Valerie Romero-Leggott, M.D., director of Cultural and Ethnic Programs at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, has been appointed to a three-year term as a member of the U. S. Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Minority Health (ACMH).   

The ACMH is responsible for providing advice and counsel to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt on public health program activities that impact racial and ethnic minority populations.   "Our goal is to eliminate health disparities and improve health outcomes for all Americans," Secretary Leavitt said in announcing the members of the group. "The expertise this group brings will go a long way toward helping us meet that goal."

The Committee met for the first time in Washington, D.C. during the last week of April.   The group's agenda included presentations on the status of racial and ethnic health disparities, research challenges and opportunities, improving service delivery to better address racial and ethnic disparities, and the role of prevention in improving health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities

"Many challenges exist today for underrepresented populations and I believe that understanding diversity and cultural issues are integral parts of achieving better health outcomes for our nation," said Romero-Leggott.  "I am honored to serve on this committee. I believe it is important represent New Mexico on a national level since we are such a unique and diverse population."

"Dr. Romero-Leggott has dedicated her career to advancing cultural competency within the health care profession.  She takes pride in her responsibilities for mentoring underrepresented faculty, spearheading the development of a culturally competent curriculum in the School of Medicine, and serving as chair of the Diversity/Cultural Competence Task Force," said Leavitt in announcing her appointment to the group.

Romero-Leggott received a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard and her M.D. from the UNM School of Medicine.  She has held a number of leadership positions in the UNM Health Sciences Center and has recently been involved in collaborative efforts that focus on educational pipeline and cultural competence issues with the School of Medicine, School of Law, Southwest Hispanic Research Institute, and several community-based organizations.

 


Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322