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From the NIH Director: NIH 2018 National Hispanic Heritage Month

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

Dear NIH Family,

NIH joins the nation in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month, observed September 15 through October 15. This year’s theme, "Hispanics: One Endless Voice to Enhance our Traditions," encourages us to reflect on the countless ways in which Hispanic and Latino Americans contribute to our nation. During NIH’s celebration of Hispanic and Latino heritage, we recognize how diversity in our scientific, leadership, and administrative workforce strengthens us in our work to prevent disease and advance health and wellness for all.

Numerous Hispanic and Latino leaders in science and engineering have made sweeping new discoveries that have driven biomedical science policy to benefit all. Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), has helped change the way the world views addiction and its mechanisms by using imaging technologies to study the brains of people with substance use disorders. For more information on Dr. Volkow’s vision and leadership in the addiction field, please visit the NIDA website.

NIH also recognizes Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), for focusing on improving the health of racial and ethnic minorities and underserved populations through direct patient care, education, and science, including the promotion of diversity in the biomedical research workforce. The NIMHD website provides more information on Dr. Pérez-Stable and his contributions to science.

Other notable NIH leaders whose work furthers our mission are José Lopez, Chief Information Officer at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Olga Acosta, Director of the Office of Acquisitions at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and Antonio R. Rodríguez, Quality Management Director for NIH’s Office of Research Services. The diversity and contributions of these individuals demonstrate the varying perspectives that help fuel innovation in pursuit of scientific discovery at NIH.

Diversity and inclusion at NIH are a source of great enrichment. This month, let us reaffirm our commitment to expanding workforce diversity and equal opportunity for all so we can build an even brighter and healthier future. I encourage you to support the work of the NIH Hispanic Special Emphasis Portfolio in the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). Read about EDI and NIH-wide efforts to improve the outreach, recruitment, retention, and advancement of this and other diverse populations on their website. For more information, please contact our Hispanic Portfolio Strategist, Gerard Roman, at 301-827-4677, or

Sincerely yours,

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

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