Ask Our Expert: Elena Rios, M.D.

Dr. Elena Rios Headshot 2016Elena V. Rios, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Dr. Rios 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 also serves on the Campaign Against Obesity, Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield, Nurse Family Partnership, Better Medicare Alliance and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda Boards of Directors, the Cancer Treatment Centers for America Hispanic Advisory Council, and the National Quality Forum’s National Priorities Partnerships Steering Committees. Dr. Rios has lectured and published articles and has received several leadership awards, including awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Congressional Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American Caucuses, American Public Health Association Latino Caucus, Association of Hispanic Health Executives, Minority Health Month, Inc., Hispanic Magazine, Verizon’s First Pollin Community Service Award, and Amerigroup. Dr. Rios was appointed to the Minority Alumni Hall of Fame of Stanford University in October, 2006, as a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine in 2007, and on the Institute of Medicine Global Forum for Health Professions Education in 2014.

Prior to her current positions, Dr. Rios served as the Advisor for Regional and Minority Women’s Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health from November 1994 to October 1998. In 1998-2004, Dr. Rios served as Executive Director, Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools. In 1993, Dr. Rios was appointed to the National Health Care Reform Task Force as Coordinator of Outreach Groups for the White House. From 1992-94, Dr. Rios worked for the State of California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development as a policy researcher.

Dr. Rios has also served as President, Chicano/Latino Medical Association of California, Founder of the National Network of Latin American Medical Students, as 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 and Partnership for Prevention Boards of Directors, PacifiCare-UnitedHealthcare California Investment Committee and the AMA’s Minority Affairs Consortium Steering Committee.

Dr. Rios earned her BA in Human Biology/Public Administration at Stanford University in 1977, MSPH at the UCLA School of Public Health in 1980, MD at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1987, and completed her Internal Medicine residency at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose and the White Memorial Medical Center in East Los Angeles in 1990, and her NRSA Primary Care Research Fellowship at UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine in 1992.