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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU to celebrate National Public Health Week with N.M. Health Secretary Torres

New Mexico State University will commemorate National Public Health Week with a special guest lecture from Catherine Torres, secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health. Her talk, "Reducing Health Disparities in New Mexico," will take place at 7 p.m. April 6 at the College of Health and Social Services Annex Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.



Catherine Torres, secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health, will guest lecture on "Reducing Health Disparities in New Mexico." The event will take place at 7 p.m. April 6 at the College of Health and Social Services Annex Auditorium. (Courtesy photo)

"We are delighted to host Dr. Catherine Torres, new cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health," said Tilahun Adera, dean of the College of Health and Social Services. "The topic of reducing health disparities is incredibly important to the people of Southern New Mexico and an emphasis of our college."

Gov. Susana Martinez said she nominated Torres as secretary because of her strong medical, public health and community service background. Torres was also appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the U.S./Mexico Border Health Commission from 1999-2006.

The lecture is part of the Jeffrey E. and Mary T. Brandon Distinguished Lecture Series, held annually at the college.

"Having worked closely with Dr. Torres as inaugural members of the U.S. Section of the U.S./Mexico Border Health Commission, I have the highest respect and deepest regard for her," said Jeffrey Brandon, a professor of health science at NMSU. "She has given much to serving the pediatric health care needs of Southern New Mexico and will make great use of this background in her new position. She is a truly dynamic and strong leader who will contribute much to the success of the N.M. Department of Health for years to come."

Torres most recently worked at Rio Grande Medical Group in Las Cruces. She has served as a medical director for First Step Pediatrics, a clinic that provides medical services for underserved children in Southern New Mexico. In addition to her medical background, she has actively been involved in many community projects throughout Dona Ana County.

Torres was a commissioner for New Mexico for the Sonora Health Commission. She also served as chairperson of the New Mexico Border Health Council Advisory Committee from 2008-2010 and served as chairperson of the Medical Advisory Committee of the Dona Ana County Detention Center since the creation of the committee in 2008.

Torres is originally from Albuquerque. She has a medical degree and a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of New Mexico.