Dr. Cecilia Rosales, assistant dean and professor of the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health – Phoenix, is an innovator, trailblazer and public health leader. She is one of Az Business magazine’s Most Influential Women in Arizona for 2016.
Dr. Rosales has more than 25 years of experience in the areas of program development and implementation, public health administration and policy, and health disparities research related to the Southwest and border region. Her comprehensive understanding of the region has resulted in a unique contribution to the body of knowledge associated with border and binational health in general, and has strengthened community-based participatory research and collaboration in the Southwest. The U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, the Arizona-Mexico Commission, the Border Governors and the state health departments in Arizona and Sonora have benefited from her innovative and creative strategies for strengthening the public-health infrastructure in this region.
When asked to share her best advice for women to help them succeed in business, Dr. Rosales said she only can speak to her experience as a Latina academic, although her advice would cut across cultures and ethnicity.
“Academia demands hard work and long hours to achieve excellence; therefore, it requires that you first be true to yourself; allow yourself to feel that you’ve earned to be where you are; believe in yourself; do not internalize how others view you; find the appropriate balance between work and family, and be a good role model and mentor for your students and other faculty.”
Dr. Rosales is collaborating with El Colegio de Sonora and the Secretaria de Salud de Sonora on a National Institutes of Health R01 grant. The research project aims to test the effectiveness of certain tools and practices to decrease cardiovascular disease and complications from diabetes in the diabetic population of Mexico.
In addition, Dr. Rosales was awarded a grant by the Mexico Section of the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission to develop and implement a primary prevention mobile unit to provide access to health services and promote healthy lifestyles to the Latino population in Maricopa County.
Dr. Rosales convened and works with a team of interprofessional students and faculty members from the UA Health Sciences in Phoenix to provide outreach services to residents who lack access to health services or are underinsured. Only four other cities received similar grants (Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and New York).
She also is a member of the Academic Technical Council of the Binational Border Health Network. The network is comprised of experts from 10 border states to improve response to the challenges posed by public health conditions on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Dr. Rosales has a deep understanding of the context in which the public health infrastructure can be strengthened at the local, state, national and binational level to address health disparities in the region. This insight is combined with her years of experience, along with her commitment to the elimination of health disparities, encouraging and inspiring students to pursue health sciences majors and mentoring them once in their academic programs.
She has developed a strong academic and community network created through her years of research, practice and service. Dr. Rosales strives to bring together and work with a multidisciplinary and binational cadre of interested parties, including academics, non-profit and governmental officials.
The Most Influential Women of 2016 will be honored at a reception on Thursday, Aug. 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.