Newsletter - July 2019
Legislative Update
2019 Congressional Briefing

This month, the NHMA held an important congressional briefing co-sponsored by the National Medical Association (NMA), Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP), and National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians (NCAPIP) as well as opening comments from Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and Congressman Ami Bera, MD (D-CA). The purpose of the briefing was to support and augment the language of H.R. 2781 “Educating Medical Professionals and Optimizing Workforce Efficiency and Readiness for Health (EMPOWER for Health) Act of 2019,” introduced by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) as well as support other bills listed below.

The EMPOWER for Health Act of 2019 amends Title VII of the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize and fund certain programs relating to the health professions workforce from FY 2020 through FY 2024. Critical health professional development programs revolving around the underserved, Hispanic communities of this country are foundational to NHMA’s mission. The programs listed in the bill are essential to furthering patient population, physician parity: the Centers of Excellence, Health Professionals Training for Diversity, and Primary Care Training and Enhancement. While the NHMA supports these programs, Dr. Elena Rios called for the augment of the bill’s language to include medical associations as recipients of funding for similar programs. Currently, funding is reserved for educational institutions who qualify under the program guidelines. Minority health professional associations have a proven track record of increasing the diversity in health workforce by creating and maintaining programs. These programs have resulted in increased numbers of medical students from the underrepresented communities. The packet materials disseminated at the briefing including a list of program examples from NHMA, NMA, AAIP, and NCAPIP. As such, Dr. Rios urged all 60 congressional staff representatives in attendance to urge their congressman to support the EMPOWER for Health Act of 2019 as well as augment the language to include minority medical associations. 

ACA Update

On July 9 th , the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit heard oral arguments in the case Texas v. Azar. The challenge says the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because the basis for its constitutionality — the individual mandate to buy health insurance coverage — was zeroed out by Congress.

In 2012, the Supreme Court found the individual mandate constitutional by defining its accompanying penalty as a tax. But now that the penalty is gone, repealed by Congress, so the Republican-led states say the rest of the law has no constitutional basis on which to stand. However, by repealing the mandate penalty while leaving the rest of the law in place, Congress showed it’s just fine with a mandate-less ACA. 

An argument brought up by some is if the ACA is found unconstitutional, it would create a dangerous new precedent giving courts much broader ability to nullify laws passed by Congress.

This month, NHMA send letters in support of the following legislation:
  • Letter to support Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s (D-IL) EMPOWER for Health Act of 2019 which amends Title VII of the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize and fund certain programs relating to the health professions workforce from FY 2020 through FY 2024.
  • Letter to support H.R. 1943 “Community Health Center and Primary Care Workforce Expansion Act of 2019” introduced by Congressman Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) and H.R. 2328 “Community Health Investment, Modernization, and Excellence (CHIME) Act of 2019” introduced by Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC) to reauthorize and extend funding for community health centers and the national health service corps.
  • Letter to support H.R. 2815 “Training the Next Generation of Primary Care Doctors Act” introduced by Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-CA) eauthorize section 340H of the Public Health Service Act to encourage expansion, maintenance, and establishment of approved graduate medical residency programs at qualified teaching health centers to address the Nation’s physician shortfall and address the maldistribution of physicians across the United States.
  • Letter to support S. 1895 “Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019” introduced by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) The robustness of this bill addresses many important issues in lowering healthcare costs, however, there are two key areas where the NHMA is especially supportive: Title I, Ending Surprise Medical Bills; and, Title IV, Improving Public Health. The aforementioned titles of this legislation protect and improve the healthcare delivery to the heterogeneous, Hispanic community in the United States. 

NHMA also wrote letters to several other government organizations regarding public comment:
  • Letter to Kevin K. McAleenan, Commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security to assist with the identification and referral of Spanish-speaking physicians who can assist with the care of newly arrived immigrants at the detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Letter to Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA), Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), and Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) to express concern over the elimination of military medical billets and graduate medical education programs throughout the Military Health System as they consider the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 
Programs Update
Our Current Programs:

  • NHMA College Health Scholars Program
  • NHMA Medical School Liaison Program
  • NIH All of Us Research Program
  • NHMA Cholesterol Management Campaign
  • NHMA Seasonal Influenza Campaign
  • CDC Partnering And Communicating Together (PACT) to Act Against Aids

Elena Rios, MD, MSPH, FACP , NHMA President & CEO, along with Niva Lubin-Johnson, MD, FACP, NMA President, Brian Thompson, MD, AAIP Board Member, and Winston F. Wong, MD, MS, FAAFP, NCAPIP Chairman, spoke at the NHMA Congressional Briefing on Diversity in Medical Education: Policies for Higher Education, Medical Schools, and GME. Also on the photo: Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29) who gave welcoming remarks.
Membership Update
NHMA Members are hard at work being catalyst for change in their communities. Each serve in many different ways. 

The 4 major values of an NHMA membership are Advocacy, Education, Leadership Development and Networking. Our major benefits for health professionals consist of:

  • Opportunities to be nominated for commissions and advisory boards in the Federal government, private sector, and other national health professional associations.
  • Opportunities to mentor medical students and residents.
  • Discounts at the NHMA Annual Conference (where you can also earn CME credits)
  • Ability to apply for NHMA Leadership Fellowship and Resident Leadership Programs
  • Opportunities to share your research either by being a speaker or poster presenter at our annual conference
  • Network with other healthcare professionals at one of NHMA Regional Events
Dr. Frank Meza of South Pasadena, California:

The NHMA and NHHF Boards of Directors and Staff send our condolences to his wife, Dr. Faustina Nevarez and her family on the loss of a husband, father, grandfather. Dr. Meza was also our 2015 Hispanic Health Leadership Award Recipient at the 2015 NHHF Scholarship Gala in Los Angeles - given for his outstanding career as a physician leader, who started his career founding Clinica Tepati at UC Davis Medical School and advocating for the East Los Angeles Barrio Free Clinic in the 1970s as a member of the Brown Berets. This clinic was established with community team efforts and is now known as Alta Med Health Services, Inc. Dr. Meza worked for Kaiser Permanente in East LA and will be missed by many friends and colleagues. His legacy inspires us all!
Anyone that would like to advance NHMA's mission and goals is welcome to join our network as a Premier or Basic member. Click below to see our membership options:

Our major benefits for students:

  • Opportunities to mentor college students
  • Discounts at the NHMA Annual Conference
  • Opportunities to share your research by being a poster presenter at our annual conference
  • Network with healthcare professionals at one of NHMA Regional Events and Annual Conference

If you have received an award or attended an event and would like to be featured in our Monthly Membership update, please send to Vanessa Tellez at by the last Friday of every month.
Featured Announcements
NHMA and Merck Confront America’s Type 2 Diabetes Epidemic

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes – that’s about 1 in 10 adults – and 90 to 95% of them have type 2 diabetes. This disease is a significant concern among Hispanic/Latino communities, with more than 50% of Hispanic adults expected to develop type 2 diabetes over their lifetimes. Having support from medical professionals can make a big difference in helping them better manage the disease. That’s why the NHMA and Merck are working together to help shed light on the social, economic and environmental factors that influence type 2 diabetes management with the new documentary, A Touch of Sugar.

The film is narrated by acclaimed actress and documentary spokesperson, Viola Davis, and is told through the voices of people united in their struggle with this chronic disease. Interviews with patients and their loved ones, as well as doctors, advocates and thought leaders in the space, including our very own Dr. Rios, explore the larger diabetes ecosystem at work and reinforce the disease as an urgent public health issue that cannot be ignored, especially among underserved populations.
To request a link to watch the documentary, please visit and press the link at the top of the page that reads “Click Here to View A Touch of Sugar .” You can also email to secure copies of type 2 diabetes management resources for your patients.
US-DIA-00796 (7/19)
Journal of NHMA: Call for Papers, Posters, and Abstracts

In September of 2019 the Journal of the NHMA will be launching its inaugural publication. We are unique in that we are a peer reviewed journal which is dedicated to Hispanic health led by Hispanic physicians.

The Journal of NHMA  editors and the publications committee would like to invite you and/or your colleagues to submit an Original Research Article, Review, Letter to the editors, Case Report, or Images or Evidence based medicine synopsis to be considered by double blinded peer-review for publication. The published version of your article will be immediately placed in freely accessible full-text repositories. This complies with the NIH Public Access Policy and the Welcome Trust Open Access Policy.
The Journal of NHMA is a peer-reviewed open access journal edited by NHMA with Cureus publisher that divulges articles encompassing all aspects of medical science, clinical practice and evidence-based medicine with a focus on Hispanic health. This journal has been created to share the scientific production and experiences of health care professionals involved in Hispanic health and also Latinx health care professionals, and will also be an asset to the Hispanic community at large including consumers of healthcare.

The  Journal of NHMA  is now accepting submissions. Submit your manuscript via our online submission system . After submitting your manuscript, email your full name and the title of the manuscript to .

For more information about the journal, contact . We are looking forward to hearing from you.
2019 NHHF Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship

The 2019 NHHF Scholarship application is NOW OPEN!! Make sure you submit your application before September 26, 2019. To apply and more information:

2019 NHHF Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Galas

Mark your Calendars! The NHHF Gala dates are set! Our New York City Gala will be held on Friday, November 15, 2019 , at the Westin New York Grand Central. Our Los Angeles Gala will be held on Thursday, November 21, 2019 , at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles.
Upcoming Events
NHMA Chapter Policy Forums:

NHMA Albuquerque Chapter
Saturday, August 17, 2019, from 6:00 pm – 11:30 pm (NHMA presents at 7:30 pm)
Sandia Hotel Conference Center (30 Rainbow Rd, Albuquerque, NM 87113)
RSVP Here by Tuesday, August 13, 2019

NHMA Southern California Chapter
Saturday, September 14, 2019, from 5:45 PM – 7:30 PM
AltaMed Health Services Headquarters (2040 Camfield Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90040)
RSVP Here  by Tuesday, September 10, 2019

NHMA New York City Chapter
Saturday, September 21, 2019, from 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Weill Cornell Medicine, Belfer Research Building, Room 302 A-C (413 E. 69th St, New York, NY 10021)
RSVP Here  by Tuesday, September 17, 2019

NHMA San Antonio Chapter
Thursday, October 3, 2019 (Location and Time TBD)

NHMA Chicago Chapter
Saturday, October 5, 2019 (Time TBD)
Northwestern Memorial Hospital (251 E Huron St, Chicago, IL 6061)
RSVP Here  by October 1, 2019

NHMA Washington DC Region/Chapter
Thursday, October 24, 2019, from 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
George Washington University, Science & Engineering Hall, Room B1220 (800 22nd St NW Washington, DC 20052)
RSVP Here by October 21, 2019

NHMA Phoenix Chapter
January 2020

NHMA Miami Chapter
NHMA Indianapolis Chapter
NHMA Atlanta Chapter
NHMA Greater Boston Chapter

NHHF Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Galas
New York Gala: Friday, November 15, 2019 , at the Westin New York Grand Central
California Gala: Thursday, November 21, 2019 , at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles

NHMA 24th Annual Conference:
April 22 - 27, 2020 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park

Virtual events:

August 22 at 3:00 PM ET : Webinar on HIV Awareness
September 26 at 3:00 PM ET : Webinar on HIV Awareness
September 27 at 3:00 PM ET: Twitter Chat on National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
October 15 at 3:00 PM ET: Twitter Chat on National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day
December 2 at 4:00 PM ET: Webinar on World AIDS Day

NHMA College Health Scholars Program Twitter Chat Series
September 4 at 3:00 PM ET: Barriers Faced by Hispanics When Entering Health Professions
October 9 at 3:00 PM ET: Mapping Your Health Professional Journey as a College Student
We ask that you consider making a $25 donation to help NHMA & NHHF touch the lives of health professionals in various stages of their career:

1) NHHF Health Professional Student Scholarship and Mentoring
2) NHMA Resident Leadership Program.
3) NHMA Leadership Fellowship

Join NHMA as a member and participate in our many programs and communications campaigns. Become our supporter!

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