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Nursing and COVID-19: Perspectives from the U.S. and Latin America

Experts at the WHO are urging for massive global investments in nursing education and jobs, including in Latin America, which has become the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic in recent months.

In late May, Latin America surpassed both Europe and the United States in the number of cases and number of deaths, and it is now home to some of the largest outbreaks in the world.

What is the state of nursing globally, and specifically in the U.S. and Latin America? How will investments in nursing assist in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in the region? What are lessons for policymakers in ensuring nurses are full participants in addressing the health of communities in this pandemic and beyond?

Join Perry World House, Penn Nursing, and two renowned global experts on nursing policy – Penn’s Dean of Nursing Antonia M. Villarruel and PAHO’s Regional Advisor on Nursing and Allied Health Personnel Silvia Cassiani – for this virtual event on nursing, COVID-19, and Latin America.

Sign up for this virtual event, and details of how to take part can be found in your order confirmation email. Register Here


Silvia Cassiani, Regional Advisor for Nursing, PAHO

Dr. Silvia Cassiani began her career after graduating from the Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. She completed her master’s degree and a doctorate in nursing from the same institution, where later in her career she held the position of Dean of Nursing prior to her work at PAHO/WHO.

Dr. Cassiani has served as Regional Advisor on Nursing and Allied Health Personnel since 2013 and is responsible for technical cooperation with PAHO/WHO Members States to promote equity in health and improve the quality of life for the people in the Americas through the development of nursing practice, education, leadership and research in the region.

Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN

Antonia M. Villarruel, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN is the Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Co-Director of the School’s WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership. Villarruel also holds an appointment as Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania. As a bilingual and bicultural nurse researcher, Dr. Villarruel has extensive research and practice experience with diverse Latino and Mexican populations, and health promotion and health disparities.

She incorporates a community-based participatory approach and has been the PI/Co-PI of over eight randomized clinical trials on reducing high-risk behaviors in teens. She developed one such program to reduce sexual risk behavior among Latino youth ‚ entitled ¡Cuídate! which was disseminated nationally. Additionally, Dr. Villarruel has assumed leadership in many national and local organizations. She currently chairs the National Academy of Medicine’s Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity. She also co-chairs the Strategic Advisory Council of the AARP/RWJ Center for Health Policy Future of Nursing Campaign for Action.

Dr. Villarruel is a Trustee of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation and an invited member of the Aspen Health Strategy Group. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine as well as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including the President’s Award for Health Behavior Intervention Research from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research and the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Award. Villarruel earned her B.S.N. from Nazareth College, an M.S.N. from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Ph.D. in nursing from Wayne State University.