Dr. Helen Rodriguez Trias

Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías, PhD

Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías was the first Latina director of the American Public Health Association. After studying medicine at the University of Puerto Rico and completing her residency at the University Hospital in San Juan, Rodríguez Trías established the first infant health clinic in Puerto Rico. Her efforts brought down infant mortality at the hospital by 50%. In 1970, she moved to New York and became the head of the pediatrics department at Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx, which was undergoing a wave of protests due to insufficient healthcare. She worked with her community members to improve conditions for the mostly minority population, and that inspired her to get involved in the women’s health movement. She founded the Committee to End Sterilization Abuse and the Committee for Abortion Rights and Against Sterilization Abuse. She also co-founded the Women’s Caucus and the Hispanic Caucus of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and became the first Latina director of the APHA. Throughout her career, Rodríguez Trías remained dedicated to women’s health and advocated for marginalized groups in society.

Learn more at nps.gov

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