WASHINGTON- As part of a summit here to study health issues among Hispanic women, U.S. Senator Pete Domenici this week presented Rear Admiral Cristina V. Beato, M.D., formerly with the UNM Health Sciences Center , with a "Lifetime Achievement in Health" award.

Beato is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health for the Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Domenici, who initially recommended Beato to the Bush administration in 2001, presented Beato the award at a National Health Summit hosted by the National Latina Health Network (NLHN).

"I am very proud of my friend, Dr. Cristina Beato, and what she has accomplished. She has dedicated her entire career to working to improve the health and well being of individuals, families and communities. Cristina has been a tireless advocate in the battle to eliminate health disparities among the poor and uninsured," Domenici said.

"Her contributions as a medical doctor, a community leader, and a public servant have improved our society and inspired others," he said.

The "Latina Leaders for Health" summit gathered public, private and direct service providers of healthcare from across the country to develop recommendations for advancing public policies to improve Hispanic health care and quality of life. (For more information, go to http://www.nlhn.net/)

Before joining the Bush administration, Beato was Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Medical Director at the UNM Health Sciences Center . She earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology from UNM and a Doctor of Medicine from the UNM School of Medicine in 1984. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322