Davila Wins Fellowship to Study Diabetes Education at CDC

May 24, 2006

Leticia Davila, a recent graduate from the UNT Health Science Centerâ??s School of Public Health, will be spending six months at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a fellow.

Davila, graduated with a masterâ??s of public health degree with a concentration in community health May 20, was an intern at the CDC last summer. She earned the internship and the fellowship through the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools. Davila was in the inaugural class of HSHPS interns last summer and will be in the inaugural class of HSHPS fellows this year.

â??Iâ??m excited because this will give me more experience, and Iâ??ll have a mentor who can provide me with a little more guidance in terms of research,â? Davila said. â??I believe this will be a great stepping stone for my career.â?

During her six-month fellowship, Davila will work on the project â??National Diabetes Education Program: Effectiveness of Outreach to Health Disparity Populations.â? Her previous studies have included work with Salud Para Su Corazon and the Diabetes Research Education and Metabolic Studies programs at the health science center. Her work focused on ways to enhance delivery of programs to Hispanic populations.

â??Iâ??d like to stay at CDC after this fellowship,â? Davila said. â??But eventually, Iâ??d like to go back to the McAllen area because thatâ??s where the population is located that I want to help.â?

Davila is from McAllen, where she graduated from Nikki Rowe High School. When the 23-year-old began her college studies, she was a pre-med major at Southwestern University in Georgetown. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in biology with a pre-medical emphasis, but her interests turned to more community-based work when she looked into graduate education.

â??Going into medicine just wasnâ??t as exciting as the idea of helping so many people through public health,â? Davila said.

Davila plans to focus her research and outreach work on the Hispanic population to help address healthcare inequities.

â??My experiences over the past few years have strengthened and affirmed my interest in Hispanic health as a career,â? Davila said. â??This HSHPS fellowship at the CDC will help me continue working toward that goal.â?

HSHPS, a non-profit organization, was established in 1996 with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve the health of Hispanics through academic development, research initiatives and training.

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Contact: Kay Colley 817-735-2553, cell 817-980-5090, e-mail kacolley@hsc.unt.edu.

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