The mission of the INSP is to contribute to social equity and the full realization of the right to health protection through the generation and dissemination of knowledge, state-of-the-art training of human resources, and innovation in multidisciplinary research in order to develop evidence-based public policies. The School of Public Health of Mexico (ESPM) was founded in 1922, and has been housed by the INSP since 1987. Through the ESPM, our institute became the first foreign institution to be accredited by the U.S. Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) in 2006. As a leader in integral public health research and teaching in Latin America, the INSP strives to generate precise and current reference knowledge for the formulation, implementation and evaluation of health research policy on national and regional levels.
The INSP was founded in 1987 within Mexico’s Ministry of Health (SSA) as the result of a strategic initiative to consolidate quality public health research, and train highly skilled public health practitioners and academicians in a post-graduate and continuing education academic programs to combat the national priority recurrent and emerging diseases and illnesses that continue to challenge Mexico. The result is an institution with a multidisciplinary perspective that is able to study the population-based dimensions of health, disease and their determinants, as well as the organized social response to disease prevention and health promotion. A fundamental premise for creating the INSP is that excellence in public health education can only be achieved within a context where both faculty and students actively participate in high-quality research for improving the population’s health.
Currently, the INSP is one of the largest public health institutions in the developing world and is the foremost institution in teaching, research and service to improve public health in Mexico and Latin America. The Teaching, research and services provided by the INSP reflect the cultural, social and economic realities of Mexico, a developing, middle-income country. These activities target health professionals who work in Mexico and Latin America, the United States and, increasingly, worldwide. The INSP therefore fulfills a critical need within the public health community in Latin America and around the world.
The INSP research programs reflect public health’s tripartite focus: utilizing biomedical sciences, employing population-based approaches to research and practice, and supporting health systems research. Specific research focus areas include but are not limited to: prevention and control of cancer, HIV/AIDS and STDs; TB; malaria and other vector borne diseases; vaccines; nutrition and obesity; diabetes; maternal, neonatal and child health; reproductive health and family planning; tobacco; prevention & control of injuries and domestic violence; health policy; and environmental health.
Since receiving the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) accreditation in 2006, the INSP has improved its training programs by carrying out curriculum reform focused on competency-based education, offering continuing education through multiple formats (online, executive and combined), reorganizing research to become mission-oriented, adding planning and evaluation dimensions, and developing public health services that are linked to scientific results from INSP research projects. In addition, the INSP has increased its international scope by collaborating with other institutions in Latin America, the United States and Europe through its 2008 accreditation in tropEd, a network of higher education institutions in international health.
Also, as a member of the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH), the INSP is one of just two member institutions that offer professional and academic degrees to the Spanish-speaking public health community.
The current Director General/Dean of the INSP is Dr. Mauricio Hernandez-Avila, and the Associate Academic Dean is Dr. Laura Magaña Valladares. The deputy directors of the research centers are highly qualified researchers with a strong commitment to enhancing teaching, research and service activities in fulfillment of the INSP’s mission. INSP faculty members include epidemiologists, physicians, biologists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, environmental engineers, toxicologists, statisticians, nutritionists, chemists and other specialists in the field of public health. The main campus is located in the city of Cuernavaca, 70 kilometers south of Mexico City; the INSP also has campuses in Mexico City and Tapachula, Chiapas.
Since its establishment, the INSP has strived to create and meet goals that support quality and innovation in each of its three main functions:
- Collaboration and Service