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Elly Brtva
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Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, PhD

Dr. Pérez-Escamilla is a professor of epidemiology and the director of the Office of Community Health at the Yale University School of Public Health. He is also the primary investigator and founding director of the Connecticut Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos, which is an Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Disparities in Health and Training Center funded by the Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

He has (co)led several projects, including maternal-child nutrition and food security multi-institutional capacity building projects in the U.S., Ghana, Brazil, and other countries in the Latin American and Caribbean Region. He has also conducted extensive work on diabetes peer counseling among Latinos in Connecticut. Dr. Pérez-Escamilla has published over 115 research articles and more than 300 abstracts, conference proceedings, and book chapters. His interdisciplinary research program has been funded with over $18 million from NIH, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Donaghue Foundation.

Dr. Pérez-Escamilla is the chair-elect of the International Nutrition Council and chair of the Minority Affairs Committee both of the American Society for Nutrition. He sits in the Advisory Committee of the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences. He has served on numerous advisory boards of academic centers, committees of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and was a member of the 2010 USA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Human Lactation and the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, and is a former editorial board member of the Journal of Nutrition. He has also been a senior advisor to community nutrition programs as well as household food security measurement projects funded by the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization, United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Development Programme, USDA, USAID, the World Bank, the Gates Foundation, as well as the Governments of Mexico and Brazil.

He obtained his bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the Iberoamericana University (Universidad Iberoamericana). He attained both his masters of science in food science and his doctorate in nutrition from the University of California at Davis. Dr. Pérez-Escamilla joined the board of directors of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation in 2009, and is the current chair.

A Sample of Recent PAHEF Projects in the Region