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Dr Maria L  Gomez 1

Dr. Gomez, DrPH, MPH received her Doctor of Public Health and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Kentucky. She completed her postdoctoral research in Perinatal and Maternal and Child Health at the University of Kentucky, College of Nursing. Dr. Gomez’s area of research is health disparities affecting vulnerable populations, social determinants of health, women’s health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, and health equity.

Dr. Gomez has conducted significant research on the National CLAS Standards as a mechanism to improve access to care and health care outcomes for minority groups including rural and Appalachian communities, Hispanic/Latinos, and underserved urban and rural populations in Kentucky. Her research served as a basis for the Kentucky Department for Public Health to implement a training program for public health practitioners on the CLAS Standards and the impact of Health Equity. In 2017, she was invited by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities to be part of a selected group of researchers from across the nation to share her insight as part of a panel titled: Addressing Structural Racism through Policy and Practice-Based Research.

She has been a major contributor to implement the Community Health Program curriculum at Sullivan University College of Allied Health including the development of core courses that she currently teaches and is part of the Community Health Services Advisory Board. Her teaching experience includes as co-instructor for nursing graduate students, guest lecturer for pre-med and medical students, and teaching at the community level to “Promotoras de Salud’ (health promoters).

Dr. Gomez has published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at national conferences, and serves as scientific journal reviewer. In addition, she has served as a community advisory board member of various organizations to promote health such as the Kentucky Cancer Consortium, a state-based cancer prevention and control coalition; Susan G. Komen Lexington local chapter; and formerly for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.