MPH Advisory Board Members
Maria Duarte-Gardea, PhD, RD is Professor of Public Health and Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences at The University of Texas at El Paso. She has received funding to conduct research on prevention of chronic diseases in Hispanics that has resulted in many peer-reviewed publications. She is the principal investigator on the Minority Health International Research Training, an NIH funded project aimed at training students on health disparities research at international settings. Dr. Duarte-Gardea is the chair of the Gestational Diabetes Work Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Stephen W. Borron, MD, MS is a tenured Professor of Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. He serves as the Division Chief of Medical Toxicology, Medical Director of the West Texas Regional Poison Control Center and Director of the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health.
Elke Cumming is the Executive Director of the Paso del Norte Center of Hope. The program offers support to survivors of human trafficking and engages community stakeholders in reporting and ending trafficking in the community. Previously she was employed for 13 years with the YWCA where she served as the Chief Program Officer managing diverse projects including: health interventions, facilities maintenance and construction, affordable housing for elders, residential programs for families homeless due to family violence and youth development. She has served on nonprofit and governmental boards ranging from primary health care, housing and social service providers to downtown reinvestment. Elke holds a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Texas, School of Public Health. She is a firm believer in involving community members in developing the solutions to their own challenges. Her interest in public health and quality of life issues has spanned her 25-year volunteer and professional career beginning with her service as a Peace Corps Health Extension volunteer in Guatemala and Paraguay. She continued to work on environmental health issues through community self-help construction of water and wastewater systems and affordable housing in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez area colonias and this has helped to shape her approach to her work.
Stephanie Karr is the Executive Director of the Center Against Family Violence in El Paso. She has a 30+ year history of advocating for children and families. She has presented at numerous national, state and local conferences on topics related to domestic violence, sexual assault, organizational management and community collaborations. Her prior experience includes serving as Executive Director of the Child Crisis Center of El Paso and Children’s Mental Health Director for El Paso MHMR. The Center Against Sexual and Family Violence confronts and prevents domestic and sexual violence in all its forms as an advocate for safety and justice through intervention, education and community collaboration. CASFV is the largest provider of domestic violence and sexual assault services on the US/Mexico border. Services include an emergency shelter, lodging, advocacy, counseling, therapy, legal assistance, employment assistance, housing assistance, children and youth services, a transitional living center, hospital accompaniment and other programs.
Rosalba Ruiz-Holguin has more than 19-year experience working in Public Health with a focus on Border Issues. She is a Medical Doctor and has a Masters degree in Public Health from the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez. She worked for 12 years for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the epidemiology department and later as the Binational Coordinator of the Binational Diabetes Prevention and Control Project. Rosalba is a strong advocate of the promotora model and is certified as a Community Health Worker trainer for the State of Texas. Alliance of Border Collaboratives (ABC) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that delivers integral, inclusive, and sustainable interventions to achieve sustainable social transformation by using the following strategies: public health, community advocacy, education, civic society Initiatives, equity and environmental justice, health literacy, poverty mitigation, affordable housing and applied research. ABC Brings together organizations and individuals to advance the practice of public health and promote social equity, affordable housing and community development.
Silvia Salinas-Lopez, MD, MPH, IHS Ph.D. student. She earned her medical degree from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua (Mexico) and graduated from the Master of Public Health Program at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). She is currently in the second year of the Ph.D. program in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at UTEP. Ms. Salinas’ research studies the risk factors for type 2 and gestational diabetes among college students and pregnant women living in the border region. She is a member of the MPH Community Advisory Board since 2016.
Patrick Tarwater, PhD, has been a successful collaborator within interdisciplinary research teams for almost 20 years. The breadth of his experience has covered myriad study designs, data analyses, and presentations of results with collaborators across the basic, pre-clinical, clinical, and population research sciences. Dr. Tarwater has developed and delivered applied statistics and epidemiology courses via classroom, computer lab, ITV, online, and short course formats since 1994. He is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and has been recognized for his teaching by the American Statistical Association and the Accordia Global Health Foundation. He earned his BA (1990) and MS (1992) in Mathematics from Texas Tech University and a PhD in Biometrics from The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health in Houston, TX. His research interests are the design, implementation and analyses of long-term follow up human health cohort studies.
Guillermo Valenzuela is an expert on contemporary U.S-Mexico Relations and has over a decade of behavioral health and drug demand reduction experience. He has worked for Congressman Silvestre Reyes as his Latin America and Mexico Liaison where he assessed and evaluated drug violence developments in Latin America and made policy recommendations. Currently, Mr. Valenzuela is the Community Affairs Officer at Aliviane, Inc. a non-profit community based organization in El Paso County. Aliviane has been providing services since 1970 through a broad range of prevention, intervention, and treatment programs focused on substance abuse, behavioral health, HIV services, homelessness, and education in Texas.
Ken Waldrup received his veterinary degree (DVM) from Oklahoma State University and his doctorate (PhD) from Texas A&M University. He has been the Regional Zoonosis Control Veterinarian for the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in El Paso since 2006.