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FIU’s Stempel College announces new partnership with the School of Medicine at the Universidad de los Andes

Partnership to open doors for research and collaboration in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work at Florida International University (FIU) announced Thursday, September 30, 2021, a partnership with the School of Medicine at Universidad de los Andes (Uniandes) in Colombia—the first FIU partnership of its kind to be established in the Latin American region.

Leveraging Uniandes facilities in Bogota and Cartagena, the partnership paves the way for creating collaboration spaces, which will bring together faculty and researchers from both institutions to develop and implement innovative academic, research and human resource initiatives. Through the partnership, Stempel College and the School of Medicine at Uniandes aim to help improve the health and wellbeing of people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“The Colombian Caribbean coast, for example, is one of the most underserved populations. This can be seen in the region’s high poverty and mortality indicators,” said Dr. Carlos Espinal, director of the Global Health Consortium at Stempel College and one of the lead researchers for the new partnership. “Through this new alliance, we hope to uncover new insights to some of the most challenging public health problems impacting the region’s most vulnerable.”

The partnership also opens the door for expanding educational opportunities for students, allowing them to participate in exchange programs, academic courses, and scientific events. Dr. Espinal shared that a few key areas the institutions will focus on include cybersecurity and health, COVID-19, antimicrobial resistance, environmental health, disaster management, and more.

“In our Institutional Strategic Plan 2021-2025, that we recently launched, we explicitly mention that Uniandes collaborates with partners to achieve significant and measurable impact. This means of course contributing to knowledge creation, but also to broader societal aspects including sustainability, the democratic debates of our time, and in general, the construction of hopeful and inclusive narratives for the country and the region. This alliance with FIU contributes precisely to this plan. Through international collaboration, we can strengthen our capabilities to jointly generate positive impact to the Latin American and the Caribbean region,” said Dr. Silvia Restrepo, vice president of Research and Creation at Uniandes.

Uniandes is one of the top universities in Colombia, offering its students a range of opportunities for academic, cultural and scientific exchange. The university was founded in 1948 and was conceived as an independent institution offering education of excellence that contributed to close the knowledge gap of Colombia with the scientific advances of the world. In 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked Uniandes as the No.1 university in Colombia.

“This opportunity helps further FIU’s global vision of being an international institution that enhances collaboration and education programs for its faculty and students,” said Tomás R. Guilarte, dean of Stempel College. “This partnership is going to serve as a platform for us to help make that a reality. We look forward to seeing the great outcomes this will bring in the years to come. We are already establishing research opportunities related to environmental pollution and health outcomes.”

“For more than a decade, we have seen time and again that when we partner with Colombian institutions, we accomplish a great deal,” says Pablo Ortiz, vice president and vice provost for Regional & World Locations. “We will build upon this record of success and more strategically form alliances in Colombia in the future.”

FIU’s global strategy 2020-2025 builds on the cutting-edge research, world-class programs, innovation, and 21st teaching that have made the university a leading public research institution.

In September, FIU continued its rapid ascent in the 2022 U.S. News and World Report rankings with a 17-spot improvement to No. 78. FIU also ranked among the top five public universities for social mobility and ranked No.17 most innovative among public U.S. institutions. To learn more, go here.

About the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work
The mission of Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work is to inspire groundbreaking research and education through a nurturing academic environment that influences policy and promotes healthy lives in communities near and far. Stempel College’s public health school ranks 44th in the country among public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The college’s academic disciplines—public health, dietetics and nutrition, social work, and disaster preparedness—are advancing research and practices to realize this mission, bringing our students and faculty to the forefront of their fields. To learn more, visit stempel.fiu.edu.

About Universidad de los Andes
Universidad de los Andes is an autonomous, independent, and innovative institution that fosters pluralism, tolerance, and respect for ideas. Founded in 1948, it is a private, not-for-profit university in Bogota, Colombia, independent from political or religious movements or parties and focused on excellence. It is a comprehensive research university, offering around 150 academic programs at undergraduate and graduate levels in twelve schools. It has been awarded a ten-year institutional accreditation for quality by the National Ministry of Education, which is the maximum accreditation period awarded by the Ministry. To learn more, visit https://uniandes.edu.co/.