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Dr. Elena V. Rios

President & CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association

Elena Rios

Dr. Rios serves as President & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, (NHMA), representing 50,000 Hispanic physicians in the United States. The mission of the organization is to improve the health of Hispanics. Dr. Rios also serves as President of NHMA’s National Hispanic Health Foundation to direct educational and research activities.

Dr. Rios also serves on Better Medicare Alliance and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda Boards of Directors, Centene Health Policy Advisory Committee, Centene Health Equity Committee, and the U.S. Veterans Administration National Academic Affiliations Council. Dr. Rios has lectured, published articles and has received several leadership awards, including awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Congressional Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American Caucuses, American Public Health Association Latino Caucus, Association of Hispanic Health Executives, Minority Health Month, Inc., Hispanic Magazine, Verizon’s First Pollin Community Service Award, and Amerigroup. Dr. Rios was appointed to the Minority Alumni Hall of Fame of Stanford University in October, 2006, as a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine in 2007, the Institute of Medicine Global Forum for Health Professions Education in 2014, as a Fellow in 2016 and as a Master in 2022 of the American College of Physicians, as a member of the Society of Medical Administrators in 2017, and recognized as Washingtonian's Top 500 policy influencers in Washington, DC in 2022 and 2023.

Prior to her current positions, Dr. Rios served as the Advisor for Regional and Minority Women’s Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health from November 1994 to October 1998. In 1998-2004, Dr. Rios served as Executive Director, Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools. In 1993, Dr. Rios was appointed to the National Health Care Reform Task Force as Coordinator of Outreach Groups for the White House. From 1992-94, Dr. Rios worked for the State of California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development as a policy researcher.

Dr. Rios has also served as President, Chicano/Latino Medical Association of California, Founder of the National Network of Latin American Medical Students, member of the California Department of Health Services Cultural Competency Task Force, the Stanford Alumni Association, Women’s Policy Inc., Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield Board of Directors, Nurse Family Partnerships, Campaign Against Obesity, and Partnership for Prevention Boards of Directors, PacifiCare-UnitedHealthcare California Investment Committee, CDC Health Disparities Committee, Cancer Treatment Centers for America Hispanic Advisory Council, Morehouse Health Equity Committee, Office of Research on Women’s Health Advisory Committee, NIH, US Department of Health and Human Services, ASU Health Futures Council and the AMA’s Disparities Commission and Minority Affairs Consortium Steering Committees.

Dr. Rios earned her BA in Human Biology/Public Administration at Stanford University in 1977, MSPH at the UCLA School of Public Health in 1980, MD at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1987, and completed her Internal Medicine residency at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose and the White Memorial Medical Center in East Los Angeles in 1990, and her NRSA Primary Care Research Fellowship at UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine in 1992. Rios has attained honorary degrees in Science from Lehman College in 2010 and in Law from Wayne State University in 2023.

Panel Information

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

11:45 AM EST

Health & Obesity Session "Addressing Health Disparities in the Latino Community" Exploring Social Determinants of Health, Focusing on Obesity.

The social determinants of health significantly impact the Latino community, particularly concerning obesity, diabetes, and type II diabetes. These conditions are influenced by a complex interplay of social, economic, and environmental factors that shape health outcomes among Latinos.

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