[Skip to Content]
Public Health Meets Medicine

Educational Opportunities

International Opportunities

Programs in Ecuador, Kenya, and Thailand Described Below


Medical Spanish Immersion Program

PRVM6426: Medical-Spanish Immersion

Upstate offers participation in a Medical-Spanish Immersion Program sponsored by the Center’s for InterAmerican Studies (CEDEI). CEDEI is located in Cuenca, Ecuador. The program aims to promote language, cultural competence, and to enhance the skills of healthcare professionals who need to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking patients.

  • Duration: Two-Weeks, offered multiple times during the year as needed
  • Program includes two-weeks of formal classroom study (grammar and conversation), as well as visits to local hospitals, medical schools, rural health programs, and traditional healers. It provides a well-rounded overview of the public health and healthcare system in Ecuador.
  • Includes home-stay with Ecuadorian family
  • Cost $1,500.00 for two weeks includes CEDEI tuition, homestay, meals, and weekend group trip (tuition is paid directly to CEDEI and is separate from Upstate tuition).
  • Offered for credit via PRVM6426 (2 credit hours)
  • Basic Spanish language proficiency required

Optional Program Add-on: Internship. More information available on the CEDEI website: https://www.cedei.org/en/internacionales-eng/individual-programs/internships#.WX86i9PytE4


Medical-Spanish Immersion and Research

PRVM6427: Medical-Spanish Immersion and Research

This course incorporates the Medical-Spanish Immersion program with a research component. Students will spend two-weeks in Cuenca attending the Center’s for InterAmerican Studies Medical-Spanish Program and then will spend an additional 4-8 weeks integrating with the Upstate research team in Machala, Ecuador.

  • Duration: 6 – 8 weeks, offered multiple times during the year as needed
  • Program includes two-weeks of Medical Spanish Immersion and research practicum. Medical-Spanish program is required for non-proficient Spanish speakers
  • Students will be paired with Upstate investigator to plan and execute research project. Research projects will depend on individual skill and prior professional experience.
  • Upon return students are expected to disseminate research results (Conference participation, manuscript)
  • Intermediate – Advanced Spanish language proficiency required
  • Cost: $1500.00 CEDEI Tuition plus approximately $1000/month for living expenses in Machala. CEDEI Tuition is paid directly by the student to CEDEI and is separate from Upstate tuition. $1000/month is paid upon arrival in Machala for student apartment/living arrangements.

 CGHATS has been supporting a vibrant research program on emerging infectious diseases and public health interventions in southern coastal Ecuador since 2012, in partnership with Ecuadorian and U.S. universities and the Ministry of Health.  We have established a diagnostic laboratory in the central hospital and strengthened the entomology laboratory of the Ministry of Health.  Ongoing projects in Machala span disease surveillance, epidemiology, clinical research, entomology, spatial modeling, nutrition, disaster risk management, and climatology.  These projects leverage existing SUNY investments in infrastructure, Memorandums of Understanding with partner institutions and our long-term relationships, and a trained team of local field staff.


Research and Clinical Opportunities

PRVM6428: Research Opportunity

For students with advanced Spanish language proficiency, a course is available for simply a research or clinical rotation (without the additional Medical-Spanish Immersion program).

  • Duration: 6 – 8 weeks, offered multiple times during the year as needed
  • Students will be paired with Upstate investigator to plan and execute research project. Research projects will depend on individual skill and prior professional experience.
  • Upon return students are expected to disseminate research results (Conference participation, manuscript

Past Student Projects

  • Developed and conducted KAP surveys of medical professionals.
  • Georeferenced (mapped) disease data collected by the Ministry of Health.
  • Downloaded and catalogued global datasets to use in disease prediction models.
  • Field interviews in households with people with dengue.
  • Collection of mosquitoes in households with people with dengue.
  • Collection of water samples and environmental data to monitor water-borne diseases in the local estuary.
  • Trained local partners in the use of GIS tools
  • Conducted focus groups with community members regarding flood risk
  • Laboratory analyses: received and processed blood samples for dengue diagnostics
  • Creation of an educational video on dengue for community members
  • Piloted a project website
  • Retrospective chart review of dengue positive individuals from cohort
  • Georeferencing (mapping) of laboratory confirmed dengue cases from Ministry of Health data
  • Analysis of Ministry of Health cases for Chikungunya

Recent published articles:

1.    The Burden of Dengue Fever and Chikungunya in Southern Coastal Ecuador: Epidemiology, Clinical Presentation, and Phylogenetics from the First Two Years of a Prospective Study.


2.   Case Report: An Acute Chikungunya Infection and a Recent Secondary Dengue Infection in a Peripartum Case in Ecuador.


3.   Social-ecological factors and preventive actions decrease the risk of dengue infection at the household-level: Results from a prospective dengue surveillance study in Machala, Ecuador.


4.   Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding dengue infection among public sector healthcare providers in Machala, Ecuador.


5.   Spatiotemporal Variation in Environmental Vibrio cholerae in an Estuary in Southern Coastal Ecuador.


6.   A social-ecological analysis of community perceptions of dengue fever and Aedes aegypti in Machala, Ecuador.


7.   The Social and Spatial Ecology of Dengue Presence and Burden during an Outbreak in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 2012.


8.   Spatiotemporal clustering, climate periodicity, and social-ecological risk factors for dengue during an outbreak in Machala, Ecuador, in 2010.


9.   A global map of suitability for coastal Vibrio cholerae under current and future climate conditions.


10.Dengue vector dynamics (Aedes aegypti) influenced by climate and social factors in Ecuador: implications for targeted control.


11.Successful malaria elimination in the Ecuador-Peru border region: epidemiology and lessons learned.




Faculty members in the Center for Global Health and Translational Science have had longstanding partnerships in Kisumu, Kenya through the Department of Defense and Kenya Medical Research Institute. Through these international partners the Kenya Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) is administered. The HDSS collects prospective demographic and population-based surveillance from a 369 square km region around the Kombewa Clinical Research Center. Broadly, the HDSS platform allows for new population-based research initiatives such as evaluation of the dispersion of disease, relation of disease to disease vectors over time, co-infection research, post-marketing surveillance, and outbreak investigations. A unique feature of the HDSS being the presence of stable demographics that can provide disease risk and incidence/prevalence data on diseases of global importance such as influenza, zika, dengue, chikungunya, ebola, yellow fever, west nile, and onyong nyong viruses. 

In addition to research and surveillance, the Center for Global Health have partnership agreements with Maseno University. Maseno University is the only Public University in Nyanza Province in Western Kenya, a large region that experiences high rates of HIV, malaria and other infectious diseases.  Notably, Maseno University is the only site for training in biomedical sciences in the region. Recent Kenyan government sponsored efforts to increase the numbers of health care providers in Nyanza Province resulted in the establishment of the School of Medicine at Maseno University. In addition, the School of Public Health and Community Development was established in July 2001 to bring together a wide range of disciplines in the clinical, biomedical, socio-education and behavioral sciences to promote health and preventive medicine and assist in assessing health care delivery.  Health and development studies at the School are aimed at providing research, training and outreach that focuses on the needs of the local communities. 

Ongoing projects:

  • Effect HIV infection on malaria epidemiology in a holoendemic transmission setting in Kisumu County, Western Kenya
  • Baseline Epidemiology of Malaria Gametocyte Carriage and Transmission Dynamics in a Holoendemic Transmission Setting in Kisumu County, Western Kenya
  • Resident and student training and mentorship
  • Clinical Rotations with Center faculty at Maseno University 



Through collaborations with the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) in Bangkok, Thailand, the Center for Global Health has been involved in a variety of dengue epidemiology, surveillance, and immunology studies focusing on the local population.


Ongoing Projects

  • Prospective Observational Studies of Hospitalized Children and Adults with Suspected Dengue
  • Dengue Vaccine and Viral Evolution in Rural Thailand
  • Familial Force of Infection: Dengue in Households in Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand
  • Student training and mentorship