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UA’s Dr. Cecilia Rosales Named Interim Associate Dean of Community Engagement and Outreach

Cecilia Rosales, MD, MS

Cecilia Rosales, MD, MS

Cecilia Rosales, MD, MS, associate dean of Phoenix Programs and professor of public health at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, has been appointed interim associate dean of community engagement and outreach programs. 

Dr. Rosales replaces Jill de Zapien, who served as associate dean of community programs for 16 years before retiring in 2018. Ms. de Zapien has been involved in community based public health interventions, policies and research in Arizona and throughout the Southwest and Mexico for more than 30 years. 

In her new role, Dr. Rosales will provide mentoring and support for UA Zuckerman College of Public Health faculty members, staff, students and prospective students to develop and engage in community-based programs, service-learning activities and research. In addition, she will communicate the importance of community-public health partnerships to a diverse set of partners, including community members, academic affiliates, government agencies and both public and private organizations with a focus on health equity and social justice. 

Dr. Rosales has more than 28 years of experience in program development and implementation, public health administration and policy and health disparities research related to the Southwest and border region. Her 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.

“Dr. Rosales has demonstrated outstanding expertise and scholarship in the areas of program development and implementation, public health administration and policy and health disparities research related to the Southwest and border region,” said Iman Hakim, MD, PhD, MPH, dean of the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health. “Her vast experience with border and rural communities will make this transition period seamless.”

Dr. Rosales serves as the private sector co-chair of the Health Services Committee of the Arizona-Mexico Commission. The United States-Mexico Border Health Commission, the Arizona-Mexico Commission, 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.

“As interim associate dean of community engagement and outreach, I will continue to support the integration of community and public health into all missions of the university, the UA Health Sciences and the Zuckerman College of Public Health,” Dr. Rosales said. “Community engagement and outreach enhances the quality of life for residents throughout Arizona, the border region, tribal nations and globally. I have big shoes to fill following the retirement of my colleague Jill de Zapien.”

Dr. Rosales is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Ventanillas de Salud (Health Windows), a free program designed to help individuals and families identify health services in the United States and Mexico. The program received the Ohtli Award from the Mexican Government in 2018 for improving the quality of life for low-income and immigrant Mexican populations in the United States by improving access to basic preventive health services.

Since 2016, the Mobile Health Unit program, an outgrowth of Ventanillas de Salud, has been providing free preventive health services to the uninsured and underinsured. Today, the program has 11 Mobile Health Units in Tucson, Phoenix, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando and Raleigh. Dr. Rosales is director of the program in Arizona and works with a team of interprofessional students and faculty members from the UA Health Sciences in Phoenix and Tucson to provide outreach services.

Dr. Rosales 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.-México border.

Dr. Rosales is collaborating with El Colegio de Sonora and the Secretaria de Salud de Sonora on a National Institutes of Health research grant to test the effectiveness of certain tools and practices to decrease cardiovascular disease and complications from diabetes in Mexico with a plan to scale up the intervention to the national level.

About the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
Established in 2000, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona Health Sciences is the first nationally accredited college of public health in the Southwest. Today the college remains the only accredited college of public health in the state of Arizona with campuses in Tucson and Phoenix. The college enrolls more than 1,100 students per year across degree programs at the bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctoral levels. Through research, education and community engagement, the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health continues to find solutions to public health problems in Arizona, the Southwest and globally. For more information: publichealth.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter)

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