Dr. Amelie Ramirez named to CDC Foundation Board of Directors

Amelie Ramirez, DrPH

Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, chair and professor of the Department of Population Health Sciences, has been elected to a five-year term on the board of directors for the CDC Foundation.

Established by Congress as an independent, nonprofit organization, the CDC Foundation is the sole entity authorized by Congress to mobilize philanthropic partners and private-sector resources to support the critical health protection mission of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC Foundation has facilitated over 1,700 partnerships, launched more than 1,000 programs, and raised over $900 million to help the CDC improve health around the world.

Dr. Ramirez joins Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, vice president for Global Health at Emory University, as a new board member.

“As the CDC Foundation continues to play an integral role in addressing domestic and global health challenges, including the current COVID-19 response, we are honored to have both Dr. Koplan and Dr. Ramirez join our board of directors,” said Dr. Judith Monroe, president and chief executive officer of the CDC Foundation. “These two accomplished public health experts offer unique knowledge and skills that will complement our existing board and provide additional counsel during these challenging times.”

View the full 13-member board.

Dr. Ramirez and her health equity research

Dr. Ramirez is an internationally recognized health disparities researcher at UT Health San Antonio, where she is professor and chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences, director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research, and associate director of cancer outreach and engagement at the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson.

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

She currently directs the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Salud America! national multimedia program to empower its vast network of 300,000 community leaders to drive healthy policy and system changes to promote health equity and support for Latino families.

Dr. Ramirez also conducts breast cancer disparities research on quality of life and survivorship issues, and directs Quitxt, a bilingual tobacco-cessation service for young Latino adults using mobile-phone text messages, funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

She has trained/mentored more than 250 Latinos in health fields. She also leads the National Cancer Institute-funded Éxito! training program to help master’s-level students and professionals pursue a doctoral degree and research career focused on Latino cancer.

Dr. Ramirez and her service, recognitions

She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, a member of the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, a Susan G. Komen Scholar, and is on the prize jury for the Fries Prize for Improving Health Award and the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award. In Texas, she is on the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council and is board president of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST).

Additional recognition includes:

2011: White House Champion of Change
2014: APHA Everett M. Rogers Public Health Communication Award
2018: Icons in Healthcare Award from CentroMed
2019: Lifetime Achievement Award in Health Equity from the Society of Behavioral Medicine
2019: Bluebonnet Award of the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
2020: Leadership of the 2nd Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos conference
2020: Women in Cancer Research Council of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

Dr. Ramirez earned MPH and DrPH degrees from the UT Health Science Center at the Houston School of Public Health.

She is a native of Laredo.

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