Gregory A. Talavera, MD, MPH, professor and head of the Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science in the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University, was honored with the 2014 Helen Rodriguez-Trìas Social Justice Award. The award honors public health workers who have worked toward social justice for underserved and disadvantaged populations.
Talavera also is co-director of the Institute for Behavioral and Community Health Studies at San Diego State University, former physician and now consultant to the San Ysidro Health Center for their Center for Latino Research and Health Promotion.
He is what nominator Perfecto Muñoz, MA, PhD, MPH, describes as “a highly respected living legend and pioneer of social justice in public health practice.” Talavera grew up in a low-income, underserved Latino community in Los Angeles. During the early part of his career, he practiced ambulatory medicine in Spanish-speaking, underserved communities of San Diego. He has dedicated his work to help the Latino and underserved communities and is a premier practitioner, research scholar, advocate and mentor to the next generation of Latino-focused investigators.
“As a public health care professional, Dr. Talavera embodies the qualities of social justice, namely compassion and devotion to the elimination of inequities in access to health care for underserved populations and has shown great fortitude in fulfilling this mission through his dedicated and untiring vocation of teaching, research, medical service and mentorship,” said Muñoz, who is president of the Latino Caucus of APHA.
Previous awards include the Distinguished Latino Researcher by APHA’s Latino Caucus, and the Monty Award for Outstanding Faculty Achievements from San Diego State University. “By ceaselessly striving to promote equity and social justice for the Latino and other underserved populations,” said Linda C. Gallo, PhD, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, “he is an inspiration and role model to his colleagues, students and the community and patient groups with whom he works.”