Dr. Carrillo Zuniga

(McAllen, TX) — Genny Carrillo-Zuniga, M.D., Sc.D., assistant professor in the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, has been named a Fellow for the 2009-2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute.

The fellowship is a one-year program of special projects, workshops, seminars and individual study. Dr. Carrillo-Zuniga, of the HSC-South Texas Center in McAllen, will be among 35 fellows during the program, all of who are practicing environmental public health professionals.

In addition, Dr. Carrillo-Zuniga applied for and was awarded $48,000 from the U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program (Border 2012) for a Hidalgo County project, “Environmental Education in Asthma and Pesticides in the U.S.-Mexico Border.” The project examines environmental education in asthmatic school children, with a focus on parental empowerment through education to reduce missed school days, emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Provided by the Environmental Protection Agency and administered and managed by the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, it also addresses the prevention of pesticide exposure.

A public health and environmental scientist, Dr. Carrillo-Zuniga leads the Asthma Coalition Group of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, which was established to address asthma in Valley children. Her projects focus on environmental pesticides in relation to exposure, prevention and proper storage in houses along the Texas-Mexico border. It also includes Cultural and Linguistic Appropriate Services awareness in health care settings and for medical interpreters.

Dr. Carrillo-Zuniga received her medical degree in Mexico and her master’s and doctoral public health degrees from Tulane University. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Tulane University developing and evaluating an occupational health-training program for workers in Department of Defense nuclear sites.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell