Lorna Perez

National Surveillance Officer, Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Health of Belize and Belize Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) Coordinator

Lorna Perez has been a registered nurse since 1986. She has worked in public hospitals and with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the field of sexual and reproductive health. She was certified in Family Planning Administration by the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. She has been responsible for introducing family planning, cancer and colposcopy services; training doctors and nurses in family planning methods and cancer screening methods and presented the first study on cancer prevalence in the northern region of Belize at the National Medical and Dental Congress. She was later posted as the national sexual and reproductive health services coordinator and served in that capacity for five years.

In 2006, she returned to the Ministry of Health as the HIV Coordinator for a health region. She was awarded a diploma in HIV Multidisciplinary Strategies and Response Management from the National Institute of Public Health in Cuernavaca, Mexico. She was responsible for introducing voluntary counseling and testing for the general population and comprehensive management of HIV patients.

In 2007, she moved to the national HIV Program. During this time, she held the posts of Project Coordinator for the Global Fund for HIV and Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for the National HIV Program. She was awarded a certificate in advanced Monitoring and Evaluation from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and completed a certified Leadership Training Program from the Caribbean Health Leadership Institute at the University of the West Indies.

She served as a project coordinator for the first Sexual and Behavioral Seroprevalence Survey of men who have sex with men (MSM) and female sex workers (FSW). In 2010, she started her field epidemiology training program (FETP) experience as part of the first cohort of the Belize FETP. She graduated with a Master of Science degree in Applied Epidemiology from Universidad del Valle in Guatemala in 2015. During her FETP training, she was selected to give oral presentations at TEPHINET’s international conferences in South Africa (2010) and the Dominican Republic (2013). She also presented a poster at the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Conference (2014) and gave an oral presentation at EIS in 2015. In addition, she received a mini-grant from the CDC and TEPHINET in 2015.

Presently, she is the National Surveillance Officer and Belize FETP Coordinator. She has since conducted training in basic level FETP for four advanced cohorts and one intermediate level cohort. Belize FETP trainees have been selected to participate in international conferences in Paraguay, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Thailand.