Press Release: Latino Caucus for Public Health to Honor Public Health Leaders for Their Contributions to the Health and Wellness of Latinos

October 30, 2016
Contact: José Pietro Aparicio/Debora B. Freitas Lopez

Denver, CO (November 30, 2015) - The Latino Caucus for Public Health (LCPH) honored public health leaders during their Annual Awards Reception which took place on Sunday, October 30, 2016 at in the Mile High Ballroom 2C at the Colorado Convention Center . The Awards Reception, which was sponsored by The California Endowment, JHM Consultation, Pietro Aparicio, MD, Perfecto Munoz, PhD, and Carricchi Lopez and Associates, among others, was led by Master of Ceremony Jose Pietro Aparicio, MD, MPH, who is president of LCPH, and Sen. Irene Aguilar, MD as Keynote Speaker. The Awards Reception is held annually to recognize individuals and organizations that have demonstrated superior commitment and contribution toward improving the health status of the Latino community. The LCPH presented the awards before an audience of public health practitioners from throughout the country and world who were attending the 144th American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting.

The award winners are:

Gloria Miranda, BA, Program Manager, WellMed Charitable Foundation: Ms. Miranda will receive the 2016 Distinguished Nationally Known Health Professional Award in recognition of her contributions to improving access to health services and care practices of Latino communities. Gloria currently serves as program manager for the WellMed Charitable Foundation in San Antonio, TX, where she is tasked with development and oversight of the bilingual program, counseling family caregivers of loved ones suffering chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes prevalent in the Latino community. She has over 17 years of experience working with high risk families in the Latino community. Her Latino community work began in 1999, serving as a Community Service Officer for the Brownsville Police Department. After graduation, she became the education and training coordinator for a domestic violence (DV) program, providing training to professionals and educating the community on the dangers of DV and sexual assault. Ms. Miranda continued her work at the Hispanic Active Relationships Project, as part of President Bush’s Healthy Marriage Initiative, where she lobbied for changes in state laws and policy improvements for families affected by DV. Ms. Miranda has an extensive background serving her community on various boards and committees, including her most recent role on the Alzheimer’s Association Hispanic Outreach Committee and Terra Genesis, a program to empower impoverished Latino families. In addition to her roles in the communities she serves and her position, Ms. Miranda is a candidate for the MBA in Healthcare Program at George Washington University.

Carlos Cuevas, MPH, MPA, Senior Policy Advisor to the Director, New York State Medicaid: Mr. Cuevas will receive the 2016 Outstanding New Community Public Health Professional Award in recognition for his contribution to the practice and profession of health service delivery and disease prevention. His accomplishments and contributions have elevated health promotion, education, and services in Latino communities, and made an impact on access to health services and care practices of Latinos in New York. Mr. Cuevas oversees the development and financing of various health care initiatives pertaining to New York State’s $60 billion Medicaid Program that provides health care coverage to over six million needy New Yorkers. He also leads the policy development of the State’s Value-Based Purchasing Roadmap to transform its Medicaid payment system. Most recently, Carlos was the policy lead of the New York State Healthcare SWAT team enacted by Governor Andrew Cuomo to assist the island of Puerto Rico in developing a proposal to transform its Medicaid Program. Carlos has been named a 40 under 40 Rising Star in New York State Government by City & State Magazine and the Health Policy Leader of the Year by the Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives. He also was the inaugural recipient of young alumni awards from both Columbia’s Mailman School and the Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University.

Servicios de la Raza: Servicios de la Raza will receive the 2016 Meritorious Community Based Health Organization Award in recognition for its impact on national health policy or implementation of programs that have significantly benefited Latino health status at the local level. The mission of Servicios de La Raza is to provide and advocate for culturally responsive, essential human services and opportunities. Since its founding 44 years ago, Servicios de La Raza has continued to respond to the unmet needs of the most vulnerable members of the Denver community through programs for youth, victims of domestic violence, and individuals living with HIV/AIDS, public benefits acquisition, and basic emergency services for people experiencing crisis situations. The organization provides a wide range of services for its clients, including: kinship intervention and support services, intensive case management, mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, health care access and enrollment services, youth education and leadership opportunities, employment support, and re-entry services for adult parolees. Servicios’ services and resources are accessible in a manner that encourages and enables each person who walks through its doors to overcome the myriad barriers of poverty.

Charlene Barrientos Ortiz, Project Manager, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health: Ms. Barrientos Ortiz will receive the 2016 Henry Montes President’s Service Award for her commitment to using her professional skillset and passion to addressing health disparities and improving health equity. She is a Colorado native with a background in nonprofit, social justice activism, and public health. She has worked in the areas of HIV prevention and education and STI research, health disparities, community based participatory research, and community engagement. In her many roles at the Colorado School of Public Health, Ms. Barrientos Ortiz works on evaluation and research activities, including as a team member in the statewide Marijuana Evaluation Project and as the Community Research Liaison with Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute where she has served as an advocate and “gatekeeper” for the Latino/a, Indigenous, and other marginalized communities. She has also served on many community-based organizations and boards, including as a founding board member of the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, where she continues to be a volunteer; as a founding and active member of the Cesar Chavez Peace and Justice Committee of Denver; and, as a board member of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. She also serves as a board member for Servicios de La Raza/Services for the People and is a founding board member of Taking Neighborhood Health to Heart.

Cristina Leos, Third Year Doctoral Student, Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health: Ms. Leos will receive the 2016 Student Paper Award for her research on adolescent youth development, with particular emphasis on Latino youth mental and sexual health outcomes. She is interested in using innovative approaches from diverse fields to better understand Latino adolescent health and reduce health disparities among Latino youth living on the U.S.-Mexico border. She is currently working on an Office of Adolescent Health-funded project to develop and implement an mHealth sexual health intervention for middle school students.

For years, the Latino Caucus has recognized and awarded individuals and organizations who have dedicated their lives to advancing public health and health care of Latinos and Latinas in the Americas. Additional information regarding the Latino Caucus for Public Health activities during the 144th APHA Annual Meeting is available at:

“This event is a tremendous opportunity to celebrate our current and future leaders’ successes and their dedication to our communities,” said José Pietro Aparicio, president of the Latino Caucus for Public Health.

About the Latino Caucus for Public Health: The Latino Caucus’ mission is to represent and advocate for the health interests of the Latino community, both within and outside APHA while providing a leadership opportunity for young professionals to share their experience with others in the field of public health. For more information regarding the Latino Caucus, please visit:


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