National Hispanic Health Foundation Honors Leaders and Awards its Annual Scholarships to Outstanding Health Professional Students

Nov 30, 2011, 11:00 ET from National Hispanic Health Foundation

The NHHF Brings Together New York Area Health Industry to Celebrate Service to the Community

NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Health professionals are critically needed, especially, those who are committed to serving the health needs of the growing Hispanic communities in the U.S.  The National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF) established a unique scholarship program targeted to leadership and service to underserved populations with our major partners, United Health Foundation, AstraZeneca, Empire BlueCross BlueShield, Maximus, Pfizer, Novo Nordisk, Emblem Health, Johnson & Johnson, Latino Commission on Aids, Einstein College of Medicine, Together Rx Access and UNIVISION.

In addition, the Foundation honors outstanding role models who have transformed their government agencies, medical schools, research, community agencies, and media to advance health care to underserved communities. Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, chairman,  NY State Assembly Puerto Rican Task Force will serve as keynote speaker at the Scholarship Gala to be held at the NY Marriott Marquis on Dec. 1st with reception beginning at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m.

Honorees are Commissioner Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, NY State Office of Alcoholism and substance Abuse Services; Dean Robert Golberg, DO, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine; Marilyn Aguirre-Molina, Ed.D., director, CUNY Institute of Health Equity; James Knickman, Ph.D., president, NY State Health Foundation; Rosa Gil, DSW, president & CEO, Comunilife; and James Avila, national correspondent, ABC TV.

"As the Obama Administration continues to unfold health care reform services in our nation", stated Dr. Elena Rios, president of the National Hispanic Health Foundation, "we are doing our part to recognize the pioneers for Hispanic health solutions as well as giving scholarships to the next generation of health professionals needed for our communities as they seek more health care services."

Hispanics face the greatest health disparities according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Health Disparities Report - due to lack of health insurance and limited culturally competent providers and language services in health care facilities. Hispanics are more than twice as likely as non-Hispanic Whites to face diabetes and obesity leading to less quality of life, more sick days at work, higher health care expenses and dependency on caregiving from family members. Hispanics have the most to gain from the new health care reform programs and will become the largest market for health insurance and preventive services in the near future.

Ten students from medical, dental, nursing, public health and policy schools of New York and New Jersey will be honored with scholarships by the National Hispanic Health Foundation.

The scholarships are based on outstanding academic record, leadership experience and commitment to service for Hispanic communities. Over 100 applicants were reviewed by the presidents of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, the Hispanic Dental Association, the Latino Caucus of the American Public Health Association, the National Hispanic Medical Association and the Dean, NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public service.  NHHF has awarded over 100 health students nearly $400,000 dollars since 2005.

The 2011 Scholarship Winners are:

Jose Castillo, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine

Maria Origel, University of Medicine and Dentistry NJ - New Jersey Medical School

David Martin, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Francisco Narvaez, SUNY Downstate College of Medicine

Daniela Romero, New York University School of Medicine

Lydia Acevedo, Nursing at the State University of New Jersey, Rutgers

Michele Crespo-Fierro, RN, MS, MPH, Nursing, CUNY Graduate Center

Elizabeth Fuentes, CUNY School of Public Health

Sonia Gonzalez, CUNY School of Public Health

Sagrario Gonzalez-Perez, Baruch College Policy School

The National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF) , located at the New York Academy of Medicine, is the foundation of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) and affiliated with the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.  For more information on the Scholarship Program go to

SOURCE National Hispanic Health Foundation