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Saving lives: top 20 Latinos in medicine: medicine is the noblest of professions, and when practiced by good people, it elevates the human soul.

To start the year 2009, we want to celebrate the top 20 Latinos in health and medicine, men and Women who have made it work to heal when they could and to comfort when they couldn't. And, although we admit to being awed by the many Latinos that are making a mark in this admirable field, most of the leaders who found a place on our list are those who are fighting the ground battle to make sure that we all have equal access to the healing arts.

In 21st century America, there continues to be very real health disparities when it comes to Latinos. Findings from a Pew Hispanic Center 2007 survey of Latino adults, conducted in conjunction with the

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that more than one-fourth of Hispanic adults in the U.S. lack a usual health-care provider.

There are a disproportionate number of Latinos who lack health insurance, who face language and cultural barriers, who face a higher risk of falling prey to such diseases as diabetes and heart disease.

So, to the leaders in medicine--whether they are physicians, public health specialists or legislators--who have made it their mission to eliminate those barriers, we want to say 'thank you'. We want to recognize the importance of your work and let you know that your passion, commitment and leadership inspire us all.

SERGIO AGUILAR-GAXIOLA

FOUNDING DIRECTOR, UC DAVIS' CENTER FOR REDUCING HEALTH DISPARITIES

Mental health; internal medicine

Sacramento, California

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Who he is:

Aguilar-Gaxiola received his medical degree from the School of Medicine, Autonomous University of Guadalajara Mexico, and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. He is the founding director of the University of California-Davis' Center for Reducing Health Disparities, where he heads a collaborative approach to studying and solving inequities in health access and quality of care. Since 1993, he has been the director of the Mexican-American Prevalence and Services Survey Project. And, for about a decade, he has been the coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of the World Health Organization's World Mental Health Consortium. Among his many honors are a 2007 Excellence in Hispanic Mental Health Advocacy, Leadership, and Research Award from the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health.

Why he is important:

The immediate past chair of the board of Mental Health America, Aguilar-Gaxiola has nearly 30 years of experience in the mental health field as a researcher, clinician, professor, and advocate. Many of his topics--such as developing culturally sensitive mental health diagnostic instruments and identifying unmet mental health needs in underserved populations--impact the Latino population. Recently, he has been translating mental health and substance abuse research findings into practical information for providers and consumers on the local, national, and international level.

Contact: 916.703.9211

ELENA ALVARADO

FOUNDER AND CEO, NATIONAL LATINA HEALTH NETWORK

Women and children's health issues

Washington, D.C.

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Who she is:

Alvarado is a graduate of California State University and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, with degrees in sociology, public health and theater arts. With 25 years in the health and human services field, Alvarado has served as an executive director of A woman's Crisis Center and she launched the nation's first bilingual cancer and AIDS hotline services in Southern California. She also helped develop education prevention programs targeted toward women and children, in some cases using theater as a tool to deliver the message. Alvarado is a founding member of the California Hispanic Women's Health Association and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. Her appointments include serving as a special advisor to the American Social Health Association, and the Centers for Disease Control's Diabetes and HIV, STD Prevention Center.

Why she is important:

A national leader and trainer, she is an authority on community health promotion issues and an advocate for women, children and youth. At the NLHN, Alvarado guides a growing network dedicated to improving the quality of health among Latinas and their families, tackling such issues as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDs, mother and child health, mental health/violence, and substance abuse/tobacco use. The non-profit group helps agencies respond to the growing need for health education in the Latino community through training and culturally appropriate resources.

Contact: 202.965.9633

ILEANA ARIAS

DIRECTOR, THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR INJURY PREVENTION AND CONTROL

Partner and family violence

Atlanta, Georgia

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Who she is:

Arias holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She was an assistant professor at the University of Georgia in Athens, where she was later named the director of clinical training and professor of clinical psychology before joining the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention as the chief of the Etiology and Surveillance Branch in the Division of Violence Prevention. She served as interim director for about a year in the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control before being appointed director in 2005.

Why she is important:

One of the top ranking leaders at the CDC, she heads the lead federal agency for injury prevention. Injury is the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults. The well-respected clinical psychologist has research expertise in intimate partner and family violence, has authored numerous articles in professional journals and has given national and international presentations. She is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma; the Review of Aggression and Violent Behavior; and Violence and Victims; and serves as a reviewer for 11 professional journals. Arias also serves on various advisory boards, including the European Center for Injury Prevention and the Defense Task Force on Sexual Assault in the Military Services.

Contact: 800.232.4636

FRANCISCO G. CIGARROA

FORMER PRESIDENT, THE UT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER AT SAN ANTONIO

Pediatric organ transplantation

Austin, Texas

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Who he is:

Cigarroa is a Laredo, Texas, native who received his medical degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical College. Before being appointed chancellor of the LIT system effective February 2, he was the third president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Immediately prior to his appointment as president, he served as director of pediatric surgery and director of abdominal organ transplantation. An accomplished researcher and writer, he is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Dr. Ignacio Chavez Medal of Merit from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. In 2003, he was appointed to the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science.

Why he is important:

This nationally renowned transplant surgeon, who has been described as having "manos de oro" (hands of gold) was on the Health Science Center surgical team that in 1997 split a donor liver for transplant into two recipients (the first operation of its type in Texas). In 2000, he headed the team that performed South Texas' first successful pediatric small bowel transplant. As president of the UT Health Science Center, he worked to usher in a new generation of medical professionals. His mission at the Health Science Center, which he describes as the chief catalyst of San Antonio's $16.3-billion-a year bioscience and health care industry, was to advance education, research and clinical care.

Contact: 512.499.4201

JOSE F. CORDERO

DEAN OF GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO

Pediatrics; birth defects; epidemiology

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Who he is:

Cordero, who was named to his current position in 2006, earned his medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico and completed a fellowship in medical genetics at Massachusetts General Hospital. A pediatrician and geneticist with three decades of public health experience relating to birth defects, developmental disabilities and child health, Cordero joined the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention as an investigative officer in the birth defects branch. He has served as a deputy director of the National Immunization Program, where he made long-lasting contributions in one of the nation's most successful public health programs and, most recently, the founding director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Cordero's work has been published in national and international journals.

Why he is important:

As a dean of a public health institution, Cordero is sure to impact the training of future epidemiologists, teratologists and physicians. Still, he could have a greater impact on the greater U.S. population in his role as a member of President-elect Barack Obama's transition team. Cordero has offered guidance to the new administration on the selection of the CDC director, an important appointment. The CDC, under the Health and Human services umbrella, investigates disease outbreaks, and researches the cause and prevalence of health problems.

Contact: 787.764.5975

JANE L. DELGADO

PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE NATIONAL, ALLIANCE OF HISPANIC HEALTH

Environmental health

Washington, D.C.

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Who she is:

Delgado, a clinical psychologist, is the author of !Salud! A Latina's Guide to Total Health (HarperCollins Publishers; 1997). She has served in the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Delgado is on several national health boards and has received numerous honors, including being cited in 2007 by People en Espanol as one of the 100 most influential people in the U.S. and Latin America. She also was named a 2008 Health Hero by WebMD Magazine for her leadership in environmental health.

Why she is important:

At the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, she oversees a national staff dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Hispanics, with the Alliance's community-based members reaching more than 15 million Hispanic consumers throughout the U.S. In December, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced her appointment to the Board of Directors of the Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center, a Congressionally mandated non- profit public/private research organization. She becomes the first Latino, male or female, to be appointed to this board. This is a particularly important area of interest because asthma cases have been rising dramatically in the last several decades. Delgado previously served on the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act Advisory Committee and made environmental health a program focus of the Alliance in the 1980s.

Contact: 202.387.5000

VALENTIN FUSTER

DIRECTOR THE CARDIOVASCULAR INSTITUTE AT MOUNT SINAI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

Cardiology

New York, New York

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Who he is:

Born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, Fuster received his medical degree from Barcelona University. He was a professor and consultant at the Mayo Clinic before being named head of cardiology at Mount Sinai. After a four-year stint at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, he returned to Mount Sinai in 1994 as Director of the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular institute. He is the immediate past president of the World Heart Federation, a past president of the American Heart Association and former chairman of the Fellowship Training Directors Program of the American College of Cardiology. He has published more than 700 articles on the subjects of coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis and thrombosis, and he has become the lead editor of two major textbooks on cardiology.

Why he is important:

This eminent physician is the only cardiologist to have received all four major research awards from the four major cardiovascular organizations. Most recently, Fuster received the 2008 Kurt Polzer Cardiovascular Award from the European Academy of Science and Arts and a 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor reflects the outstanding contributions Fuster has made to the medical profession, the greater New York community, the nation and the world.

Contact: 212.241.7911

AIDA L. MAISONET-GIACHELLO

DIRECTOR, MIDWEST LATINO HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER, U. OF ILLINOIS

Medical sociology; Latino health

Chicago, Illinois

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Who she is:

Giachello, who was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, moved to Chicago as a newlywed. She worked as a social worker in a health clinic before getting her Ph.D. in medical sociology from the University of Chicago, a field that would become her life's work. In 1993, she established the Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center, where she has been conducting research on health disparities, training Latino/minority investigators and engaging in policy work emerging from the research findings. Currently, she conducts research and trains professionals and community health workers across the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Central and South America.

Why she is important:

Giachello, who calls herself as an agent of social change, is a fierce advocate for racial and ethnic minorities, women, the poor, and the elderly. Through her research center, she empowers and mobilizes communities in need to address social justice issues. Her research agenda focuses on such issues as quality of care (related to chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular, cancer, and maternal/child health). Giachello has been instrumental in forming numerous health and human services organizations locally, regionally and nationally, such as the Hispanic Health Alliance, the Midwest Hispanic AIDS Coalition, the National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention and Control, the National Latino Institute for Reproductive Health, among others.

Contact: 312.413.1104

JOXEL GARCIA

ASST. SEC. FOR HEALTH, THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Obstetrics; public health

Washington, D.C.

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Who he is:

Garcia, an admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, is a native of Hatillo, Puerto Rico. A trained obstetrician and gynecologist, he received his medical degree from the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. Garcia practiced medicine in Connecticut before being named in 1999 Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, where he led the state's response to an anthrax attack. He also has served as deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization/Regional Office Western Hemisphere for the World Health Organization.

Why he is important:

Garcia, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2008, serves as the Secretary's primary advisor on matters involving the nation's public health and science. He also oversees the U.S. Public Health Service and its Commissioned Corps for the Secretary. Among his duties are disease prevention, health promotion, public health preparedness, women's and minority health, the reduction of health disparities, fight against HIV/AIDS, pandemic influenza planning and vaccine preventable disease. With an annual budget of more than $700 billion, the Department of Health and Human Services employs about 65,000 employees and is the umbrella organization for, among others, the CDC, the FDA, Medicare and Medicaid.

Contact: 202.619.0257

JORGE A. GIROTTI

DIRECTOR, HISPANIC CENTER OF EXCELLENCE AT UICM

Recruitment of Latinos into medical careers

Chicago, Illinois

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Who he is:

Girotti, who holds a doctorate in education, joined the College of Medicine in 1982, where his work centered on preparing students from underrepresented minority backgrounds to enter the medical profession. In 1991, he established the Hispanic Center of Excellence through funding by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Girotti also received a National Institutes of Health grant to design, implement and evaluate a curriculum that focuses on cultural competence for medical students, residents and practicing physicians. He is a member of several boards, including the executive committee of the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools.

Why he is important:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos are the fastest growing minority group in the U.S. and will make up nearly 25 percent of the population by 2050, increasing the demand for culturally competent physicians. Girotti established the Hispanic Center of Excellence to help increase the capacity of the college to admit and graduate a greater number of Latino physicians. His work, which can benefit the medical profession as a whole, includes cultural competence education, development of professionalism/humanism for baccalaureate/MD students, and evaluation of programs to produce physicians for underserved communities.

Contact: 312.996.6920

PEDRO JOSE GREER, JR.

ASSISTANT DEAN UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

Hepatology and gastroenterology

Miami, Florida

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Who he is:

Born in Miami while his Cuban mother was visiting family in the U.S., Greer was raised in Florida and completed his medical studies at Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic, and his postdoctoral studies at the University of Miami. Early in his career, he heeded the call to treat the poor and homeless of Miami and founded a free health clinic with few resources. He has been saving his little piece of the world ever since. His autobiography, Waking up in America (Simon & Schuster) is an account of his early years as a physician.

Why he is important:

For many years, Greet has served as an inspiration to others. Today, almost 100 physicians see 10,000 homeless and indigent patients in the multi-story Camillus Health Concern. The St. John Bosco Clinic in Little Havana sees about 6,000 patients per year, most of them undocumented immigrants. The much-lauded humanitarian has been awarded three presidential awards and two papal awards, as welt as last year's Latino Leaders' Maestro Award for Leadership in professional achievement. He has published more than 25 articles and book chapters ranging from digestive disorders to issues of policy and poverty in America and has been featured on network and cable television.

Contact: 305.856.7333

DOLORES MARIA LEON

ADMINISTRATTOR, A WOMANS PLACE

Internal medicine

Roseville, California

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Who she is:

Leon earned her medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco's School of Medicine. She served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1973 to 1980, where she was a flight surgeon and a commanding officer for the 545th

Dispensary at Camp Humphreys in Korea. She was also chief of the medical clinic at Womack Army Hospital, Fort Bragg and an internist in the medical clinic at Silas B. Hayes Army Medical Hospital in California. Leon then worked in private practice and in emergency medicine until 1992, when she took on her current duties. She is a member of the National Hispanic Medical Association, and a life member of the U.S. Army Flight Surgeon Association. She serves on the California Department of Education's Hispanic and Migrant Advisory Task Forces, and is a member of the department's Child Care and Development Block Grant Advisory Group.

Why she is important:

Capt. Leon's pivotal role as the first woman to become a flight surgeon in the U.S. Army and to serve as a commander in Korea not only solidified her role in military history but also marked her as a shining light for aspiring women to follow. In 1975, she received the "International Woman of the Year--Korea" award and in 1985, she was one of eight women nationwide to receive the "Hispanas in Public Life Award" from the National Network of Hispanic Women.

Contact: 916.782.5512

NORMA MARTINEZ ROGERS

PRESIDENT, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HISPANIC NURSES

Nursing; health policy

San Antonio, Texas

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Who she is:

Martinez Rogers, who grew up in a public housing project in San Antonio, worked as a teacher and case worker before embarking on a 33-year-long nursing career. She received bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing, a master's degree in counseling and more recently a Ph.D. from the University of Texas. Martinez Rogers specialized in psychiatric nursing at several hospitals in San Antonio for 17 years before earning achievement and commendation medals while serving in the Army during Operation Desert Storm. In 2006, she was selected as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the highest honor in the nursing profession. She also serves on a number of local, state and national boards and steering committees related to health care, minority and underserved populations.

Why she is important:

In 1996, Martinez Rogers became a faculty member at the UT Health Science Center, where she initiated various programs for the underserved. In 2008, she was named president of the NAHN, where she leads a 1,200-member organization whose goals are to improve the quality of health care to Hispanic communities, to review and make policy recommendations, to promote the professional needs and goals of Hispanic nurses, and to increase the representation of Hispanics in professional nursing.

Contact: 210.567.2547

ANTONIA C. NOVELLO

VICE PRESIDENT. DISNEYS' CHILDRENS HOSPITAL

Pediatrics; children and women's health issues.

Orlando, Florida

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Who she is:

Novello, a Puerto Rican native, received her medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico's School of Medicine at San Juan. Following private practice in pediatrics, she joined the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, where she served in a variety of positions, including Deputy Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and Coordinator for AIDS Research. Novello was the U.S. Surgeon General from 1990-1993, the first woman and first Hispanic to hold that position. A frequently-called-upon speaker, author, and much-lauded physician, Novello later served as a UNICEF Special Representative and as Commissioner of Health for the State of New York.

Why she is important:

Novello has made many lasting contributions in the medical sphere. She helped draft the Organ Transplantation Procurement Act of 1984 while assigned to the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. As Surgeon General, she made women, children and minorities a priority and took on such issues as underage drinking, smoking, and AIDS. In her new leadership role at Disney Children's Hospital, a state-of-the-art facility for children, Novello will guide the children's health and policy platform, acting as an advocate on the state, national and international level. One of her priorities will be fighting childhood obesity.

Contact: 407.303.9433

GUADALUPE PACHECO

SPECIAL ASSISTANT, OFFICE OF MINORITY HEALTH, U.S.D.H.H.S.

Health policy

Washington, D.C.

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Who he is:

Pacheco, who earned his master's degree in social work from California State University of Fresno, has served the public for more than two decades in state and federal government agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations focusing on health and human services program and policy issues. Through his mid-level and senior-level federal positions, he has provided oversight of staffing and training requirements for various important projects. He also has designed and implemented service delivery programs with budgets exceeding $20 million for diverse and underserved populations. Pacheco serves or has served on various boards, including the board of directors of the Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc., the advisory committee of the National Center on Cultural Competence, the advisory committee of the National Hispanic Medical Association's Resident Leadership Program, and the Advisory Committee of the Hablamos Juntos initiative.

Why he is important:

In his current role in the Office of Minority Health, he manages multiple projects that address bilingual/bicultural health issues of racial and ethnic minority communities. His duties include staffing and coordinating his department's Hispanic Agenda for Action Initiative, whose goal is to enhance service delivery to Hispanic Americans. He also is responsible for coordinating cultural competency activities. Pacheco is a generous conduit of knowledge to those seeking his expertise.

Contact: 240.453.6174

AMELIE G. RAMIREZ

DIRECTOR, THE INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH PROMOTION RESEARCH AT UT SAN ANTONIO

Health promotion

San Antonio, Texas

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Who she is:

Ramirez, who is from Laredo, Texas, received her Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Texas at Houston. Before joining the UT Health Science Center in 2006, she worked at the Baylor College of Medicine Cancer Center as director of the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities in Cancer. She also served as deputy director of the department of medicine's Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Research Center.

Why she is important:

As well as being in a position to mentor young Latinos who want to enter the medical profession, Ramirez is a prolific researcher who targets topics that have a broad impact on our community. Among her research: a five-year study on childhood obesity through the newly created national Latino Childhood Obesity Research Network. She also is a principal investigator in the National Cancer Institute's Redes En Accion, whose mission is to develop a national cancer network that engages in cancer research, as well as training and awareness activities to reduce the disparate impact of cancer on this nation's 41 million Latinos. She is also a co-investigator of a CDC-funded project to increase cancer prevention and awareness among Hispanics.

Contact: 210.562.6500

ELENA RIOS

PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE NATIONAL HISPANIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

Latino health issues

Washington, D.C.

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Who she is:

This Stanford University graduate received her medical degree at UCLA's School of Medicine. Prior to her current position, which she accepted in 1998, Rios was the CEO of Hispanic-Serving Health Professions School, Inc. She also has served as the Advisor for Regional and Minority Women's Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was a policy researcher for the California's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Rios has received several honors, including awards from the Department of Health and Human Services and being named to the Minority Alumni Hall of Fame of Stanford University. She currently serves on the Homeland Security Panel on Health Care, the HHS' Office of Minority Health Visionary Panel, and the National Institutes of Health's Maternal and Child Health initiative Steering Committee.

Why she is important:

As president of the NHMA, she leads a non-profit association with a membership of 36,000 Hispanic physicians. The group's mission is to improve the health of Hispanics and other underserved populations. NHMA provides policymakers and health-care providers with information and support in strengthening health service delivery to Hispanic communities across the nation. NHMA is also working to increase the number of Hispanics in the medical profession, to increase cultural competence, and to eliminate health disparities faced by Latinos.

Contact: 202.628.5895

HILDA SOLIS

U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN, SECRETARY OF LABOR NOMINEE

Legislation

Washington, D.C

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Who she is:

The daughter of Nicaraguan and Mexican parents, Soils earned her master's degree from the University of Southern California before beginning her career in public service. She served eight years in the California State Legislature, and since 2000, the JFK Profile in Courage Award recipient has represented the 32nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Her legislative victories in the health arena include: banning pesticide testing on pregnant women and children; helping to ensure healthcare access for Latinos suffering from HIV/AIDS and promoting domestic violence awareness, particularly in communities of color.

Why she is important:

Solis is a legislator who has taken to heart the issues faced by Latinos seeking medical care and has elevated them to the lawmaking arena. The chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Health Task Force, a member of the Democratic Caucus Health and Medicare Task Force, and a member of the Congressional Universal Health Care Task Force, Solis is a co-author of comprehensive legislation to expand access to health insurance, increase research and prevention of chronic diseases that are having devastating impacts on minority communities and provide culturally and linguistically appropriate health care services. She has also introduced legislation to fund non-traditional programs for underserved communities. A strong Medicaid supporter, she is also concerned about the diseases that disproportionately affect women.

Contact: 202.225.5464

MARIA L. SOTO-GREENE

VICE DEAN, THE UNIVERSITY OF MEDICINE AND DENTISTRY OF NEW JERSEY

Internal medicine

Newark, New Jersey

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Who she is:

Soto-Greene received her medical degree from UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, where she has been on staff since 1983. She is currently a tenured professor in the Department of Medicine and the director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence, whose mission is to increase the number of Hispanic physicians in the U.S. Since 2005, she has also been the vice dean. Her honors include the Ingrid Brekke Nelson Award for Excellence in Medical Technology, the Ciba Geigy Award for Community Service and several awards from the Boricua Latino Health Organization at the New Jersey Medical School. In 1996, she was chosen by the Medical Herald as one of the top 20 most influential people involved with Hispanic medical issues.

Why she is important:

Soto-Greene is an expert on cultural competency for health care professionals and she has also studied extensively education models that impact on the success of under-represented minorities in the health professions. Both as director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence and as president of the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools, Inc., a Washington, D.C-based member organization that represents 25 schools, she tackles those health disparities head-on through education, research, advocacy and awareness. The group also is focusing on the development of Hispanic faculty and researchers.

Contact: 973.972.9151

CIRO V. SUMAYA

CHAIRMAN, THE NATIONAL HISPANIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

Pediatrics; public health issues; health policy

Station, Texas

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Who he is:

The Brownsville, Texas, native received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He served in the U.S. Air Force and earned a master's degree in public health from Tulane University before embarking on an academic medical career. While at the UT Health Science Center, San Antonio, he helped develop the Area Health Education Center of South Texas, whose mission is to increase that impoverished region's number of health professions, and he also helped establish the South Texas Health Research Center. At Texas A&M University, he was the founding dean of the School of Rural Public Health, from 1997 until just recently. Under his leadership, the school grew to offer three master degree and three doctoral degree programs, a regional campus along the U.S. Mexico border and extramural research activities involving several centers of excellence with over $28 million in awards. In 2006, the school moved into its new 100,000-square-foot, three-building complex.

Why he is important:

Sumaya, who continues to be a professor and chairman of the school's Health Policy and Management, is a leading physician/scientist in children's viral infections and expert on public health issues. His focus has been and continues to be on expanding health programs impacting minorities and underserved populations and he has served on several boards as well as federal initiatives to that end.

Contact: 979.862.4445
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Title Annotation:Leaders in Health and Medicine
Author:Aguirre, Mary Helen
Publication:Latino Leaders
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2009
Words:5005
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