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Genesis Rios: Go-Getter Takes on Latino Public Health


Genesis Rios Exito 2018 participant

With the examples of her hard-working mother and her brother who overcame leukemia as a child, Genesis Rios is a go-getter to the max. Rios dives head-first into tough challenges and new experiences. That includes: applying to programs like Americorps; teaching healthier lifestyles and disease prevention at a free clinic; and examining the health impact and educational potential of peer social networks among Latinos. Rios, born in Moca, Puerto Rico, and raised in Chicago, is currently working on her master’s degree in public health in community health sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Because of her work in underserved Latino communities, Rios became interested in reducing health disparities and barriers in access to healthcare that U.S. Latinos face. To ...

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Veronica Landa: Following a Dream to Prevent Cancer Health Disparities


LandaVeronica Exito 2018 participant

With boundless encouragement from her mother, Veronica Landa displays bold determination and curiosity to explore and follow her dreams. Landa is already turning dreams into reality in her work as a research coordinator for clinical trials and as a specialist to refine family health services programs in California. Originally from San Antonio, Landa attended Stanford University and earned an MPH from the UT School of Public Health. Her work has centered on health disparities, with particular interest in Latinos and cancer. She also was the research coordinator for a minority clinical trials project at UT School of Public Health. Landa knows the critical value of prevention when it comes to cancer health disparities. To further her experience and education, Landa applied for ...

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Fernando Juarez: Overcoming the Odds to Promote Health


GarciaIsela Exito 2018 participant

Like Han Solo, never tell Fernando Juarez the odds. Juarez grew up playing the Loteria, but real life isn’t a game of chance for him. He’s certain he will overcome any challenge and achieve success in anything he puts his mind to. He is one who will take on any challenge, no matter how daunting, using a fantastic blend of his mother’s compassion and his father’s stubbornness. Juarez is taking on the challenge of studying for his master’s degree in health and kinesiology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. And he puts into practice what he learns. When Jaurez participates in class courses and research projects, he implements his findings to his life. As a health advocate, Juarez aims to inspire and teach people how to make lifestyle modifications to improve ...

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Isela Garcia: Passion for Improving Health on the Border


Garcia Isela exito participant 2018

Isela Garcia has a passion for dancing folklorico. But she has an even stronger passion for solving health issues that affect the Latino population on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. As an undergraduate, Garcia worked on border health research projects in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. As a first-year MPH candidate at New Mexico State University, she is committed to research in Latino health disparities. She currently works on cancer education programs for the border community, and continues to gain experience in cancer education and prevention programs. To further her experience and education, Garcia applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from the ...

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Alejandra Ochoa: Chocolate, French, and Public Health


OchoaAlejandra Exito 2018 participant

A writer once said: “Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food.” That is spot-on for Alejandra Ochoa. Because, just as chocolate fits well in any recipe, Ochoa is adaptable and driven to help people get healthy. Ochoa, who was born in Mexico City and immigrated to Phoenix at age 6, earned her bachelor’s degree in French with a minor in public health at the University of Arizona in 2014. She moved to Normandy, France, to participate in a teaching assistant program. She moved to Tucson, Ariz., to pursue a master’s degree in public health in 2017. Ochoa is continually learning and already is helping our youngest population as an injury prevention specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. To further her experience and education, Ochoa ...

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Liliana Martinez: Determined to Improve Latino Health


MartinezLiliana Exito 2018 participant

Determination is what Liliana Martinez is all about. She found a model for determination in her brother who, despite spending time incarcerated, went back to school and became a successful teacher. Martinez proved her own determination when, as a native of Mexico who immigrated with her family to the United States at age 6, she worked with undocumented students to pursue passage of the DREAM Act and mentored high school students to pursue higher education. And, perhaps most impressively, she will be passing her determination on to the next generation, too, as she is resolute in wanting to teach her first child the indigenous Nahuatl language spoken by her Mexican grandmother. Martinez is a current graduate student in the master’s degree of public health program at the ...

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Cynthia Cervantes: Community Health Education for Latinos


CervantesCynthia exito participant 2018

Just like the beautiful handmade Mexican huipil shirt she proudly wore during her undergrad years at UCLA, Cynthia Cervantes has become the embodiment of resilience. Cervantes is a first-generation student currently working on her master’s degree of public health with an emphasis on community health education. She’s gained valuable experiences through working as a health advocate for an HIV risk reduction program and as a research coordinator for a stroke study. She also has participating in grassroots efforts that showed her the differences Latino communities face to access care. To further her experience and education, Cervantes applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San ...

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Sebastian Garcia-Medina: Leaving Behind Violence for Higher Education


GarciaMSebastian Exito 2018 participant

If something doesn’t work, Sebastian Garcia-Medina finds an alternative way to make it work. It’s this kind of resourcefulness that he learned from his father, who helped his family leave behind violence in Bogota, Columbia, and move to the U.S. in search of higher education. In Wisconsin, as a first-generation immigrant, Garcia-Medina found his passion in the medical sciences and aiding the underserved populations. After taking a year to work at the Mayo Clinic, Garcia-Medina is now continuing his path toward medicine and science by pursuing a master’s degree in Cleveland, Ohio. To further his experience and education, Garcia-Medina applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT ...

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Amelie Ramirez Elected Board President of Top Texas Health Agency


Amelie Ramirez komen scholar

Congratulations to Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio, on being named President of the Board of Directors for The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST)! TAMEST is a premier scientific organization that unites the brightest scientists and researchers across Texas. Ramirez, elected to a two-year term, will help supervise all programs and affairs. She also will serve as representative of the organization. “I look forward to helping guide TAMEST's efforts to make Texas a premier destination for world-class research in medicine, engineering, science and technology," Ramirez said. "Together we will work to improve the lives of our citizens and grow the economy." Dr. Ramirez & Her Work to Improve Latino ...

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