The trip provided the opportunity to examine firsthand the health care system of another country. Focusing on environmental health and access to health care in the context of socioeconomic and political status not only did students learn about the country’s public health infrastructure, they experienced the local culture and learned about its history and politics.
Regis faculty and deans met with administrators from the University Aysen in Coyhaique to discuss ways that the two universities can collaborate. Meanwhile, students attended a seminar led by UAYSEN faculty about environmental exposures and disease risk in the region.
The trip also included visits to the Aguas Patagonia water plant and waste disposal facility in Coyhaique, a local clinic in Puerto Rio Tranquilo for an overview of rural health services, the hospitals in Cochrane, and a meeting with a member of the municipal government in Chile Chico to learn about public health issues facing the community.
The idea of visiting Chile came from Associate Professor of Public Health Manuel Cifuentes, ScD. Dr. Cifuentes, a Chilean native, who practiced as a rural physician in Chilean Patagonia before immigrating to the US. He joined the Regis faculty in 2016.