UTRGV senior lecturer named Texas Public Health Association Fellow for work on crisis epidemiology

Carolyn Elizabeth Cuevas, a senior lecturer in the UTRGV College of Health Affairs, has been recognized as a Fellow by the Texas Public Health Association for her ongoing work on disaster epidemiology and the public health. (UTRGV Photo by David Pike)

Story by Neiby Rodriguez Rangel 

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – APRIL 13, 2016 – Carolyn Elizabeth Cuevas, senior lecturer in the College of Health Affairs at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, has been recognized as a Fellow by the Texas Public Health Association (TPHA). 

The designation of “Fellow” is awarded to public health experts who have made meaningful contributions in their field. Cuevas for 10 years has evaluated health issues in populations affected by disasters, and was named a Fellow for her work on disaster epidemiology and the public health.

Her interest in disaster epidemiology started when she was a young girl growing up in Saudi Arabia. The bombing of a building near her school and the death of family friends had a big impact on her.

“The rescue and recovery methods were lacking, which made a large impression on me, ” she said. “Since that event, I have worked hard to contribute to mitigating catastrophic health issues from disasters.”

Cuevas accepted her “Fellow” award on April 12, at the TPHA’s annual education conference hosted by the Galveston County Health District.

Cuevas has been a member of the TPHA since 2008. She has served as its section president and on the Governing Council, and now is part of the organization’s Executive Board.

As a Fellow, she becomes part of a group of experts – also recognized at the conference – who will develop a public health campaign to be implemented in 2017. The topic of the campaign will be selected by the group at a future date.

Cuevas presented her research on April 6 at the Texas Emergency Management Conference in San Antonio. The conference focused on practical disaster response and training for response personnel. In May, she will present her research on “Trauma Review Methodology” – the study of the injuries, cause of death and trauma outcome during a disaster – at the annual Scientific Assembly for the Special Operation Medical Association in North Carolina. 

The TPHA, a non-profit, statewide association of public health professionals since 1923, works to improve the health and safety of Texas through leadership, education, training, collaboration, mentoring and advocacy.

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