Hispanic Heritage Awareness Month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. During this time, we are proud to honor some of the amazing work Hispanic and Latino Americans are doing in the field of asthma, allergies, COVID-19 and related conditions.
Each of our honorees are passionate about educating and empowering the Hispanic and Latino community. They make an impact by…
- raising awareness of asthma, allergies and COVID-19;
- improving access to care for all people;
- reducing ongoing disparities in Hispanic communities.
Hispanic people are twice as likely as non-Hispanic white people to visit the ER for asthma. Hispanic children are 40 percent more likely to die from the condition.
Alex Colon Moya is an asthma patient and patient advisor for research studies. He served on the Patient Advisory Group for Allergy & Asthma Network’s Unidos Hablemos virtual conference series addressing health disparities in the Hispanic/Latino community. Alex also served as a patient partner for the PREPARE Study. The goal of the study was to find ways to improve health outcomes for Black and Hispanic/Latino patients. Alex lives in Puerto Rico where the asthma rate is among the highest in the world.
Dorothy “Dot” Delarosa is best known as a pastor at Prosperity in Christ Church in San Antonio. She is also a dedicated patient advocate for people with asthma and COVID-19. She served on the Patient Advisory Group for Allergy & Asthma Network’s Unidos Hablemos virtual conference series addressing health disparities in the Hispanic/Latino community. Dot is a lung transplant recipient. She founded the San Antonio Pulmonary Support Group in 2009. Dot serves as ambassador with the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and leads the organization’s support group.
Marcela Gieminiani is passionate about providing support and services to Hispanic and Latino families. A longtime journalist and communications specialist from Chile, she currently serves as Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Allergy & Asthma Network. In her time with the Network, Marcela has expanded the organization’s Hispanic outreach programs. She has worked with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expand asthma education in African American and Hispanic communities. Marcela was previously editor and publications manager at the Pan American Health Organization, where she developed health-related resources for community programs in several Latin American countries.
Erika Gonzalez-Reyes, MD, is the founder and CEO of South Texas Allergy & Asthma Medical Professionals in San Antonio. She served as Chief of the Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology division at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. Dr. Gonzalez-Reyes has worked closely with Allergy & Asthma Network through the years. She hosted booths at community events in San Antonio to educate people about asthma and anaphylaxis. Dr. Gonzalez-Reyes participated in the “Impact of Social Determinants on the Burden of Asthma and Eczema” research study with the Network. The study found that health literacy was often a barrier to asthma and eczema care in Black and Hispanic/Latino communities.
Vivian Hernandez-Trujillo, MD, is director of the Division of Allergy & Immunology and Fellowship Training Program Director of Allergy & Immunology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida. She is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Herbert Wertheim School of Medicine at Florida International University and founder of Allergy and Immunology Care Center of South Florida. Dr. Hernandez-Trujillo served as Project Lead for Allergy & Asthma Network’s Unidos Hablemos virtual conference series addressing asthma and COVID-19 disparities in the Hispanic/Latino community. She is Past Chair of the Anaphylaxis Committee at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). Dr. Hernandez-Trujillo remains actively involved in research studies for food allergy, anaphylaxis and primary immunodeficiency.
Margie Lorenzi is an experienced community care worker who specializes in helping at-risk populations, including people with asthma. An asthma patient herself, she served a Healthcare Patient and Family Educator/Lead Case Manager at Children’s Hospital Boston. Margie focuses on reducing healthcare disparities and improving health literacy. She served on the Patient Advisory Group for Allergy & Asthma Network’s Unidos Hablemos virtual conference series addressing asthma and COVID-19 in the Hispanic/Latino community.
Ruthie Marker, MSRC, RRT, is a respiratory therapist who recently joined Allergy & Asthma Network to assist with the Not One More Life Trusted Messengers Telehealth program. She will serve as a bilingual asthma coach on telehealth platforms. Ruthie is also a member of the Network’s Community Asthma & COPD Experts (CACE) program. She is dedicated to contributing new ideas and solutions that help improve quality of care. Ruthie practices respiratory therapy in the adult ICU at Baylor Scott & White in McKinney, Texas.
Angel Melendez, MSRC, RRT, NPS, is a respiratory therapist with experience working in the Pediatric ICU and Adult ICU at an HCA Healthcare El Paso, Texas. He developed asthma in early childhood and spent many days in the hospital. His experiences have guided a deep commitment to improving asthma education and reducing barriers to care. He says this is especially needed for people who speak and read more fluently in Spanish. Angel is a patient advisor for Allergy & Asthma Network. He served on the Patient Advisory Group for the Unidos Hablemos virtual conference series addressing health disparities in the Hispanic/Latino community. He also moderates the organization’s Facebook group for Unidos Hablemos.