Diurka Diaz, M.A. is a passionate community researcher, advocate and spokes person of the Latino community. With over 25 years of experience in the health care field, Ms. Diaz combines a unique background in health care management, early childhood development and research experience. Ms. Diaz is a graduate of the City University of New York, City College and earned a Master’s degree in Human Development from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.
Currently, Ms. Diaz is a Program Coordinator at the Mothers and Newborn Study (M&NS) at the Center. In this role, Ms. Diaz supervises a staff of over 10 people, diligently works to maintain a retention rate of 88 % and collaborates with Principal Investigators in the design and implementation of new spin-off projects. As the head of the Center’s oldest and largest study, Ms. Diaz leads the Center’s efforts to collect data and to empirically study environmental risk-factor that affect inner-city populations in the Upper Manhattan and South Bronx area. Ms. Diaz is both the first Dominican to serve as Program Coordinator for the M&NS and one of the highest ranking Latinas within the Center. Her cultural background added to her diverse experience has enabled her to work as an advocate for the families as well as a strategic planner within the Center for the last 15 years.
Prior to becoming a senior staff member at the Center, Ms. Diaz’s was professionally affiliated with Metrocare Home Care Services as an Administrative Coordinator, to the Children’s Aid Society of New York as a Private Developmental Consultant and to the New York City Department of Health as an Assistant Project Coordinator. In 2004, Ms. Diaz was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society for her excellence in academics and received, in 2005, a Certificate of Merit from the New York City Council for her outstanding work and involvement in the community.
Ms. Diaz’s ultimate goal is to effectively translate research findings to foster the community’s knowledge regarding environmental risk-factors. To this end, she has proactively complimented her work experience with relevant training and community activism. In 2005, she completed the Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training with the NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan. In 2007, she became a Board member of Community Health Worker Network of New York City and in 2009 she became the Secretary for CHW of NYC Network. In 2009, she completed a 35-hour Participatory Training Program for Frontline Health Workers sponsored by the Community Health Worker Network of NYC and Columbia University’s School of Public Health, Heilbrunn Center for Population and Family Health.