Nodo Campus Virtual de Salud Pública Puerto Rico

Health and computer science professionals recently gathered for the “Virtual Campus for Public Health (VCPH): A Node for Puerto Rico” workshop held at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Medical Sciences Campus on Wednesday, July 11, 2012.  The workshop was coordinated by the UPR School of Nursing, in collaboration with the Pan American Health and the Puerto Rican (PR) Department of Health.

Seventy-two health and computer science professionals from 19 different institutions participated:  the PR Department of Health, School of Nursing, School of Public Health, School of Health Professions, School of Nursing-NMR, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, PR Hospital Association, School of Dental Medicine, University Hospital Adult PR, PR Cardiovascular Center, Dean of Academic Affairs, UPR Graduate School of Science and Information Technology, School of Nursing at the Inter-American University, Ponce Paramedical College, School of Practical Nursing, College of Professional Nursing, Institute of Banking, CATA-RCM, Athens College, John Dewey College, Library-RCM, Bayamon Central University, and the PR Institute of Technology.

Key objectives of the workshop were to:

  1. explore the feasibility of installing a node for Puerto Rico on the VCPH, with the collaboration of the UPR School of Nursing, Medical Sciences Campus and the Department of Health,
  2. share VCPH experiences and its development with interested institutions,
  3. discuss the node installation strategies and work plan, and
  4. train the technical and information systems team on the VCPH operations. 


The event was held at the UPR School of Nursing Amphitheater.  Welcome messages were given by Dr. Raul Castellanos, Coordinator of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) office in Puerto Rico; Dr. Luisa Vigo-Cepeda, Acting Director of the Graduate School of Science and Information Technology, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras; Dr. Jose Baudilio Jardines, Manager of the PAHO/WHO Virtual Campus of Public Health; Dr. Concepcion Quiñones de Longo, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health; and Dr. Rafael Rodriguez Mercado, Rector of the Medical Sciences Campus.  Dr. Maria I. Castro, Dean of the School of Nursing and coordinator of the project, served as the program moderator.

The PAHO technical team, Dr. Silvina Malvarez, Technical Advisor on Nursing, presented the Region’s human resources for health priorities, and Dr. Jardines, spoke about the “Virtual Campus for Public Health: A collaborative learning and networking environment.”   Both presentations provided a framework for the afternoon discussion on the VCPH.

The participants demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment to advance this initiative; a positive sign to continue the project that offers possibilities for collaboration with the learning network of health professionals in Puerto Rico, Latin America and the Caribbean.