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Public Health Agents of Change

Roberto “Bob” Ruiz, MPA

Bob Ruiz mission: possible

Name: Roberto “Bob” Ruiz, MPA

Title: Deputy Director for Management & Operations, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response

Race: Human

Occupation: Program Manager

Years at CDC:  18

Public Health Agent of Change Service Record:

How have you worked to advance health equity?

When I worked in the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, we ensured access to health care for all who were at risk or delivered infants with birth defects or developmental conditions. Working with the divisions to release appropriate communications and intervention strategies was probably one of the highlights of my career. In the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, our divisions worked feverously with partners and grantees to ensure equitable health access to those suffering from both intentional and unintentional injuries. Everyone should have the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Through our various programs at CDC, we strive to create the healthiest living conditions and climate for all people.

What are you currently doing or have done in your career to reduce health disparities?

In all the Centers, Institutes, and Offices (CIOs) I have worked in, we strived for equitable treatment, employee engagement, and inclusion of all staff in carrying out our mission, program development, and creative thinking around interventions. We clearly promoted and communicated the value of having diverse perspectives and learning from each other in a respectful and professional way. When staff members feel they are part of the program, it contributes to their professional goals, human happiness, and well-being.

How can we work to make achieving health equity a Mission: Possible?

Try to measure what is working and what is not, and do more of what is working! Help staff better understand the importance of their interventions and the intersection of their work with reducing health disparities and increasing health equity. Invest in increasing health equity and reducing health disparities via our grant and cooperative agreement mechanisms. These investments help the nation’s public health system address these issues at the local level.

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