Community Health Programs
University Credit  or CEUs or CECHs Opportunities

Image of globe with Nicaragua highlighted.Public Health Team Experience in:
Nicaragua: Joining with the Global Partners Medical Team
International Study Experience

July 7-14, 2012 Dates TBD

Purpose and Brief Historical Perspective

The Nicaraguan experience is a part of the Global Partners initiative created by the Gundersen Health System in 2008. The overall purpose of this initiative is to "develop long-term, sustainable relationships and community-to-community partnerships that expand beyond our typical borders. In doing so, the Global Partners model will improve the overall health of the region, education of the citizens and quality of life for people in our partner communities" (Gundersen Health System, 2010). Three locations have been identified: the Pine Ridge, South Dakota Reservation working with the Oglala Sioux; Tanzania, Africa; and the Matagalpa district of Nicaragua.

It is in this context that the July, 2011 Nicaraguan study experience has been developed. In addition to the hands-on public health skill building (for the students) and skill refinement (for the professionals) opportunities, this also will be an important experience for learning from one another during the travels. Students can learn public health insights based on experience from the health professionals; and the professionals can learn from the students in terms of updates from their training experiences and the technology they have learned and used during their degree programs (e.g., BS-CHE and MPH). A field epidemiology approach will be used for most of the public health procedures (e.g., planned community-based assessments and field reporting). In the long-run, it is important that the leaders and citizens of San Ramon, Nicaragua feel involved and engaged in the process, as well as supportive of the overall effort.

International Study Experience Goals:

  • To provide an overview of the public health and health care systems in Nicaragua and a village in the San Ramon region;
  • To compare and contrast elements of the health care and public health systems in Nicaragua with the systems of health care delivery and public health delivery in the United States;
  • To interact with selected leaders and citizens in San Ramon to conduct ongoing health needs and capacity assessments;
  • To share key assessment findings with the leaders and citizens in San Ramon;
  • To plan with the leaders in San Ramon appropriate health enhancement interventions for the future, based on the assessment findings;
  • To connect participants with key cultural aspects of Nicaragua that have health-related impacts;
  • To enable the participants (health professionals and students) to learn from one another during the travel time and on-site experiences.

Proposed Itinerary: 2012 Public Health Team Experience in Nicaragua

Sat., July 7: Arrive and stay at Las Mercedes Hotel
Sun., July 8: Drive to Matagalpa, hike at Selva Negra to acclimate to the country, get settled in hotel, unpack, group preparation meeting
Mon., July 9: Go to San Ramon network village to meet with community leaders, conduct environmental assessment, set up for health assessments and conduct trial runs
Tues., July 10:

Morning health assessments /afternoon public health assessments

Wed., July 11: Morning health assessments /afternoon public health assessments
Thurs., July 12: Small group debriefing with community, separate group goes to San Ramon for visit
Fri., July 12: Tour of the regional hospital in Matagalpa, depart for Managua by 12 noon
Sat., July 14 Return flight to the U.S.


Online Registration  or   Printable Registration Form (1 page PDF)

CEUs, CECHs, undergraduate or graduate college credit* options. CECHs are offered for Certified Health Education Specialists.

Enrollment is Limited. Make sure to register early.

You are able to choose from one of the following credit* options:

  • Base Study Tour Fee: includes the following departure/return cities: La Crosse, Wisconsin in the United States for travel through Miami to Managua, Nicaragua; lodging and meals in Nicaragua; and educational materials. 3.2 Continuing Education Units (Credit card payments have an additional 3% processing charge.)
    • $2295, Regular Registration period postmarked by March 23, 2012. (Minimum amount due is $900 non-refundable deposit for pre-purchase of in-country transportation; remainder is due by 4 p.m. CST, March 30, 2012.) After March 30, 2012, total registration fee is not refundable.
  • 18 Category I CECHs for Certified Health Educators available for an additional $36

Credit Options in addition to Base Study Tour fee:

  • 18 Category I CECHs for Certified Health Educators available for an additional $36.
  • 2 Academic Credits* available at undergraduate (HED 495 Section 790 ) or graduate level (HED 595, Section 790) for additional 2-credit tuition fee (Contact Continuing Education Registration for tuition fee information).
    This will include the development of an experience-based paper. NOTE: Only one credit option may be selected (i.e., 3.2 CEUs; 18 CECHs; or 2 Academic Credits.)

The tuition plateau does not apply to students enrolling in undergraduate or graduate credit courses through the  Office of Continuing Education and Extension.

Cancellation Policy: In the event of participant cancellation, and if airline tickets already have been purchased, airline travel credit and the remainder of the Study Experience fee able to be recouped will be refunded through April 6, less a $50 processing charge.


Travel will require a current passport. In preparation for this international experience, all participants must go through a background check conducted by Gundersen Health System in cooperation with UW-L. In addition, to assure a meaningful and appropriate experience, all participants must attend three in-person orientation sessions at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse: May 30, 5-7 p.m.; June 13, 5-7 p.m.; June 27, 5-7 p.m. In addition, there will be at least one public health orientation session (tba) to prepare for the public health activities that will take place. Only a limited number of public health participants will be able to be a part of this special experience. Inclusion is on a first come-first served basis, with successful completion of the background check.

To register for academic credit: Briana Meuer, 608.785.6513 or  

Registration implies permission for photos, publicity & inclusion in a participant list unless Continuing Education/Extension is notified in writing prior to the program.

Directors' Biography:

Picture of Dr. Gary Gilmore.Gary Gilmore, MPH, Ph.D., MCHES, has had 23 years of experience in leading international study experiences. He also has participated in multiple international experiences since the 1970s. He is Professor and Director of Graduate Community Health Programs at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and has been with the University since 1974. His prior experiences were in public health and preventive medicine at the Bergen County Health Department (N.J.), and at the Preventive Medicine Unit, General Leonard Wood Hospital, U.S. Army (recipient of the Army Commendation Medal in Preventive Medicine). His training in epidemiology and public health is through the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, with additional training in epidemiology at the New England Epidemiology Institute, Tufts University. He is the founding and continuing Director of the first Master of Public Health Program (CEPH accredited since 1992) offered in the University of Wisconsin System. During 1999-2000, Gilmore served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Calcutta, India. In that capacity, he taught graduate students and medical practitioners in principles of public health and conducted population-based research in West Bengal. Dr. Gilmore served as the Founding President of the Seven Rivers Region Fulbright Chapter in Western Wisconsin. More...

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