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September 25, 2015 AT 5:00 pm

Dr. Aida Luz Giachello – National Hispanic American Heritage Month 2015 – 9/15 to 10/2015

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Dr. Aida Luz Giachello – Time Aida Luz Giachello, PhD, founded theMidwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center, where she conducts health disparities research with a cross-cultural focus.

Latinos are three times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to suffer from potentially life-threatening diabetes. They are far more likely to be plagued by asthma and hypertension too.

While politicians may pay lip service to the injustice and dangers of such disparities, Dr. Giachello has rolled up her sleeves to take these scourges head on. She founded the Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago 12 years ago.

The center has since become a national model for engaging community leaders, rather than outside “experts,” in collecting data, assessing medical needs and developing plans for combatting health problems that disproportionately affect Latinos.

“There are cultural elements to providing care that even top non-Hispanic students don’t understand,” she says. “A lot of what we do comes down to building trust,” says Giachello, who grew up in Puerto Rico. “We have a lot of work to do.”

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She was named one of the top twenty-five most influential Hispanics/Latinos in America by TIME Magazine, one of 100 most influential Latinos by the National Hispanic Magazine and by People En Español.

She was also acknowledged in Congress by Hon. U.S. Senator Durbin and in Illinois by Secretary of State, Hon. Jesse White, during the Hispanic Heritage Month and in 2007 by the US Congressional Hispanic Caucus .

Dr. Giachello’s life and work was also featured in the 2009 book titled: Social Workers Changing the World.

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