Ruth Zambrana

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Expert Profile

Ruth Enid Zambrana, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies, the Director of the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity, the Former Interim Director of the U.S. Latino Studies Initiative (2007-2009) at the University of Maryland, College Park, and an Adjunct Professor of Family Medicine at University of Maryland Baltimore, School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine. 

Dr. Zambrana has conducted extensive research on the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other contextual variables in determining health disparities and social inequality with a specialization in Latino populations in the United States. Her emerging scholarship is on inequalities in racial/ethnic women’s and children’s health, and how those disparities impact health over the life course. Dr. Zambrana’s scholarship has contributed an important emphasis on the complex heterogeneity within and across Latino families and youth and the necessity of comparative work on differences in disparities by subgroup. Her relevant books include: Understanding Latino Families: Scholarship, Policy and Practice. Newberry Park, California: Sage Publications. (1995); Health Issues in the Latino Community, Co-editor with Aguirre-Molina, M., & Molina, C., San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers (2001); and Co-editor of Drawing from the Data: Working Effectively with Latino Families. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics and Chicago, IL: Family Support America (2004). Published articles include a syntheses of Latina health status entitled Disparities in Latina Health: an Intersectional Analyses (2006) and Disparities in Hypertension-Related Mortality by Hispanics by Subgroup and Gender: Implications for Preventive Interventions (2007). Most recently her work includes an edited anthology with co-editor Dr. Bonnie T. Dill entitled Emerging Intersections: Race, Class, and Gender in Theory, Policy and Practice (2009) and a book entitled: US Latino Families in Transition: Extending the Boundaries of Knowledge (scheduled for publication by Cornell University Press in 2010).

Dr. Zambrana is recognized by her peers as an expert in the field of racial, ethnic and gender health disparities, institutional access barriers to health care and disparities in education. She has received multiple awards as a contributor to the knowledge base and health of the Latino community. She is frequently invited to give keynote addresses and colloquia at universities, community based and non-profit organizations. She has been called upon as a health expert to serve on multiple boards, working groups and special panels for the federal government, Institutes of Medicine, other universities and foundations. She has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and monographs and has served on many social science and public health journal editorial boards. In 2006, she served as a member of Maryland Governor O’Malley Transition team in Higher Education. In 2007, she was honored by Hispanic Business Magazine as 2007 Women of the Year as one of 15 Elite Hispanic women in the U.S. for her commitment and dedication to improving the Hispanic community through her service and scholarship.

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