Researchers Bring Public Health Initiatives to Ecuador
The Miller School’s Department of Public Health Sciences, led by José Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and Chair of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and Ana Palacio, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine and Director of the Department of Public Health’s Latin American Programs, has partnered with the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil and Ecuador’s National Public Health Research Institute to bring the latest evidence-based methods for dengue controls and adolescent drug abuse and sexual risk behavior prevention to the country.
The mosquito safety initiative, to control the spread of dengue fever, will include community-based research led by post-doctoral student Whitney Qualls and John Beier, Sc.D., professor of public health sciences, Director of the Division of Environment and Public Health and professor at the UM Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of public health sciences, Director of the Jay Weiss Institute for Health Equity and Associate Director for Disparities and Community Outreach at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of the Community Engagement Program at the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), will consult on community-based participatory research.
Family-based interventions to prevent drug abuse and sexual risk behaviors in adolescence will be led by Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D., Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health, and Hilda Pantin, Ph.D., professor and Executive Vice Chair of Public Health Sciences.
Using a novel method for technology transfer developed by Viviana Horigian, M.D., research assistant professor of public health sciences, the Miller School team will establish the infrastructures required for Ecuador to continue the programs on its own beyond the partnership.
Leonardo Tamariz, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine, also is working with Universidad Católica to support a process that will strengthen its Institutional Review Board.
“The current projects are a first step in what is expected to be a long-term collaboration between the two universities,” Szapocznik said.