An emerging leader

August 8, 2018 | Jolayne Houtz
Headshot of Vanessa Galaviz, who sits in a room with windows behind her.

DEOHS Lecturer Vanessa Galaviz recognized by the American Public Health Association

Galaviz is co-leading research into health disparities faced by rural agricultural workers.

Vanessa Galaviz, lecturer in the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS), is being recognized by the American Public Health Association (APHA) as an emerging leader in environmental health.

Galaviz will receive the Rebecca A. Head Award from the APHA’s environment section at the APHA’s annual meeting in November. The award recognizes an outstanding emerging leader from the environmental health field working at the nexus of science, policy and environmental justice.

Community-based research

Strawberry pickers in a field, wearing purple hoodies, green leafy strawberries around them and a white bus in the background.
Farmworkers in agricultural communities are impacted by health and safety issues on the job. Photo: Pixabay

As an environmental health scientist, Galaviz works in partnership with communities, government and academics to reduce environmental exposures and address environmental injustices faced by low-income and minority populations and other underserved communities.

Galaviz has also served as director of outreach and education at the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, part of DEOHS.

She currently co-leads a community-engaged research project exploring health disparities faced by rural agricultural communities in Washington. That project is part of the UW’s Population Health Initiative.

A voice for environmental justice

As a Mexican-American, Galaviz experienced firsthand the struggles of living in an underserved community in Los Angeles and was the first in her family to attend college and graduate school.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego; her MPH from San Diego State University; and her PhD in environmental and occupational hygiene from DEOHS.





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