This article was written by Lisa Bain, Program Manager at PCI’s US Border Program office in San Diego.

On April 24, one of PCI’s own was honored at a county-wide celebration of “Community Champions” in San Diego. Dr. Maria Lourdes F. Reyes, Director of PCI’s US & Border Programs (USBP) office, was nominated by USBP staff for her work as a tireless advocate for those in need.

USBP staff wishes to share how much they appreciate Dr. Reyes’ efforts to act as a “servant leader,” whose mission is to lead staff and community members through service. This manifests itself in very personal ways at our office – cross–training of staff for competency in all programs, challenging us to complete our educational goals, helping us to develop personal mission statements that call us all to realize their full potential, and creating an enjoyable work environment.

A full copy of Dr. Reyes’ qualifications for this award are listed at the bottom, but here are just a few of Dr. Reyes’ highlighted achievements:

  • Helped secure funding for and direct at least 8 unique programs that address maternal and child health, cancer and other chronic diseases, community health worker (CHW) training, and health disparities, particularly for the Latino and Filipino communities
  • Serves as a professor at San Diego State University
  • Consults for community organizations seeking to improve their strategic directions
  • Serves as board member for a variety of organizations including Community Health Improvement Partners (CHIP) and the National Healthy Start Association
  • Founding member of PCI’s Institutional Review Board
  • Serves as an oblate monk for her church
  • Acts as a mentor to many staff, students, and young professionals

And all of this just in the past 7 years! Congratulations Dr. Reyes on this well-deserved award.

USBP staff

Dr. Maria Lourdes F. Reyes, MD Bio

Community Champions Awards nomination for Maria Lourdes F. Reyes, MD, MPH:
Dr. Reyes is currently the Project Director for Project Concern International’s US & Border programs, including the California Border Healthy Start (CBHS), Ventanilla de Salud (VDS), and Women Empowered programs. Dr. Reyes considers herself a “servant leader”, whose mission is to lead staff and community members through service in the forms of capacity building, developing personal mission statements, and realization of personal goals. She is known as a tireless advocate for increased services for communities in need, particularly addressing cancer control, maternal-child health, and population disparities. Through these efforts she has brought millions of dollars of national grant monies to San Diego to increase home visiting services to support pregnant and parenting families, and those struggling with chronic diseases, particularly within the Latino and Filipino communities.

She has a long history of service, including acting as community research specialist for the University of California Irvine Health Policy and Research Pacific Islander Cancer Control Network, and a medical consultant for the SDSU Foundation Cancer Clinical Services Quality Assurance Program. As President of the California Division of the American Cancer Society (ACS) 2000-2001, she motivated volunteers and staff throughout the state to embody her theme of “Bridging the Gaps: Working to Eliminate the Cancer Burden Disparities”. She is a member of the San Diego County Community Transformation Leadership team and the Community Health Improvement Partners Executive Team. She has a passion for working with students, and in her extra time serves as faculty member at San Diego State University (SDSU) Graduate School of Public Health.

Dr. Reyes received her M.D. from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines, completed her residency at St. Louis University Hospital; sub-specialty training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School; postdoctoral training at Georgetown University; studied Community Economic Development and received a Masters in Public Health from SDSU and a Fellowship to the UCLA Anderson School of Management Health Care Executive program.

Dr. Reyes has received many honors including “One in a Million” award from the ACS, California Division; the San Diego County Public Health Champion award; Outstanding Alumnus of the UCLA Anderson School of Management Health Care Executive program; National Achievement award in Medicine and Education by Filipinas Magazine, an International Magazine; and Community Health Improvement Partners Outstanding Community Partner Award.