So, we’d like to switch it up today by acknowledging the extraordinary heroes in healthcare who are providing care for diverse populations with the support of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF).
Read below as we highlight six Latino doctors who are making a difference in our comunidad and beyond.
Dr. Beatriz Wills
Dr. Wills is a native of Colombia. She grew up in a community without access to cancer treatments, including preventative care.
At a young age, Dr. Wills’ father was diagnosed with lung cancer – a tragedy that will later inspire her to become an oncologist focusing on skin lymphoma. Now, Dr. Wills is an early-stage physician participating in the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program, which helps train physicians to become world-class clinical research scientists. She believes that bone marrow can lead to new groundbreaking treatments.
Dr. Alejandro Nava
Thanks to the BMS Foundation, Dr. Nava just treated the first chemotherapy patient in Lesotho, South Africa – bringing modern medicine to an otherwise deprived city.
There’s a special focus on the area of providing better treatment for cancer, which a high population of HIV/AIDS patients in Lesotho now suffer from.
Dr. Analiz Rodriguez
Dr. Rodriguez is a proud Afro-Latina and the first in her family to practice medicine. Her calling to serve in the medical field started when she was in the third grade.
Based in Arizona, Dr. Rodriguez later went on to become a neurosurgeon focusing the majority of her practice on supporting communities of color. Her clinical research hopes to observe cancer models to determine how cancer impacts populations differently.
Dr. Luis Malpica Castillo
Dr. Castillo is another Latino doctor who deserves recognition. He was born and raised in Peru and grew up in an area where diseases were potentially caused by the tropical climate.
To advance in his medical career, Dr. Castillo came to the United States for medical school. He now researches leukemia and how it affects communities of color. He hopes to test new treatments through clinical trial research and feels confident new treatments will be innovative and beneficial for those living with leukemia.
Dr. Jessica Williams
Dr. Williams is a proud Afro-Latina who currently does her research through the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program. She noticed how lupus affected women and specifically people of color with more prevalence.
Her research consists of a Phase 2 study of a monoclonal antibody and an annual survey on patient perceptions of clinical trials. Dr. Williams hopes that her efforts can be accessible to lower-income areas.
Dr. Maria Bacalao
Last but not least is another doctor whose research focuses on developing new therapeutic modalities for lupus. Dr. Bacalao was born in Venezuela and moved to the United States at the age of 13.
Along with her groundbreaking clinical research, Dr. Bacalao is part of a nonprofit organization called “Literacy of Chiefs.” This organization helps reduce the language barrier immigrants face when coming to the U.S.
A great healthcare provider goes beyond medicine. Like the Latino doctors listed here, they are people with a calling to serve and help others. They care about their patients and do what they can to make sure treatments are accessible for all patients.