Amelie Ramirez Wins Health Equity Lifetime Achievement Award


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Congratulations to Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, on being selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Health Equity Special Interest Group of the Society of Behavioral Medicine!

This honor recognizes substantial scholarly contributions to health equity research in behavioral medicine over a career.

Ramirez will be formally recognized March 8, 2019, during a Health Equity Special Interest Group gathering at the 40th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine in Washington, D.C.

“I’m very thankful for this award from such a prestigious group as the Society of Behavioral Medicine, which is a recognition of our ongoing work to promote Latino health equity across the nation,” Ramirez said.

Dr. Ramirez & Her Work to Improve Latino Health Equity

For more than 30 years, Ramirez gained experience developing research and communication models to improve Latino health locally and nationally.

Her studies have increased cancer screening and survivorship. Specifically, patient navigation reduced time to treatment and diagnosis for Latina breast cancer patients. This helped save their lives.

Ramirez currently directs the Salud America! national multimedia program. The program fuels its network of 200,000 community and school leaders to drive healthy policy and system changes. These initiatives promote health equity and support for Latino families.

Quitxt, a smartphone-based quit smoking service for young adults in South Texas, is another project Ramirez directs.

She has trained/mentored 250+ Latinos in health fields and leads Éxito! training. The education and leadership program helps master’s-level students and professionals pursue a doctoral degree and cancer research career.

Ramirez is a Susan G. Komen Scholar and is on the scientific advisory board for LIVESTRONG. In San Antonio, Ramirez is on the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council. Her recognitions include: 2007 election to the National Academy of Medicine; 2011 White House Champion of Change; 2014 APHA Everett M. Rogers Public Health Communication Award; and 2018 Icons in Healthcare Award. She also is Board President of the The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST).

Ramirez is a native of Laredo, Texas. She earned M.P.H. and Dr.P.H. degrees from UT Health Science Center at the Houston School of Public Health.

Dr. Ramirez and Her Call to Action for Health Equity

Ramirez urges people to take action for health equity for Latinos and all families!

She advises using the Salud America! program’s helpful Action Packs that contain tools to get you on the road toward healthier schools:

  • Add a Water Bottle Fountain at Your School! This gives kids much-needed access to safe drinking water throughout the school day. They help keep kids hydrated and healthy while saving families money from buying bottled water.
  • Start a School Food Pantry! A School Food Pantry accepts, stores, and redistributes donated and leftover food to students.
  • Make Your School Trauma-Sensitive! This free guide coaches school personnel to talk to decision-makers, build a support team, craft a system to identify and support traumatized students, and more!

Ramirez also suggests making a public comment to save the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is facing cuts that could affect 750,000 Latinos and other people.


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