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Cancer Disparities

News from the Office of Minority Health (OMH) - October 24, 2013

News from the Office of Minority Health

Provided by the Office of Minority Health Resource Center
October 24, 2013


Image removed by sender. NPA - National Partnership for Action

From J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director, Office of Minority Health

Dear Colleagues and Partners:

I am pleased to announce the addition of two dynamic and distinguished leaders to the Office of Minority Health (OMH). Mayra Alvarez, MHA will serve as the Associate Director of OMH, and Rashida Dorsey, PhD, MPH will serve as the Director of the Division of Policy and Data.

Image removed by sender. Mayra Alvarez, MHA As Associate Director, Mayra Alvarez’s portfolio will comprise priority OMH initiatives including the Affordable Care Act, community health workers and promotores de salud, and language access, and she will serve as the Project Director of OMH’s Center for Linguistic and Cultural Competency in Health Care. Previously, Mayra was Director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform at HHS, where she had primary oversight for the coordinated and timely implementation of the public health, prevention and workforce policy provisions of the Affordable Care Act. She also worked with agencies across the department to communicate the impact of the law on public health programs and the long-term implications for prevention.

Mayra has worked to prioritize diversity both within HHS and with partner organizations, such as working with HHS leadership on efforts to improve the diversity of the HHS workforce and the creation of a new Diversity and Inclusion Council. As a member of the HHS Health Disparities Council, Mayra has provided valuable input regarding health reform and its impact on minority communities, and has been instrumental in drafting and implementing the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, the first ever department-wide disparities strategic plan.

Prior to joining the Office of Health Reform, Mayra served as Legislative Assistant for Senator Dick Durbin, the Majority Whip of the U.S. Senate, and as Legislative Assistant for then-Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis, the then-chair of the Health Task Force for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. She began her work in Washington, D.C., as a David A. Winston Health Policy Fellow in the office of then-Senator Barack Obama. Mayra holds a Master of Healthcare Administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her undergraduate education at the University of California at Berkeley.

Image removed by sender. Rashida Dorsey, PhD, MPHAs Director of the Division of Policy and Data, Rashida Dorsey will oversee data policy and initiatives in several of OMH’s priority areas, including the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, Affordable Care Act provisions addressing health disparities and health equity, and the White House Initiatives on Minority-Serving Institutions and Educational Excellence. Prior to joining OMH, Rashida was a Data and Statistical Policy Analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at HHS. There, she helped to lead the development of the ACA Section 4302 demographic data collection standards and associated implementation guidance.

As ASPE’s health disparities lead and data systems expert, Rashida served on the HHS Health Disparities Council and ASPE Strategic Planning Team, where she provided assistance with strategic plan development and progress tracking within the department. She also helped to develop several ASPE-led policy evaluation studies and provided evaluation technical expertise within the department.

Prior to joining ASPE, Rashida served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. As a principal investigator, she developed and conducted many analytic research projects and published manuscripts on several health disparities and chronic disease topics. Rashida has a Master of Public Health from Saint Louis University and a Doctor of Philosophy in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Please join me in welcoming and congratulating Mayra and Rashida. Their expertise and longstanding commitment to health equity will be critical to advancing OMH’s mission. I look forward to sharing more good news and updates with you in the weeks and months to come.

J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health
Director, Office of Minority Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services