Damiris Perez, MPA
Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit
New York, NY 10029
Damiris Perez, MPA, graduated from Binghamton University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science and later received a Master in Public Administration with a Health Care Concentration in 2005 from Rutgers University.
She is a Program Coordinator with the Region II Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU). In her current position, she oversees the daily activities involving clinical consultations on environmental toxins. She complies reports for the funding agencies, manages program budgets, develops Internal Review Board and grant applications, and oversees the PEHSU training Program.
Increasingly, she has been involved in the PEHSU team’s community outreach efforts. As a bilingual and bicultural public health professional, she has a heightened awareness of how these urban communities are vulnerable to environmental toxins and how the PEHSU is uniquely positioned to address this disparity. She has started initiatives to enhance the PEHSU’s delivery of information to Spanish-speaking populations locally and regionally, including Puerto Rico. Her main initiative began in June 2009, when the PEHSU collaborated with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (Region II) and the Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDOH) to sponsor the first Puerto Rico Children’s Environmental Health Conference.
Leadership Development Opportunities
I am thankful for the opportunity to have participated in the National Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute (EPHLI) and for its commitment to enhance leadership capacity in the field of environmental public health.
EPHLI has been a remarkable experience. The fellowship program has provided me with a set of tools on both a personal and professional level. The curriculum was comprehensive in providing the fellows with methods to promote and improve the environmental public health of communities. We were fortunate to have a coach and mentor who recommended strategies and materials to assist in our development. We were also provided with online courses to advance our environmental public health skills in diverse work settings.
Through the system thinking sessions, it has altered my views on developing solutions for environmental public health program. Often we are faced with a crisis and result to a quick fix in order to solve the problem. The system thinking training has provided me with the skills to identify the root of the problem and provide a solution that will have sustainable outcomes. Furthermore, the EPHLI program was extremely beneficial in training us with the necessary elements in enhancing performance outcomes in environmental public health services. The EPHLI program has provided me with a multitude of skills in leadership, strategic planning, and conflict management, which are skills that will aid to the longevity of my career goals.