Dennis Rivera, President of SEIU Healthcare, to Address National Hispanic Health Associations at 10th Anniversary Healthcare Diversity Awards Gala

Jun 17, 2010, 05:00 ET from Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives

NEW YORK, June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dennis Rivera, president of SEIU Healthcare, one of the nation's most powerful unions, and a key player in President Obama's drive to develop health reform for the United States, will be the keynote speaker at the 10th Anniversary Healthcare Diversity Awards Gala of the Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives ( and the National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Health ( on Friday, June 18, 2010 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

This year's event, with the theme of Mentoring the Next Generation of Healthcare Leaders, brings together the presidents of major national Hispanic health associations as well as business, political and hospital leaders to focus on the need for more Latino leaders in the healthcare system.  Investing in the nation's health care workforce to increase diversity and reduce health care disparities is one of the objectives of the health reform bill passed last year.

"We have been focused on this goal for the last ten years," said George A. Zeppenfeldt-Cestero, president of AHHE.  "We have made some important strides but more needs to be done.  We are happy to be working with all of the leaders of the major Hispanic health associations as well as our corporate partners towards achieving this goal."

Each year, the Association recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the effort.  Among the honorees this year is Kenneth E. Raske, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), as the Diversity Leader of the Year.  In 2004, when the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF/LATINOJustice) issued "Condition Critical: Absence of Latinos Among Policymakers in NYC's Voluntary Hospitals," the GNYHA, realizing that more had to be done to fill the gap, took a unique and groundbreaking approach by establishing the Task Force on Diversity in Health Care Leadership.  Raske was the major force behind that initiative.

Also being honored are Ruben Dario Taborda, Vice President, Medical Device Procurement/Supplier Diversity for Johnson & Johnson as Supplier Diversity Executive of the Year; Paloma Hernandez, President and Chief Executive Officer, Urban Health Plan as Community Health Executive of the Year; Beatriz M. Manettta, President and Chief Executive Officer for Argent Associates as Health Information Technology Leader of the Year; Alvin Strelnick, MD, Director of he Hispanic Center of Excellence at Albert Einstein College of Medicine as the Academic Leader of the Year; Honorable Felix Ortiz, Chair, Committee on Mental Health for the New York State Assembly as Legislator of the Year; Honorable Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York Start Comptroller as Government Leader of the Year; and, Madelyn Lugo, Chair, Board of Directors for the 2010 National Puerto Rican Day Parade for the Cultural Diversity Award of the Year.

In attendance, and partners with AHHE and the NHCCH  are the leading national Hispanic health association presidents, including Elena V. Rios, MD, President of the National Hispanic Medical Association; Ms. Carmen Collado, CSW, President, the Association of Hispanic Mental Health Professionals; Pedro Aponte, MD, President, the Dominican Medical Association; Norma Martinez Rogers, PhD, RN, FAAN, President, National Association of Hispanic Nurses; Samuel Arce, MD, President, Spanish American Medical Dental Society of NY, Inc., Dr. Yolanda Bonta, Executive Director of the Hispanic Dental Association and Luis A. Vazquez, Chairman, National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Health. Elected and Appointed officials representing city, state and the federal government, including Dr. Jaime Torres, Region II Director, for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will be present to be interviewed on health care reform.

Major financial support for this event, which supports the work of AHHE and NCCH, is provided by National Partner, Aetna, and Regional Partners, NewYork Presbyterian, North Shore-LIJ, Healthfirst, Healthplex, TIAA-CREF, Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Johnson & Johnson and Inlanet Digital Marketing. AHHE has taken the lead in developing social media initiatives to respond to the needs of Latino health care professionals. It is in the process of creating a national virtual online mentoring program as part of its broader social media campaign.

For more information on AHHE, NCCH or the 10th Anniversary Diversity in Health Care Awards gala, call 212-877-1615 or visit

SOURCE Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives