Valerie Romero-Leggott, M.D. has been appointed to the newly created position of Vice President of the Health Sciences Center (HSC) Office of Diversity, according to Executive Vice President for Health Sciences Paul Roth, M.D.

The position incorporates work Dr. Romeo Leggott-Romero has been doing as Associate Dean for the School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity and expands it a HSC-wide scope.

"Dr. Romero-Leggott has a long history of successful leadership in addressing the issues of under-representation among our student and faculty,” said Roth. “In an effort to support President Schmidly's strong commitment to make diversity a major priority of the University, and after consultation with the deans of Nursing and Pharmacy, I have created this new program at the Health Sciences Center. Dr. Romero-Leggott was the obvious choice to lead this re-emphasized effort."

The Office of Diversity promotes the racial, ethnic, geographic, and socio-economic diversity in the HSC and develops a variety of opportunities to address key issues in diversity. Dr. Romero-Leggott has extensive experience in teaching cultural competence, developing educational pipelines for disadvantaged youth, and working with minority women in medicine. Throughout her career, she has forged important bridges between the medical school and New Mexico community groups.

“The success of our programs lies in the strong community partnerships that we have – and are creating. Throughout the state we have outstanding students who could really go anywhere for their education. Yet many of them don’t know what opportunities are out there or how to access training as a healthcare provider,” said Romero-Leggott. “New Mexico has a rich cultural history that we can tap into in order to train healthcare professionals who will want to stay here after their education.

“As a female, ethnic minority, and native New Mexican, I choose to link diversity with academic excellence,” said Dr. Romero-Leggott. “Since college and medical school, my primary interests have always been in serving diverse populations, education, community based teaching, work in cultural competence and diversity, and adolescent medicine.

Romero-Leggott is an associate professor within the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She also retains her title of associate dean of the School of Medicine Office of Diversity.

She is a co-founder of Minority Women in Medicine and Health Sciences, a group with a mission to provide a confidential and supportive environment for discussion of issues relevant to women in medicine and the health sciences, in particular minority women.

Among her current leadership position, Dr. Romero-Leggott is chair-elect of the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Student Affairs-Minority Affairs Section for the Western Region, is a Board Member of the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools, Member of the Building Diversity in Medicine Working Group of the AAMC, Co-Chair of the School of Medicine’s Admissions Committee, Director of School of Medicine Combined BA/MD Degree Program, Chair of the Identity, Culture, and Diversity Task Force, Co-Founder and member of the Minority Women in Medicine Group, Board Member of the NM Hispanic Medical Association, and Member and co-chair of the Secretary of Higher Education’s Task Force on Cultural Competence.

She received her B.A. degree at Harvard and her MD degree from UNM.
Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322