The ¡Salud, familia! Advisory Board is comprised of leading health and nutrition experts who are paving the way for meaningful solutions to health-related issues affecting the Latino community.
Dr. Noel Chávez is an Associate Professor of the Community Health Sciences and Co-Director of the Maternal and Child Health Program, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Her research centers on the health and nutrition status of Latinos and other underrepresented groups, particularly that of children and families. A related interest is the role of culture in nutrition and health and the changes in health and nutritional status that occur with migration, as well as the effects of these changes on health services use. Several of her current research projects relate to Latino child health, including a study of maternal environmental and dietary influences on subsequent development of asthma in their children, a comprehensive assessment of health services use, family health and nutrition attitudes and behaviors in Latino families with young children. Dr. Chávez also has a research stream in the area of Community Food Security, and is working on data analysis from the UIC portion of a large project to assess the food system in the Chicago area. One newer project involves assessing the availability of fruits and vegetables in selected Illinois WIC vendors as preparation for new USDA regulations to authorize fruit and vegetable purchases for WIC clients. She is also an investigator on a NIH funded study to evaluate cultural and ethnic differences in survey responses in four ethnic groups.
Dr. George Flores is a Senior Program Manager for The California Endowment, the state’s largest health foundation. He develops and manages program grants aimed at policy and systems change to improve community environments and health. Dr. Flores oversees the Endowment’s multi-site programs to prevent childhood obesity, including Healthy Eating, Active Communities (HEAC), Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP), and the CA Convergence. His work also supports public health departments and community groups partnering to improve the social and environmental factors that shape health outcomes. Previously, Dr. Flores served as Health Officer and Director of Public Health in San Diego County and in Sonoma County; Clinical Assistant Professor for the UCSF Family Practice Residency Program; Director, Project HOPE in Guatemala; and Deputy Health Officer in Santa Barbara County. He is an alumnus of the University of Utah College of Medicine, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Kennedy School of Government, and the Public Health Leadership Institute. And He is a member of the Institute of Medicine committee that published Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, and is also a member of the Institute of Medicine committee that published The Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century. Dr. Flores has held leadership positions in local, state, and national organizations, including the National Association of County and City Health Officials, California Conference of Local Health Officers, Sonoma County Medical Association, and is a founding board member of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California.
Dr. David Hayes-Bautista is Professor of Medicine; Director for the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture; and Director of the UCLA/Drew Center of Excellence for Minority Medical Education David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is internationally recognized for his research on the culture and health of Latinos, focusing on the dynamics and processes of the health status of that population. One important outcome of his growing body of work, and a significant contribution to the field of medicine, was his establishment of the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture (CESLAC). CESLAC houses Dr. Hayes-Bautista’s research and provides a significant resource for training medical students, health care providers and public health officials to manage the care of Latino patients effectively, efficiently and economically. The energetic and inspirational professor teaches a section of the Doctoring course and one on Health in the Latino Population for our medical students. In addition to those responsibilities, Dr. Hayes-Bautista serves on a number of important University, national, regional, local and international bodies. He has an important voice in the national and statewide dialogue concerning the provision and access to health care. Dr. Hayes-Bautista is also the faculty advisor for the UCLA/Drew chapter of the Latino Medical Student Association, the pre-medical group Chicanos/Latinos for Community Medicine (CCM) and he is a senior advisor to the California Latino Medical Association.
Dr. Lucia Kaiser is currently an Associate Specialist in the University of California-Davis, Department of Nutrition. Dr. Kaiser’s responsibilities include developing nutrition educationmaterials and evaluating programs offered through the University of California Cooperative Extension and presenting nutrition topics at workshops and conferences throughout the state. Her research interests include: examining the impact of acculturation and food insecurity on the child-parent feeding relationship among Latinos, developing tools to evaluate nutrition education, and diabetes prevention. Dr. Kaiser received her B.S. in Biology, from the College of William and Mary. She completed her MS and PhD in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California-Davis. She is also a Registered Dietitian; completing a dietetic internship at the Clinical Research Center at Stanford University Hospital.
Dr. Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez is an Associate Professor at McGill University, with previous experience in nutrition and food security research at the Mexican National Institute of Public Health (1996-1997) and the Nutrition Department at the University of California , Davis (1998-2003). During the last 10 years, Dr. Melgar-Quiñonez has been working on food insecurity research with Latino immigrants, setting up the basis for subsequent studies in rural communities in several Latin American countries. His research lead to further validation studies on adapted household food security instruments in a wide range of countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ecuador, Ghana, and Guatemala, among others. In the United States, his research focuses on food insecurity and health related outcomes in high-risk and minority populations, especially in Latino immigrants and food insecure groups. His work includes research with secondary survey data, which he uses to assess the association between food insecurity and nutrition and health outcomes. In addition, Dr. Melgar-Quiñonez conducts validation studies on national food security scales applied within Demographic and Health Surveys in Latin American countries.
Dr. Jason Mendoza is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington and a researcher at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. His research portfolio includes obesity and cancer prevention in children with a focus on minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. He has lead the design, implementation, and evaluation of socially progressive community and school-based behavioral programs aimed at (1) reducing sedentary activities or (2) improving physical activity and injury prevention in children. While at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, he was the principal investigator on a school-based intervention to reduce sedentary activities, such as watching television and videos, among Hispanic children in Head Start. He was also the principal investigator on an evaluation of a “walking school bus” program, which consisted of a group of children led to and from school by several responsible adults..
Dr. Norma Olvera is an Associate Professor for the University of Houston Department of Health and Human Performance. She has extensive experience involves studying determinants of childhood obesity among Latino and African American youth. Her research interests have focused on examining the influence of parents, culture, and environmental factors associated with children’s eating and physical activity practices. She has developed the award winning program BOUNCE which includes nutrition and physical activity programs for Latino and African American families. She has received numerous awards and federal and foundation funding. And was one of twenty recipients chosen nationwide by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to conduct research on reducing and preventing obesity among Latino youths.
Dr. Rafael Pérez-Escamilla is a Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, and Director of the Office of Community Health, Yale School of Public Health. He is also the Director of the Connecticut NIH EXPORT Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos at the University of Connecticut. Currently leading or co-leading four nutrition capacity building and translational research programs in Connecticut, Ghana, and Brazil in the fields of nutrition-related health disparities, breastfeeding, HIV, and household food security, he has been a senior scientific advisor to nutrition projects funded by prestigious international agencies. Dr. Pérez-Escamilla has published 100 peer-reviewed research articles and over 200 conference abstracts, book chapters, and technical reports. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines Committee, and he is currently serving on the USDA/DHHS 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. A member of the board of trustees of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), he also serves on the advisory boards of several Latino health and nutrition centers and programs. He has been an ad-hoc grant proposal reviewer to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Pérez- Escamilla a past or current editorial board member of the Journal of Nutrition, the Journal of Human Lactation, and the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition.
Roberto P. Treviño, M.D. founded the South Alamo Medical Group for the practice of medicine in poor and underserved areas. Dissatisfied with medical outcomes, he founded the Social and Health Research Center to design and evaluate early age obesity and type 2 diabetes school health prevention programs. He is the principal investigator of an efficacy trial (1 R01 DK 59213-01), an effectiveness trial (1 R18 DK073094-01), and a multi-center trial (5 U01 DK0730994-01). Randomized controlled studies have shown that students in the treatment arm, when compared with students in the control arm, have decreased blood glucose and obesity rates and increased fitness levels and dietary fiber intake.
Gail Woodward-Lopez, MPH, RD is Associate Director of the UC Berkeley Center for Weight & Health. She has nearly 20 years of experience developing, implementing and evaluating public health programs. The focus of her current work is the evaluation of school and community based programs to prevent overweight among children. She serves on the evaluation teams for 2 multi-sector, place-based obesity prevention initiatives funded by The California Endowment and Kaiser Permanente and leads the technical assistance team for the Northern California Health Eating Active Living program. She is also lead evaluator on various statewide and multi-state projects to evaluate school nutrition legislation and wellness policies. She is bilingual, has worked extensively with the Latino community in California and Latin America, and has served as a consultant for several international agencies including UNICEF in Nicaragua, the Arizona-Mexico Border Health Foundation in Tucson and PATH in Mexico. She has served on numerous obesity-related advisory groups, frequently speaks on the topic, and recently published a book on the dietary and developmental determinants of obesity.
Mrs. Zeida Estrada is a Certified Community Health Worker/Promotora De Salud through the State of Texas. She is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Community Health Workers National Network Association and has been an active member since August 2003. Ms. Estrada also serves as a Member Ex Officio of the Texas Gulf Coast CHW Regional Network and member of the Advisory Committee. At the age of 14, she became a volunteer/missionary of ADRA/OFASA, an international Phylantropic Organization. A Community Health Worker/Promotora De Salud since 1988, she started by serving as a volunteer for The Centros Integrados de Rehabilitación TELETON (children with special needs). A volunteer and co-founder of the Spring Branch Adventist Indigent Clinic, she devotes her time, efforts and life to promoting access to care and culturally appropriate health education.