Lourdes Ferrer is currently working as a volunteer to support parents/carers to empower themselves to access integrated person- centred education, health and care services in the Central Coast, NSW, Australia. Before moving to Australia last September 2019, Lourdes was working as a coordinator of Bicester Autism ADHD, a community support group that she co-founded in November 2017. In Bicester Autism, Lourdes lead training programs for parents, carers and professionals supporting people in the Autistic Spectrum to learn to navigate and negotiate care; develop social competencies and emotional regulation strategies; manage cognitive, sensory and physical difficulties; and develop resilience and self-esteem.
In parallel, Lourdes often works as a consultant for the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). She led work related to empowering Patients and Carers for the WHO Regional Office for Europe’s Framework for Action Towards Coordinated/Integrated Health Services Delivery (CIHSD). She supported the development of the Global Strategy on People-Centred Integrated Health Services. And she worked as a field expert in the process of integrating people-centered care strategies into Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths (EPCMD) in Mali, a joint project with USAID ASSIST.
From September 2012 to September 2017, Lourdes was Director of Programs at the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC). During that period, she worked with her colleagues to develop the IFIC brand, website, new research contracts and led the Scientific Committee of all IFIC Conferences. Before taking this position, Lourdes was working part-time for 2 years as Managing Editor of the International Journal of Integrated Care (IJIC) that acquire trough her work its first official impact factor. From October 2011 to September 2012, Lourdes worked part-time on a voluntary basis as the first IFIC Director to create and develop the new organization with its two co-founders, Dr Nick Goodwin (Lourdes’s husband) and Professor Guus Schrijvers. IFIC was created to generate funding for the International Journal of Integrated Care (IJIC) and to continue, professionalise and expand the conferences organized by the informal International Network of Integrated Care (INIC).
Lourdes previous roles before IFIC and IJIC included leading the training program “Diploma on Social Management for Health”; developing a monitoring/evaluation plan to support the extension of health coverage to hard-to-reach populations; and working as a Special Adviser for many consultancies supporting health systems transformation. All these projects were commissioned jointly by the Ministry of Health in El Salvador and the International Development Bank (IDB). Before undertaking these roles in her home country, Lourdes worked under Prof Ilona’s Kickbusch and Dr Pedro Brito in PAHO/WHO Headquarters in Washington DC, in the strategic advancement of the policy of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
Lourdes is a qualified Medical Doctor with a master’s in international health management and Development from the University of Birmingham. Originating from El Salvador, Lourdes accomplished both degrees with fully funded scholarships. Lourdes enjoys her life with her husband Nick, her two children, Amy and George and her friends. She loves nature, outdoors activities, yoga, meditation and reading.