Dr. Lebron is an Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Miami. Her research focus lies at the intersection of racial/ethnic health disparities in obesity and maternal and child health. She holds a PhD in Prevention Science and Community Health and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Miami. She began in health research 10 years ago as a promotora de salud at the Miami Healthy Heart Initiative for Hispanics with diabetes and then continued to work in several community research liaison positions. Projects she currently leads range from family-based interventions to cannabis use in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. She is especially passionate about developing prevention interventions to give Latina mothers and their babies tools for the healthiest start to life.
Mary L. Mitsdarffer, Phd, MPH
Dr. Mary L. Mitsdarffer is an assistant professor in the Biden School with primary research responsibilities in the Center for Community Research and Service.She began in population health 10 years ago as a community health practitioner in Camden, New Jersey at The Food Trust. She holds a PhD in Childhood Studies from Rutgers University and a Master’s of Public Health from St. Joseph's University. As an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Mitsdarffer uses a mix of applied quantitative, qualitative and archival methods in her work. Her research focuses on the intersection of public and institutional policies and children's social determinants of health and resultant structural inequities and health disparities.
Immediate Past President
Dr. Aparicio is a medical doctor who received his training in Honduras and later went on to complete his Master of Public Health in International Health at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
He has over 20 years of experience working in healthcare at the local and international levels, and is the co-developer of a New York Department of Public Health State-wide program for Real-time Monitoring of Antibiotic Use– an initiative that has reduced antibiotic costs in hospitals while containing resistance, improving patient safety, and strengthening the quality of service.
In addition to being a former Chairperson of the NGO Health Committee, an ECOSOC and DPI member organization with consultative status to the United Nations, Dr. Aparicio has been a speaker and advocate for eHealth at various international conferences in New York, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. He is currently based in New York City.
Jessica is the Treasurer of The Latino Caucus for Public Health. She manages a National sexual health At-Home Testing Program at National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD). Prior to joining NCSD, Jessica oversaw the daily operations of a walk-in HIV/STI sexual health clinic at Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center in Chicago. Jessica earned a Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Community Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2020, Jessica became a published contributing author for Today’s Inspired Young Latina Vol II book series where she hopes her story will empower and inspire fellow Latinas to pursue a career in public health.
Vanessa Lopez is an analyst at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego where she works on population health and access to pediatric specialty care in San Diego, CA. She received her MAS in Health Policy and Law from University of California, San Diego and California Western School of Law. She recently graduated from Keck School of Medicine of University Southern California with her MPH in Global Health. Her academic research has focused significantly on migrant health and how policies impact their access to healthcare services. She has written on how repatriation and reintegration policies fail at providing accessible healthcare access through these procedures. A native of San Diego living miles from the international border, she has a special interest in public health issues and experiences of the people who cross the border in this region. She is specifically interested in the intersection of public health and social justice.
Dr. Concha’s is an assistant professor in public health at The University of Texas at El Paso. Her research is aimed at understanding the intersection between sociocultural factors, psychological distress, and diabetes risk in marginalized ethnic and racial groups, particularly among Hispanic populations. She is the Scientific co-chair of the Latino Caucus and has been a member for 7 years. Her Hispanic background and the substantial burden of type 2 diabetes in this population has driven her interest in investigating the sources of variation in diabetes risk both across social groups and within Hispanic subpopulations (e.g. by nationality, migration history, and geography). Dr. Concha’s interdisciplinary research uses rigorous quantitative and qualitative research to inform the development of culturally relevant diabetes intervention programs. She currently directs The Diabetes Garage, a program for men with diabetes, in effort to reduce diabetes education access disparities for men and the Hispanic/Latino population.
Kelly Umaña, MPH, CCHW, is a public health professional with over seven years of experience in public, private, government, and non-profit settings. She has worked across multiple public health topics with expertise in implementing community-based programs and community engagement, focusing on health equity among Latino communities. Kelly has worked in maternal and child health, neuroscience research, community health center value-based care programs, grassroots community health worker initiatives, and migrant and preventative health. Kelly received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health Science and Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice and Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the first in her family to obtain higher education. Kelly is also a Certified Community Health Worker through the Maryland Department of Health and was recently appointed to the Maryland Department of Health Community Health Worker Advisory Committee. Kelly is a proud daughter of Salvadoran immigrants who, through them, she found a passion for public health.
Samantha Rivera Joseph, MPH, PhD is an anti-violence, anti-racism, and trauma-focused public health researcher. She received her PhD from Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health and currently works for the city of Philadelphia as the Senior Research Officer. She has worked for community-based non-profit organizations in New York City, where she’s originally from, and Philadelphia in various capacities, and is passionate about helping close the gaps in health disparities among Latinx. Her research focus is on community resilience and the protective factors that support Philadelphia communities with high levels of violence and resulting chronic trauma.
Elizabeth Rojo is a public health professional with over 10 years of experience working in global health in research areas that include HIV, Emergency Medicine, Global Health Education, Minority Aging as well as Covid-19 pandemic workforce preparedness in Cultural Humility and Vaccine Communications. Her educational background is in International Relations (MSc) from IE School of International Relations in Madrid where her thesis focused on women’s issues in Ghana per the Millennium Development Goals. She has special research interest in infectious diseases and implementation science and has worked internationally developing and growing projects in places like Mexico, Tanzania, Ghana, and across the US, particularly in black and brown communities. She is a doctoral student at Duke’s Department of Population Health Sciences. Elizabeth is also the author of “La casa de Vicky”, a Spanish picture book for children K-2 that celebrates traditions and family time from her native Mexico.
A proficient disaster and infectious scientist with over 5+ years focusing on improving our ability to respond, specifically to health and public health emergencies. I have collaborated across many academic disciplines, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. I am well-versed in coordinating, spearheading, and executing multifaceted research programs that will facilitate science and education to push policy and funding changes. In addition to disaster work, I have extensive knowledge of public health principles and practices of infectious and non-communicable diseases. All of my experiences have led to my advanced skills in research methods, research protocols, data management, didactic instruction, and composing scientific papers. My research interests are in disaster health preparedness and the epidemiology of infectious diseases to improve our national and international preparedness and response to any emergency.