more than 120 students to the community of Chitre.
USF College of Nursing’s International Clinical Experience in Panama over the years
“USF is the only university in the United States that has maintained an ongoing working relationship with the satellite campus of the University of Panama,” Dr. Cadena said. “Our work together is a point of pride not only for the University but for the community of 30,000 Panamanians residing in the town of Chitre and the surroundings remote villages.”
The USF College of Nursing’s Global Health initiatives, under the direction of Dr. Cadena, are integral to the USF Health International Programs and USF World.