America Bracho, Founder of Latino Health Access

America Bracho, Latino Health Access

Dr. America Bracho is the Executive Director of Latino Health Access, a center for health promotion and disease prevention located in Santa Ana, California.

This Center was created under her leadership to assist with the multiple health needs of Latinos in Orange County. Latino Health Access facilitates mechanisms of empowerment for the Latino community and uses participatory approaches to community health education.

The programs train community health workers as leaders of wellness and change. Dr. Bracho worked as a physician in her native Venezuela for several years, after which she came to the U.S. to obtain a Master’s Degree in Public Health at the University of Michigan. Her public health specialty is Health Education and Health Behavior.

After completing her Master’s program Dr. Bracho created and directed the AIDS Project for Latino Family Services in Detroit, Michigan, integrating HIV education with programs addressing the need for jobs, parenting classes, women health services, drug treatment, among others. She has been a trainer, presenter and consultant for numerous government and private agencies including: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

The National Council of La Raza, the University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Rochester, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Maryland, Wayne State University, University of California, Riverside, John Hopkins University, University of California, San Diego, The American Academy of Family Physicians, The American Medical Student Association, Kaiser Permanente, Health Net, LA Care, The United States – Mexico Border Health Commission, Texas Department of Health, Los Angeles Department of Health, Orange County Department of Health, Alameda Department of Health, Joslin Diabetes Center, The National Conference of Lay Advisors and The National Conference of Community Outreach Workers, among others.

Her work has made her to be recognized at the local, regional and national levels as an expert in the area of Latino health issues, health education, minority women, cultural competency, community organizing, diabetes education and HIV.

Dr. Bracho is a current member of the Board of Trustees for Casey Family Programs and a former trustee of the Marguerite Casey Foundation. She serves on the Institute of Medicine Round Table on Health Disparities.

She has served on the Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Local Initiative Program and in the Kellogg Foundation Task Force on Health Disparities . Dr. Bracho has been a consultant for the Pan American Health Organization and a valuable faculty member for several international courses in Latin America, Australia and Europe. Dr. Bracho has served Spanish-speaking media as host of a daily radio health talk show and as a television talk show health expert. She has also been a local newspaper columnist and serves as a media source for health information.

She has received several awards for her contributions including those from: The California Leadership Award, James Irvine Foundation 2008; Doctor of Humane Letters, honorary degree from the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, May 2007; Southern California Public Health Association’s Milton Roemer Award, April 2005; Visionary of the Year Award, Coastline Community College Foundation, June 2004; Sischy Scholar, Universityof Rochester, School of Medicine. 2003; Orange County Hispanic Women of the Year Award, Santa Ana LULAC, November 2003; Visionary Award, National Latina Alliance, September 2003; Unsung Heroines Award, PBS’ “To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbe” and the Mitsubishi Motors USA Foundation, March 2003; Orange County’s United Way Hispanic Influential Award, April 2001; The Business Lifestyle Magazine, OC Metro, Hot 25, November 2000, and the American Diabetes Association Women of Valor Award, June 2000.

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