(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — Ciro Sumaya, M.D., M.P.H.T.M., founding dean of the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, was appointed the newest Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Medical Association.

“A very unique feature of NHMA is that it is not a trade organization to further the welfare of physicians,” Dr. Sumaya said. “It was established to provide a health policy resource to advance the well being of the underserved Hispanic and other vulnerable people. It also is not just a grouping of well-intentioned Hispanic physicians, but it welcomes the participation and support of non-Hispanics in improving the health of Hispanic populations across the United States.”

NHMA is currently hosting health summits focused on reducing obesity and diabetes in Hispanics, an ethnic group greatly affected with these health problems. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, these summits will be in New York City, Sacramento, Calif., and Austin.

The organization was founded in 1994 and represents 36,000 licensed Hispanic physicians in the United States. NHMA is frequently asked to provide testimony to Congress and other national organizations.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its seven colleges located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, and the School of Rural Public Health.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell