Safety While Traveling Abroad

Four Seasons Is Launching a New Health and Safety Protocol in Partnership With Johns Hopkins

Safety While Traveling Abroad | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Sadly, the travel world has been put on pause. But as destinations begin to discuss reopening, businesses are trying to figure out how to do that safely. That’s why the world’s leading luxury hospitality company, Four Seasons Hotels, and Resorts, just announced they would be collaborating with Johns Hopkins Medicine International to initiate a new global health and safety program.

Related: American Express, Hilton, and World Central Kitchen Partner to Support Healthcare Workers

“Within this new environment, our singular goal is to provide guests, residents, and employees with the confidence and assurance that their health and safety is our first priority,” said John Davison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, in a statement. “We are incredibly proud to work alongside the renowned experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine International, leveraging their global expertise to strengthen our already stringent health and safety measures.” 

Courtesy Four Seasons 

Called “Lead With Care,” the program will include ongoing, real-time guidance by Johns Hopkins Medicine experts as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Those suggestions will then be disseminated to the dedicated teams at Four Seasons properties across the globe to ensure clear procedures are implemented.

This will include everything from additional employee training, food handling protocols, and ventilation systems enhancements.

Peter Vitale/Courtesy Four Seasons 

“Along with already-commonplace measures such as more sanitizers, masks, and heightened cleaning and hygiene, our collaboration with Johns Hopkins equips our property teams with access to leading international experts and real-time COVID-19 information, enhancing our tools and training to deliver an experience grounded in safety and trust,” says Christian Clerc, President, Global Operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “While the Four Seasons experience may look different in this new environment, it will ultimately feel the same—our dedicated people will continue to deliver the same intuitive service and personalized care for which Four Seasons is known and trusted for the world over.”

Related: Four Seasons Hotel New York Will Provide Housing to Doctors and Nurses Fighting Coronavirus

American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property Four Seasons Hotel New York already had a frontline experience during the pandemic as it was transformed into a safe place for medical professionals working to combat the virus.

In a matter of days, the hotel was able to implement enhanced procedures and adequately train employees to safely house guests. Now, the partnership with Johns Hopkins will build on that knowledge to apply for a program worldwide.


Paul Thuysbaert/Courtesy Four Seasons 

“For nearly 60 years, Four Seasons has set the global standard for excellence in hospitality and service,” said Davison.

“Lead With Care is a continuation of this high standard, building upon the strong foundation of trust and confidence that we have established through decades of experience.

This new program is abfering genuine care and the highest levels of service, enhancing procedures to protect our guests, residents, and employees, while also ensuring that they feel safe and reassured.”


Health and Insurance – Johns Hopkins University Office of Study Abroad

Safety While Traveling Abroad | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Your well-being is the most important factor to consider while you are abroad. It is important to evaluate your health needs as you research programs and destinations of interest to you. Investigate the host culture and the climate in the area of the program you are considering keeping in mind any conditions such as asthma and allergies.

Even if a health issue is currently under control, the stresses and/or new environment abroad may exacerbate the condition or make symptoms reappear. To help prepare for your travel, there are several different things to keep in mind such as meeting with your physician, insurance abroad, what to do in case of an emergency, and other health factors.

Hopkins provides comprehensive international health and accident insurance coverage for all Hopkins students studying abroad. You must also maintain US domestic health insurance while you are abroad. Most study abroad providers require that you enroll in the program’s international health insurance plan, so you should check with your program to find out whether this applies to you.

Hopkins will enroll you in comprehensive travel medical insurance through HXGlobal/Chubb. This insurance provides worldwide coverage for emergencies, outpatient care, hospitalization, medical evacuation, reunification, and repatriation of remains, as well as for trip delay, interruption, cancellation and lost luggage.

The maximum annual medical benefit for this policy is $500,000 with zero deductibles. Be sure to read through the description of the coverage uploaded to your online study abroad application carefully.

We require you to maintain your domestic medical insurance while you are abroad in the event you need to access it mid-program.

Un your experience in the United States, should you require medical treatment while abroad, you may be expected to pay for services up front and file a claim for reimbursement later.

To access your coverage or to file a claim, call 800-336-0627 (if calling from inside the U.S.) or 302-476-6194 (if calling from outside the U.S.) and note the group policy number: GLM N14287401.

Claims can be filed in any of the following ways:

FAX: 302-476-7857
MAIL: Chubb Accident & Health, PO Box 5124, Scranton, PA 18505-0556

JHU-HXGlobal Chubb Insurance Policy Description

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides general traveler health guidance, as well as destination specific information on its website. This includes tips on what to pack, information about vaccines and medications, and travel notices about current health issues related to specific countries.

More Information

Consult with your health care providers (e.g. physicians, counselors, insurance providers, travel clinics) to ensure that you are medically prepared for your time abroad.

Johns Hopkins strongly encourages students to disclose any medical or mental health concerns to their program providers early in order to find local resources.

Here is a checklist of things to consider before leaving to study abroad:

  • Update childhood vaccinations
  • Consult your physician, a travel clinic, or the Centers for Disease Control regarding recommended vaccinations for your study abroad destination and any potential travel destinations
  • If you take any regular medications, consult with your physician and insurance company about how to provide an adequate supply for the duration of the program
  • If you have any pre-existing medical conditions that will require treatment while abroad, confirm with your study abroad program that adequate treatment will be available on site
  • If you have sensitivity to certain climates, conditions (such as asthma, allergies), investigate the conditions in the area of the program
  • If you have dietary restrictions or food allergies, inquire about whether they will be problematic or difficult to accommodate within the host culture
  • If you have physical or learning disabilities, investigate whether the host country or university can offer accommodations
  • If you have mental health concerns that could require treatment abroad, consult with your treating doctor or counselor about preparing for the experience and with your program about the availability of counseling services in English in your host country
  • Be proactive in developing a support plan for yourself. What challenges do you anticipate? What can you do daily to reduce chances of this problem? What will you do if this occurs?

All students who will be abroad are registered with Healix, the university’s travel emergency assistance provider, under group policy number JH18492.

Healix’s benefits include evacuation services for emergencies abroad (medical, security or natural disaster); pre-trip assistance, including addressing medication concerns, outpatient referrals, and vaccination requirements; and assistance in replacing lost or stolen visas, passports or wallets. Please note that your international health insurance coverage through United HealthcareGlobal should be used for visits to doctors, hospitals, or other non-life threatening emergencies. If you have questions about Healix or its benefits, send an email to Students may access the resources at Healix using the Hopkins Policy #: JH18492.

JHU Policy #: JH18492
TEL: 44-20-8763-4952 (in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia)
TEL: 443-455-0711 (in the Americas)


Medical Internships Abroad | Pre-Med Volunteer

Safety While Traveling Abroad | Johns Hopkins Medicine

International Medical Aid offers once-in-a-lifetime medical internships abroad for doctors, medical residents, medical students, nurse practitioners, physician assistant and pre-med undergraduates to work in busy international hospitals, mentored by our outstanding staff of dedicated physicians and other healthcare professionals. We collaborate with an extensive network of public and private hospitals to provide rewarding, hands-on programs tailored to the specific skill sets and educational background of each volunteer. We offer electives abroad, medical internships abroad programs, nursing opportunities abroad, pre-dentistry experiences, pre-med volunteering and physician shadowing abroad. IMA is the ethical leader in international volunteer programs and serves as a meaningful alternative to for-profit organizations such as Gap Medics and Work the World.


Founded by two Johns Hopkins alumni, International Medical Aid is a not-for-profit organization based in the United States. We are focused on creating mutually beneficial, ethical and sustainable programs for our volunteers and the communities that we serve.


Dedicated Physician Mentors guide volunteers through the entire healthcare internship abroad experience. IMA’s structured programs include extensive training on infection control, region specific orientations, and continuous support from in country and U.S.-based staff


IMA’s alumni have access to graduate school admissions support including letters of recommendation, personal statement reviews, and interview coaching. Our structured programs allow students to incorporate MCAT prep during their healthcare internship abroad.


IMA makes every effort to assure the safety of our volunteers. Our residences are located in gated communities with 24/7 security staff. All programs include basic accident + travel insurance at no additional cost.  All treks and safaris organized by IMA contract vetted travel partners and trusted guides.


Our team of highly-qualified medical school admissions consultants include physician advisors, former admissions committee members, published authors and professional consultants with 25+ years of experience in medical school admissions. Our skilled experts will holistically review your medical school application and provide advice and guidance that is detailed, actionable and compassionate.


We strive to be as honest and transparent as possible.

We first recommend that you utilize the free admissions resources published by the Association of American Medical Colleges and any advising services available through your university.

If you need additional assistance, we are happy to review your application. If we feel that we cannot add value to your application, we will issue you a 100% refund.

Proven Track-Record of Success

The medical school admissions process is complex and highly competitive. Admissions rates to top-tier medical schools are often less than 10% and the overall admission rate for MD and DO schools remains below 50% Our seasoned admissions consultant admit rates average 90%. We will help you prepare your strongest application and help you avoid a costly re-application.

My experience in Kenya was indescribable. From a medical standpoint, I was able to learn, experience and contribute in such a meaningful manner that these memories will remain with me for the rest of my life and professional career. My mentor was a great source of comfort for me while in Kenya.

He was always checking in on me and ensuring my safety, comfort and well being and assisting wherever necessary in helping me to become accustomed to life in Kenya. IMA’s cook was a dear friend and a phenomenal chef preparing courses that could have easily been offered in a 5 star restaurant on a daily basis. The accommodations were safe and comfortable.

I was in walking distance to the beach and any resource I might have required.

Kassie Fitzmaurice – Grand Canyon University

As a medical school applicant, this experience was worthwhile. As a volunteer at Mt. Meru Regional Hospital in Arusha, Tanzania, I got a chance to further my medical knowledge all while making a lasting impact within the local community. The doctors were so welcoming and went their way to explain unique clinical cases in depth.

Following my volunteer experience, I can truly say I have a greater appreciation for medicine. The IMA staff were really friendly and ensured everything I needed was taken care of. I have done multiple volunteer trips in East Africa and I can say without hesitation that IMA is top tier when it comes to providing students a seamless experience.

In the future, I would strongly consider doing an elective with IMA again.

Soham Savani – Georgetown University

If you are you looking for a radically different yet incredible experience next summer, stop looking. This is it. Granted that this was my first time in Africa. And the first time I volunteered as a dentist. So the experience would have probably been a memorable one either way. That said, it was not just memorable, it was simply life-changing.

IMA gave me a unique opportunity to both work as a doctor, and learn as a student. There was obviously some ramping-up to do, but it was just a matter of days until I started getting hands-on experience, working with dedicated mentors, and really wonderful colleagues. The organization was also great in helping me to explore, learn and live the city and culture of Mombasa.

Locals are incredibly welcoming…

Felipe de Sande Palma – University of Granada


Global Rescue

Safety While Traveling Abroad | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Global Rescue

Middlebury College has an agreement with Global Rescue for medical and security advisory and evacuation services for Middlebury and MIIS students on college-sponsored activities abroad, as well as faculty and staff traveling on college business.

  Global Rescue is available to assist travelers affected by medical and security emergencies while studying, working, or traveling abroad.  They are available to consult and ensure appropriate medical treatment or safety measures are being taken.

  In addition, Global Rescue will arrange for the provision of health information services through their operations team and Johns Hopkins Medicine to include medical advice, case monitoring, hospital and clinic referrals, and evacuation services.  This consultation service comes at no cost to the traveler.

  Any costs associated with treatment, transportation, or evacuation will be the traveler’s responsibility. 

Travelers in need of either of these services can contact Global Rescue at +1-617-459-4200 and identify themselves as a Middlebury/MIIS traveler.  The membership card may be downloaded here.

Our partnership with Global Rescue also provides travelers with access to an intelligence platform (GRID) that ensures that you are well informed and prepared before and during your travels.

This allows you access to Destination Reports that outline medical and security risks in your host country and other countries you may visit. Through GRID, you are also able to view alert notifications for events that are happening around the world.

In addition, while abroad, you will automatically receive health, safety, and security reports your destination, along with expert analysis and advice.

Before a program begins, travelers will receive user log-in information and instructions directly from Global Rescue in order to access this resource. This email is not junk; please save it.

If you have access to a smartphone/mobile device while abroad, we strongly recommend that you also download the Global Rescue GRID application which is available at the Apple Store (iOS 5 and above), Google Play (Android 4.

4 and above), and BlackBerry App World (10.2 and above).

Through this application, you will be able to reach out directly to Global Rescue in an emergency situation via its in-app emergency call button as well as run Destination Reports, view event alerts, and “Check-In” if there is a crisis (or even a sketchy situation) in your host country, and you want to notify key staff members of your whereabouts. This “check-in” feature should not be used if you are in a real emergency situation, and need immediate assistance, unless you’re asked to do this by your resident staff. In cases of emergency, please contact your resident staff or contacts that they will give you during orientation, and if that fails, then Global Rescue.

Employees with localized benefits may have other coverage; refer to your benefits documentation for details.


Our experts are closely following and analyzing updates on this COVID-19 outbreak

Safety While Traveling Abroad | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Coronaviruses are a family of RNA viruses that typically cause mild respiratory disease in humans. A novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

Our experts are closely following and analyzing updates on this outbreak. The following resources will be routinely updated.

Situation Reports

Updates on the emerging novel coronavirus from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

  • 15 May
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  • 13 May
  • 12 May
  • 11 May
  • 8 May

View all of the situation reports.

Read US travel and retail supply chain updates.

Sign up for the COVID-19 situation reports. 

Center Analysis

May 15: Filling in the Blanks: National Research Needs to Guide Decisions about Reopening Schools in the United States

May 06: Operational Toolkit for Businesses Considering Reopening or Expanding Operations in COVID-19

May 05: National Action Plan for Expanding and Adapting the Healthcare System for the Duration of the COVID Pandemic

April 22: Developing a National Strategy for Serology (Antibody Testing) in the United States

April 21: Recommendations for a Metropolitan COVID-19 Response—Special Area of Emphasis: Guidance on Protecting Individuals Residing in Long-Term Care Facilities

April 20: Enabling Emergency Mass Vaccination: Innovations in Manufacturing and Administration During a Pandemic

April 20: Interim Estimate of the US PPE Needs for COVID-19 (PDF)

April 17: Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors

April 10: A National Plan to Enable Comprehensive COVID-19 Case Finding and Contact Tracing in the US

April 09: Recommendations for a Metropolitan COVID-19 Response— Special Emphasis Series: Guidance on Protecting Incarcerated Individuals

April 07: A National COVID-19 Surveillance System: Achieving Containment

March 30: Recommendations for a Metropolitan COVID-19 Response

March 29: National coronavirus response: A road map to reopening

March 24: Modernizing and Expanding Outbreak Science to Support Better Decision Making During Public Health Crises: Lessons for COVID-19 and Beyond

March 18: How Should U.S. Hospitals Prepare for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)?


Fact Sheets

Coronaviruses Fact Sheet (PDF)
Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a family of RNA viruses that typically cause mild respiratory disease in humans.

SARS-CoV-2 Genetics (PDF)
A summary of findings from the latest phylogenetic research on SARS-CoV-2.

Financing for Epidemic Response Activities (PDF)
There are several major sources of money that have supported and still may support outbreak response activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO’s Role During Health Emergencies (PDF)
As the health lead for the United Nations, a primary responsibility of the World Health Organization (WHO) is to respond to natural disasters and disease outbreaks.

PCR Diagnostic Testing for SARS-CoV-2 (PDF)
Diagnostic testing for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is undertaken using 3 approaches: whole genome sequencing, real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (rRT-PCR), and serology.

Blame and Discrimination Attached to COVID-19 — An FAQ for US Elected Leaders and Health Officials (PDF)
When fear of disease and fear of others collide

Ventilator Stockpiling and Availability in the US (PDF)
Mechanical ventilation is a vital component of critical services for patients exhibiting severe acute respiratory failure.

Serology testing for COVID-19 (PDF)
Serology tests are blood-based tests that can be used to identify whether people have been exposed to a particular pathogen.

US Public Health Programs and Assets Being Used to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF)
The US emergency preparedness, response, and recovery enterprise consists of a broad range of stakeholders and assets operating at federal, state, and local levels.

Review of Mobile Application Technology to Enhance Contact Tracing Capacity for COVID-19 (PDF)
Contact tracing is a mainstay of a robust public health response.

The purpose of contact tracing is to identify potentially exposed (and therefore potentially infected) individuals so that they can be quarantined before they develop symptoms, thus preventing further transmission in the community.

Vaccines in Development to Target COVID-19 Disease (DF)
Since its emergence in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has caused more than 1.3 million cases and nearly 75,000 deaths globally as of April 06, 2020.1 Currently, no vaccine or proven treatment exists for this virus or any coronavirus.

Comparison of National RT-PCR Primers, Probes, and Protocols for SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostics (PDF)
This fact sheet provides a detailed comparison of several RT-PCR tests developed by various countries.

Our review is limited to those listed in the World Health Organization (WHO) resource of in-house–developed molecular assays that have been used as the national test of choice in many countries and in regional reference laboratories.


Serology-based tests for COVID-19

This resource serves to provide up to date information on serology tests that are in development or available for use.

Molecular-based Tests for COVID-19

The diagnostic testing field for COVID-19 is rapidly evolving and improving in quality every day, with many tests focused on diagnosing patients with active viral infections. Read more about molecular-bases tests for COVID-19 here.


Threads by Director Dr. Tom Inglesby

Dr. Tom Inglesby shares comments on on:

View all of  Dr. Tom Inglesby's threads.


May 6: Center for Health Security director Dr. Tom Inglesby briefs the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs

May 6: Center for Health Security senior scholar Dr. Caitlin Rivers testifies at US House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations on COVID-19 Response

March 5: Center for Health Security Senior Scholar Dr. Tara Kirk Sell Testifies at US House of Representatives Committee Hearing, “Beyond Coronaviruses: Understanding the Spread of Infectious Diseases and Mobilizing Innovative Solutions”

March 3: Center for Health Security director Dr. Tom Inglesby testifies at US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security on COVID-19

February 5: Center for Health Security expert Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo testifies at first open congressional hearing on 2019-nCoV


Health Security Special Online Issue on Coronaviruses

10 relevant articles from Health Security on coronaviruses, outbreak preparedness and response, infection control, and public health policy are freely available to facilitate the conversation around health security.



Visit the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center where our experts help to advance understanding of the virus, inform the public, and brief policymakers in order to guide a response, improve care, and save lives.

Clinicians' Biosecurity News 02/27/2020: What US Hospitals Should Do Now to Prepare for a COVID-19 Pandemic


Four Seasons, Johns Hopkins Partner on Health and Safety Program

Safety While Traveling Abroad | Johns Hopkins Medicine

(Four Seasons) Four Seasons New York, which has been accommodating medical workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is collaborating with Johns Hopkins Medicine International to validate its new global health and safety program, Lead With Care, and provide ongoing, real-time guidance on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation. To support the development of procedures to be verified by Johns Hopkins, Four Seasons will be working with EcoLab and International SOS.

As part of the collaboration, Johns Hopkins Medicine International and Four Seasons have established a dedicated COVID-19 Advisory Board, bringing together Four Seasons leadership and top experts from Johns Hopkins Medicine International. The COVID-19 Advisory Board will create, enhance and review current procedures, along with virtual and in-person training to guide implementation of Lead With Care across Four Seasons global portfolio.

The Lead With Care program, Four Seasons says, is focused on providing care, confidence and comfort to all guests, employees and residents within the new COVID-19 environment. The new program outlines clear procedures that educate and empower Four Seasons employees to take care of guests and each other. 

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Four Seasons collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine International will ensure the review and validation of the Lead With Care program in two phases.

 Phase One of the collaboration (Review and Validation) involves a review of Four Seasons existing health and safety procedures, along with enhanced protocols in response to the current situation at a global, regional and property level.

 Phase Two (Ongoing Guidance) provides Four Seasons with ongoing collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Medicine International team, including direct access to curated critical updates, relevant COVID-19 research outcomes and expert advice to ensure real-time adjustments to operating procedures. 

Four Seasons and Johns Hopkins will also establish a joint Response Team where senior experts in infectious diseases from Johns Hopkins will provide on-demand response and guidance to hotels facing COVID-19 situations.

While guests will see many of the enhanced Lead With Care procedures, behind-the-scenes measures will also take place through employee training, additional food handling protocols, and enhancements to ventilation systems and other back-of-the-house operations.

In addition, Four Seasons says it continues to invest in its app that further allows guests to control how they engage with others, limiting face-to-face interactions and allowing users to request luggage pickup, airport transfers, room service, restaurant and spa reservations and more.

Ovation Travel Group Creates Amenity Kits for Safer Travels

U.S. Airlines Support TSA Conducting Temperature Screenings

WTTC Debuts Protocols to Rebuild Consumer Confidence

Spice Island Beach Resort Eyes November 1 Reopening


Safety – Johns Hopkins University Office of Study Abroad

Safety While Traveling Abroad | Johns Hopkins Medicine

The safety and well-being of students studying abroad is of paramount importance and Johns Hopkins aspires to provide study abroad opportunities that are safe for students.

While we cannot guarantee students’ safety and security abroad, the Office of Study Abroad takes whatever reasonable steps within our control in order to help students to minimize their risk.

We monitor international events, are in contact with coordinators and staff in the host countries, and evaluate and respond to each situation or incident on a case-by-case basis.

It is important to remember that safety abroad is a shared responsibility and that students play the most important part in ensuring their own safety while abroad. Take every precaution necessary to stay safe and happy during your study abroad program. Here are some resources that will help you prepare for your study abroad experience:

Become familiar with and check routinely the U.S. State Department website for students abroad and the Study Abroad Department of State website. The Department of State provides information on every country in the world in their Country Profiles.

For each country, you will find information including the location of the U.S. embassy and any consular offices, visa information, crime and security information, health and medical conditions, drug penalties, and localized hot spots.

This is a good place to start learning about where you are going.

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens living overseas or planning to travel abroad to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). When you enroll in STEP, the U.S. Department of State can update you with important safety and security announcements.

Enrolling will also make it easier for the embassy or consulate to contact you in the event of an emergency.

You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date; it is particularly important when you enroll or update your information to include a current phone number and e-mail address.

Click Here to Enroll

The Johns Hopkins University International Travel Registry (JHITR) contains critical information that allows University representatives to contact and support you in the event that you need assistance while traveling internationally on university business, particularly if there is a natural disaster or political unrest.

The data you provide through the Travel Registry is intended to support the university administration in ensuring your safety and well-being. It will not be used for other purposes. The Hopkins Office of Study Abroad will enter preliminary information about your travel plans.

You will then receive an email prompt asking you to enter additional information such as passport number and emergency contacts to your travel profile.

You can log into JHITR through your MyJHU Account.

Johns Hopkins provides all students on approved study abroad programs with worldwide assistance and emergency evacuation services through Healix International. Please note that Healix International is NOT health insurance and is meant to be used in tandem with existing health insurance.

Healix services can help you locate an English-speaking doctor, replace lost medication, monitor treatment at local hospitals, or provide medical evacuation, if needed. In addition, Healix International also assists with lost travel documents, emergency cash, legal assistance, and translation services.

Students may access the resources at Healix using the Hopkins Policy #: JH18492.

Tel: 44-20-8763-4952 (in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia)

Tel: 443-455-0711 (in the Americas)