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California Department of Healthcare Services

2011 Helen Rodriguez-Trias Award Winner

The Office of Women’s Health announces Melinda Cordero-Bárzaga as this year’s winner of the prestigious Helen Rodriquez-Trias Award. The award was presented to her at the Women’s Health Council meeting on May 27th.

Thanks to Ms. Cordero-Bárzaga's development of a Promotoras network that started in 1991 barriers were broken and a major and permanent contribution to the health of Latinas throughout California was made. The Promotoras education model provides peer-to-peer health education, leadership opportunities, and helps reduce health disparities among the Latino community.

Under Ms. Cordero-Bárzaga's leadership, over 350 women have received training to become a Promotora, and in turn these women have gone out into their communities, and educated family members and friends on what they have learned. This model will continue giving back to those who put the time and energy in to be trained, and is a grass roots education campaign that has proven to be effective over the years.

Helen Rodriquez-Trias was a nationally recognized health care leader and a founding member of the Office of Women’s Health Women’s Health Council. She was a pioneer in women’s health who was a strong, effective force in the fight for women’s and children’s health care, health care rights and reproductive freedom.  She challenged racial and gender inequities in health care and was actively involved with the growing problem of HIV/AIDS infection among women and children. 

This award continues to raise awareness of health issues facing women today.  Each May, as part of the Women’s Health Month Health Education campaign the Women’s Health Council hosts the award presentation to honor those who are true leaders and pioneers in women’s health.

OWH encourages organizations and providers throughout the state to become involved in raising awareness about women’s health in California.  Additional information about Women’s Health Month is available on the Office of Women’s Health Websites www.dhcs.ca.gov/OWH or www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/OWH or by phoning (916) 440-7626.

Melinda Cordero-Bárzaga's complete resume [PDF]