Marcela Gaitán, M.P.H., M.A.
Managing Director for External Relations
Marcela Gaitán, M.P.H., M.A., is Senior Director for External Relations at The National Alliance for Hispanic Health (The Alliance) in Washington, D.C. Ms. Gaitán leads a portfolio of initiatives at the Alliance including Nuestras Voces (Our Voices) Network Program, an initiative of the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention Networking2Save consortium of national networks implementing population-specific and public health-oriented strategies, to impact the prevalence of commercial tobacco use and tobacco related cancers and Buena Salud Americas, an initiative that promotes multi-sectorial collaboration for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases focusing on advocacy and community-based initiatives throughout the Americas. She is also part of the leadership team for Mi Hermana— Latina Health Champions.
As Senior Director for External Relations, Ms. Gaitán advises the Alliance on national health and human services policy, serves as a liaison and represents the organization in national advisory committees, and fosters partnerships with national and local organizations to advance the mission of the organization.
Previously Ms. Gaitán led the Alliance/Merck Ciencia (Science) Hispanic Scholars Program, a partnership to improve Hispanic student access to higher education and degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) awarding over $2.5 million in scholarships; Let’s Talk About Lupus/Hablemos del lupus, an initiative designed to increase Hispanic community awareness and knowledge about lupus and connect individuals to services in their community; Proyecto Informar FDA Hispanic Outreach Initiative to improve access for Hispanic consumers to FDA information and health messages and enhance FDA outreach efforts in risk and emergency communications; and, the National Hispanic Leadership Network for Tobacco Control (The Network), a tobacco control program funded by the CDC that aimed to establish a national Hispanic leadership movement for tobacco control grounded in community-based priorities and needs; Proyecto Ciencia® National Hispanic Outreach Initiative, an NIAID/NCMHD funded program that promoted the dissemination of information on innovative research opportunities for Hispanic scientists and students at multiple career levels and fostered new interest in health sciences and research careers; and, an AoA/RTI funded Alzheimer’s outreach initiative to identify community models of service that successfully implemented culturally proficient programs for Hispanic/Latino elders with Alzheimer’s.
Before joining The Alliance, Ms. Gaitán was an Associate Consultant with the International Health Training Program at the Pan-American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO). Ms. Gaitán received a Bachelor’s degree from Amherst College, in Amherst, MA; a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies from The American University in Washington, DC, and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from George Washington University also in Washington, DC.