From the very beginning of her training in medicine, Dr. Elena Rios has worked to improve the recruitment and success rates of minority students in United States medical schools. After graduation she turned her voluntary work with individual students into a large-scale national effort, by co-founding the National Network of Latin American Medical Students. Since then, she has held a series of appointments in California programs designed to improve educational and career opportunities for minorities in the health professions, and in 1998 Dr. Rios was appointed president of the National Hispanic Medical Association.
She serves as President & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, (NHMA), representing 50,000 Hispanic physicians in the United States. The mission of the organization is to improve the health of Hispanics. Dr. Rios also serves as President of NHMA’s National Hispanic Health Foundation affiliated with the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University, to direct educational and research activities.
Dr. Rios has also served as President, Chicano/Latino Medical Association of California, Founder of the National Network of Latin American Medical Students, member of the California Department of Health Services Cultural Competency Task Force, the Stanford Alumni Association, Women’s Policy Inc., Commission to End Healthcare Disparities, Nurse Family Partnerships, and Partnership for Prevention Boards of Directors, PacifiCare-UnitedHealthcare California Investment Committee and the AMA’s Disparities Commission and Minority Affairs Consortium Steering Committees.