ABOUT US

MISSION

We develop innovative training strategies for future global health leaders by incorporating skills that give ethical, sustainable, and just solutions to current and future global and local health issues; associated with coordination, support, and implementation of transdisciplinary applied research on contextualized needs.

VISION

A better world, where equity, sustainability, and universality are the basis of the actions of health professionals for a more just and prosperous society.

Our Story

CISG's story spans almost 30 years ago when Dr. Pablo Ortiz Roses arrived to the region of Coto Brus in southern Costa Rica. From this rural and isolated area, he became a nation-wide leader for the protection of vulnerable populations through a two-pillar approach: human rights and health equity. He also became a charismatic mentor for eager young professionals looking for public health career paths.

Most of CISG’s team trained under this visionary man, eventually cultivating the necessary talent to continue his dream of equitable health outcomes for everyone regardless of socio-economic status, nationality, or ethnicity.

At CISG we aim to continue and expand Dr. Ortiz's legacy to champion high-quality, ethically sound experiential learning, as well as to foster collaborative approaches to health and development.

We created CISG in 2015 to honor in life the work of our mentor.

OUR IMPACT
MODEL

  • TRAINING LEADERS
  • Our goal is to provide the global health leaders of tomorrow with the skills and competencies that traditional classrooms cannot. We offer field courses, practicums, and facilitate research, all of which include our core ideals of immersive learning and community collaboration.Our goal is to provide the global health leaders of tomorrow with the skills and competencies that traditional classrooms cannot. We offer field courses, practicums, and facilitate research, all of which include our core ideals of immersive learning and community collaboration.

  • RESEARCH IS PROGRESS
  • Our vision is that the region will become a hub for global health research. Data and research findings will, in turn, contribute to sound, evidence-based policies in the field of health.

  • COLLABORATIVE APPROACHES
  • We firmly believe that community participation is key for any health intervention. Our programs emphasize the importance of collaboration to replace the traditional top-down model in development work.

  • OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
  • Funds received from international students help award scholarships to local students who do not have the financial resources to participate in these types of immersive programs.

  • MODELS FOR REPLICATION
  • Successful interventions and evaluations may be expanded, replicated, and modified to improve the health of others in the region.

OUR
MULTIDISCIPLINARY
TEAM

Our

MULTIDISCIPLINARY

team

At CISG we are all dynamic professionals, committed to global health and passionate about education. We are proud to have a team with an extremely diverse background that allows us to have a unique outlook on global health issues.

OUR SENIOR ADVISORY BOARD

& ACADEMIC COUNCIL:

Alcira Castillo Martínez
Lic., M.Sc.

Álvaro Salas Chaves
M.D., M.P.Adm.

Annia Espeleta Sibaja
Lic, Ph.D.

Stephen Kahn
M.D.

Luis Bernando Villalobos Solano
M.D., M.P.H

Pablo Ortiz Roses
M.D.

Stella Bolaños Varela
M.D.

Our Team

Leadership:

Carlos A. Faerron Guzmán
M.D., M.Sc.
CISG DIRECTOR

cfaerron@cisgcr.org

Maria Gabriela Alvarado Blanco
M.D., M.P.H.
PROGRAM COORDINATOR

mgalvarado@cisgcr.org

Gustavo Bermúdez Mora
D.D.S, M.P.H.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH COORDINATOR

gbermudez@cisgcr.org

Ronald Leiva Roldán
M.D., M.P.H.
ACADEMIC DIRECTOR

rleiva@cisgcr.org

COLLABORATORS

Andy Valenciano Yamuni
Lic. M.I.B.
Systems Integration & Public Policy Collaborator

Carlos van der Laat
M.D., M.A.
Migration and Health Collaborator

Allan Rímola Rivas
M.D.
Mental Health Collaborator

Nelly Gallardo
Cultural Advisor Collaborator

Pablo Montero Zamora
D.D.S., M.Sc.
Health Metrics and Research Design Collaborator

Víctor González Jiménez
M.D., M.H.M, M.Sc.
Health Economics and Health Systems Collaborator

Emmanuel Gómez Rojas
B.A, M.A.
Program Management and HIV/AIDS Collaborator

Carrie van der Kroon
B.L., LL.M.
Child Migration and International Law Collaborator

Aurora Sánchez Monge
Lic.
Wellbeing and Promotion of Health Collaborator

The Campus

The field is our classroom!

Our immersive programs are designed to create educational experiences in the field that will enhance the understanding of theoretical principles in global health.

COSTA RICA:

Despite our small size, Costa Rica has great ecological and cultural diversity. Costa Rica has a well-developed health system and boasts high human development indices. However, there are regions of the country that to this day remain forsaken, and achieving true health equity remains a challenge.

BRUNCA REGION:

This region in the southern part of the country is the poorest and most isolated in Costa Rica. Yet it counts with invaluable assets such as its people, its nature and its body of traditional knowledge. Unfortunately, structural inequality and poor social determinants have led to poor health outcomes, that due to the nature of the populations that are affected, become invisibilized at the national level.

FACILITIES:

CISG has a well-established presence in the region. Our wide-spanning partnerships provide multiple facilities to house students and conduct academic and workshop sessions throughout the region. Fast speed internet access, computer access, and other digital resources are all available.

OUR REGIONAL CHALLENGES

Our
regional

challenges

  • HEALTH INEQUITIES:
  • Marginalized communities in Costa Rica experience massive structural inequalities, which is reflected in poor health outcomes.

  • HEALTH SYSTEMS CONTRAINTS:
  • Despite the wide reach of the national health system, certain populations are invisibilized, and the system operates on outdated models of care. Additionally, there are insufficient human resource, a rigid system maladapted to interculturality and lack of proper infrastructure.

  • A TRIPLE-BURDEN:
  • The epidemiological transition is well on its way in Costa Rica, while still suffering from malnutrition, neonatal and maternal morbimortality in hard-to-reach populations. Globalization now seems to catalyze some of these issues.

  • LACK OF RESEARCH:
  • Higher education institutions in Costa Rica lack the resources and incentives to promote health research.

  • DISEASE-CENTERED -MODELS OF CARE:
  • Long tradition of health and medical education focused on curative models of care, and little attention to preventive models, health promotion, and community participation.

  • UNRESPONSIVE HEALTH POLICIES:
  • Poor investment in research and deficient evaluation strategies have led to inefficient health strategies and policies.