Ambassador Fernando Llorca Castro To Discuss "Costa Rica's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic" in a Webinar on Nov. 13

Norfolk, Nov. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Fernando Llorca Castro, Costa Rica's ambassador to the United States, will discuss his country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic during a Provost's Lecture Series webinar hosted by Old Dominion University on Nov. 13.

The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 1:30 p.m. RSVP to to receive a Zoom link.

"We are very pleased to provide the ODU and Hampton Roads community with the opportunity to hear Ambassador Llorca, a prominent global leader, discuss Costa Rica’s response to the COVID-19 crisis," said Austin Agho, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. " Old Dominion University’s Center for Global Health promotes a transdisciplinary approach to addressing global health issues at home and abroad. The ambassador’s insights will be invaluable as we grapple with the health, economic and other impacts of the pandemic and prepare leaders in global health who are ready to bring together the people and resources needed to improve the health and quality of life for many in our communities and around the world."

Costa Rica, which has a population of 4.9 million, has had 112,000 COVID cases and 1,149 deaths as of Nov. 3, according to the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica.

Llorca, who was appointed as ambassador in 2018 by President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, has served the country in various capacities and has professional experience in health policy and medical practice as well as coordination of primary and secondary care in Costa Rica. He also has experience as a medical director and medical manager in Spain and as a disability analyst for the Department of Work and Pensions in the United Kingdom.

In 2014, he was appointed by ex-President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera as the deputy minister of health, shortly thereafter becoming the minister and the steward of the Health, Nutrition and Sports Sector in Costa Rica, where he established private and public safety regulations and best practices policies.

Amid the crisis of the largest public pension system in Costa Rica, he became executive president of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, the most important health-care provider in the region that manages an annual budget of over $6.5 billion.

He is a graduate of medicine at the University of Medical Sciences and holds a master's in health economics from the University Pompeu Fabra. He also holds a master's in economic policy from Complutense University of Madrid and a master's in policy and health planning from the London School of Economics. He was trained in Costa Rica as a medical doctor and has had full license to practice medicine in Costa Rica, Spain and the United Kingdom.

"Old Dominion University and Costa Rica intersect in many areas, including the advancement of resilience; recovery and humanitarian logistics; biomedical research; and global health,” said Giovanna Genard, assistant vice president for strategic communication and marketing. “It is an honor for Old Dominion University to host the first-time visit by an ambassador from Costa Rica. This virtual visit is a tremendous opportunity for our students and Hampton Roads citizens to learn from the former Minister of Health and former Chair of the Costa Rican Social Security Institution how one of our global neighbors is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic."



Dr. Fernando Llorca Castro

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