Our Team

The UM SONHS PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre operates with a core staff.  Available to our Collaborating Centre’s efforts on a by-project basis are the considerable skills and expertise of the school’s faculty, which includes some of the most talented, knowledgeable and experienced health care researchers, educators and clinicians found at any facility in the world.


School of Nursing and Health Studies Dean:

Cindy Munro, RN, ANP-BC, Ph.D., FAAN, FAANP, FAAAS is Dean of the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies. Dr. Munro is an accomplished healthcare researcher and leader in the field of nursing. She is recipient of the 2017 Leadership in Research Award from the Southern Nursing Research Society. Her science focuses on the relationship between oral health and the prevention of systemic disease. Her research work has been awarded over $8 million in funding, and her most recent award of nearly $2 million from the National Institute of Nursing Research supports the conduct of a study aimed at preventing delirium in critically ill adults. She holds three patents, including an international patent for a vaccine to prevent streptococcal endocarditis, and her scientific contributions helped change clinical practice and reduce healthcare costs by addressing hospital-acquired infection. Dr. Munro’s extensive experience and history of leadership in the nursing field align with the goals of our school and our PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre to educate students and support the capacitation of an international healthcare workforce committed to nursing excellence and the delivery of quality care. Her contributions to the promotion of nursing and healthcare research are in keeping with our Centre’s commitment to creating and disseminating health knowledge and providing service focused on patient safety and workforce development in our community and across the globe.


Centre Director:

Johis Ortega, PhD., ARNP, ACNP-BC, ENP-BC, FNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP is Director of the UM SONHS CC. He is also Associate Dean for Hemispheric and Global Initiatives and Professor of Clinical at the UM SONHS. Dr. Ortega initiated a program of research in education, analyzing outcomes of nursing student international exchange programs and the use of simulation in the nursing curriculum. He led the establishment of the school’s formal exchange agreements with hospitals and universities in Taiwan, Spain, Chile, Mexico, Haiti, Australia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and India. He is co-creator of the “Simulation Strategies Workshop for Patient Safety (Estrategias para la Enseñanza Clínica de Enfermería con Simuladores) which facilitates the integration of simulation into nursing curricula with a focus on Spanish-speaking institutions of higher education in Ibero-American regions. He is recipient of the IV Annual Susana Espino Muñoz Academic Trajectory Award of the ALADEFE (2013), the University of Miami School of Nursing Faculty of the Year Award (2009 & 2012), and he was named among the Twenty Fabulous Hispanic Professors in Florida by Pew Research Hispanic Center (2013). Dr. Ortega is a founding member of RIENSEP, the International Nursing and Patient Safety Experts’ Network, and also holds membership in ALADEFE (the Latin American Association of Schools and Colleges of Nursing), the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the National League of Nursing, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. He has presented his scholarly work in patient safety and advanced practice at national and international conferences in Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Panama, Taiwan, Salvador, Dominican Republic, Chile and the U.S.  He has published articles in professional journals and contributed chapters to scholarly texts on simulation education, advanced practice nursing and patient safety. Dr. Ortega is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.


Project Manager:

Carlos Arismendi, MS, manages the activities of the UM SONHS CC. He serves as the primary liaison between the Centre Director, PAHO/WHO and other collaborating centres and global partners. He is responsible for the strategic planning and development of operations of the PAHO/WHO CC, overseeing implementation and successful execution of the Centre’s terms of reference and work plan in accordance with the WHO’ 4-year centre designation periods. Carlos’s experience in business development strategy has allowed him to lead projects in Latin America, Asia and Middle Eastern countries, including JCI accreditation, program development and implementation of clinical programs such as Bone Marrow Transplant, medical Oncology, Perioperative Services and Nursing Leadership among others. He co-lead the implementation of the first Stroke Program in Panama, as well as worked with key stakeholders in the country to improve public health. He was awarded the New American Leadership Institute recognition by the Mayor’s Office of Baltimore City in 2018 and is an active member of the Association of Latino Professionals For America ALPFA.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature and Latin American Business from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in International Management in public health from the University of Liverpool.