National Hispanic Health Foundation honors health system leader, student

Posted June 24, 2009

Elena Rios, Claire Pomeroy and Assemblyman Ed Hernandez
Claire Pomeroy visits with National Hispanic Health Foundation President Elena Rios, left, and California Assemblyman Ed Hernandez at the Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Gala. Pomeroy is vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences at UC Davis and the dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine.

In recognition of her efforts to improve the health of Hispanics and other underserved populations, the National Hispanic Health Foundation has honored Claire Pomeroy, UC Davis vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences and dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine, with the foundation's 2009 Hispanic Health Leadership Award.

UC Davis medical student Ana Melgar also received a scholarship at the foundation's second-annual Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Gala, held earlier this year in Sacramento.

The National Hispanic Health Foundation aims to improve the health of Hispanics and the underserved, eliminate health disparities by supporting Hispanic researchers and Hispanic health-services research, and increase workforce diversity.

Improving the health of underserved populations

The foundation presents the Hispanic Health Leadership Award to “outstanding individuals who have served in significant leadership roles and have improved the health of Hispanics and other underserved populations.”

Pomeroy said the award reflects the commitment at all levels of UC Davis Health System to embrace diversity and close gaps in access to care. She congratulated the foundation and its partners for their work to improve health in the Hispanic community and beyond.

"Our organizations are united in our shared missions of reducing the unconscionable disparities that characterize our national health-care system today, to improving the health of underserved populations, and increasing diversity throughout the health-care workforce," Pomeroy said.

Clinica Tepati

Primary care services for the Latino community

Tepati ClinicTepati is the Aztec word for “healer,” an appropriate symbol for a student effort that incorporates cultural identity with a genuine desire to serve. Clinica Tepati — one of UC Davis Health System’s student-run clinics — opened in 1974 to address the health-care needs of Sacramento’s underserved Spanish-speaking populations. Tepati provides care to more than a thousand patients of all ages each year. By encouraging involvement from students traditionally underrepresented in health-care professions, the clinic also serves as an important foundation for those seeking careers in medicine and health care.

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A far-reaching commitment to reducing disparities

Last year, Hispanic Business magazine ranked UC Davis School of Medicine among the top 10 medical schools in the nation for Hispanic students, based on enrollment, faculty, student services, retention and reputation.

During Pomeroy's tenure, UC Davis has established a Center for Reducing Health Disparities to tackle inequities in health and health-care access through a comprehensive program of research, education and community outreach. It also established a new Office of Diversity at UC Davis School of Medicine to attract and retain diverse faculty and ensure that rosters of medical students and physicians reflect California's demographics.

The health system's telehealth network also links UC Davis physicians with smaller, often-underserved communities around the state that lack access to specialty health care. UC Davis School of Medicine's Rural-PRIME program trains physicians to use telemedicine and other tools to become leaders and advocates for improving rural health. UC Davis student-run clinics have provided free medical care to underserved communities in the Sacramento region for three decades.

The National Hispanic Health Foundation is an arm of the National Hispanic Medical Association, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., representing Hispanic physicians across the U.S. The foundation is affiliated with New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, which is a center of academic excellence for public service, including health policy and management, leadership and health services research.