Garcia selected for National Hispanic Medical Association fellowship

Latina physician will champion national policies to reduce health disparities

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

April 02, 2013

garcia-mariaMaria Garcia, MD, MPH, has been named a member of the National Hispanic Medical Association Leadership (NHMA) Fellowship Class of 2013. Established in 1994 with the mission to empower Hispanic physicians to improve the health of Hispanic populations, NHMA represents 45,000 licensed Hispanic physicians in the United States.

“I am passionate about Hispanic/Latino health issues and how addressing health policies geared toward improving the overall health of this population is critical for the nation,” said Dr. Garcia (at right), associate professor of medicine and family medicine & community health. “Understanding how we can help in identifying the needs and areas of improvement to accommodate the expected growth of our community is imperative for the continued political and economic growth of this nation.”

Raised in Puerto Rico before continuing her education in the United States, Garcia served a large, multicultural adult primary care practice for a number of years. She has since focused her career on education as associate program director for the UMMS Internal Medicine Residency, and shaping health care policy as medical director for Clinical Pharmacy Services, a program of Commonwealth Medicine, the Medical School’s public health consulting division, while continuing to provide clinical care as a hospitalist. She was recently appointed assistant dean of diversity in the Office of Student Affairs.

As a NHMA leadership fellow, Garcia will convene with colleagues from around the country in Washington, D.C., for activities including a White House briefing; leadership training to impact national decision-making and policies for health care services for Hispanics; and participation in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, where they will attend congressional sessions and committee hearings and meet with members of the executive branch and national health policy organizations.

“The NHMA Leadership Fellowship will provide me with the tools needed to participate at the national level in shaping governmental policies,” Garcia noted. “Furthermore, it will empower me to become actively involved, in these times of health care changes, to explore ways to reshape our system so that it delivers health care to all individuals with equity and fairness."

Related link on UMassMedNow:

Latina physicians champion Hispanic health issue