Meet Estelamari Rodriguez, Hispanic Woman of Distinction, MD, MPH Associate Director Community Outreach Thoracic Oncology Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
“As Hispanics become a growing part of the population, having more Hispanic women in positions of leadership and creating mentoring opportunities will be crucial to address the needs of our community at large.”
Dr. Rodriguez’s journey to a career in medical oncology started when she grew up in Puerto Rico. She learned quickly from her mother and grandmother that taking care of those who are sick is not only a duty, but also a gift. With this guidance, Dr. Rodriguez pursued her education and she earned a full scholarship to study at Columbia University in New York.
Financially strained, taking science college courses in English did not come easily to her. However, she persisted, and with so many role models in her life, she earned her Bachelors in Arts at Columbia University and later a medical degree from the State University of New York Downstate at Brooklyn. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and completed a hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Chief Fellow.
Dr. Rodriguez finds time even with her busy schedule, to participate in numerous community events and non-profit groups. She is currently the Chair of the American Cancer Society Miami-Dade Volunteer Leadership Board, where she raises funds for cancer research and programs. She is also co-founder the “Kids Helping Kids Succeed” organization that impacts the well-being of children and families in Miami-Dade. She has a strong interest in lung cancer research and healthcare disparities and is a team leader for the Dolphin Cancer Challenge Lung Team that raises money for cancer research at Sylvester Cancer Center.
Being the only Latina doctor in a medical team or leadership board has allowed Dr. Rodriguez to serve as a role model for other Hispanic women who may lack the confidence of entering fields of Science and Technology.
Dr. Rodriguez is the mother of Victoria, age eleven, and Louis age six, and she lives in Bay Harbor Island with her husband, Louis Valente, PhD. Scientist who works in Biotechnology. She says that her favorite vacation spot is her homeland of Puerto Rico, and in her “spare time,” she enjoys running, cross fit and crafts.
The 19th annual Hispanic Women of Distinction Charity luncheon to be held on August 28th at Signature Grand in Davie, Florida is anticipating another sell-out of up to 1000 guests paying tribute to Latina professionals who are strengthening the social fabric of this country and making inroads in the leadership pipeline for a growingly diverse America.
The annual cultural event has now grown to be the largest celebration of Latinas in Florida representing a cross-section of disciplines that are changing the face of American culture. With over 70 nominations this year, 12 Latinas and a Latina Pioneer have been selected to join the more than 200 past honorees.
What the women have in common and is a major part of the judging process, is their American entrepreneurship intertwined with their values and traditions. The accomplishments of these Latinas stand on their own and are even more significant given the traditional roadblocks that exist for women, especially Latinas.
Presented by Latina Style Magazine, in partnership with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Latin Biz Today, this popular high-powered exciting event includes a complimentary “mojito” and silent auction, hors d’hoerves, entertainment, and an interactive business expo on Facebook Live.
The event benefits FLITE Center, the one and only one-stop in Broward County for youth transitioning from foster care and other transitioning youth who are facing severe risks and challenges with no family support. FLITE Center works alongside our county’s foster care placement agency, ChildNet, as well as the Judges and Magistrates who oversee their care plans. They serve over 1500 youth per year and serve as the gap filler in the community for youth and agencies lacking the resources to help them reach full self-sufficiency.
The 2020 Honorees to from Broward, Dade and Palm Beach County are:
ESTELAMARI RODRIGUEZ, M.D. – Assoc. Director Community Outreach Thoracic Oncology, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center – (City of Miami )
2020 Latina Pioneer of the Year: RITA B CRAIG – President, Top Tier Leadership
Rita formed her company more than 20 years ago helping leaders and organizations build winning cultures, deliver results and maximize performance around the world. An award winning certified speaker and coach she has recently been appointed as one of the 21 women on the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. Rita is a resident of Palm Beach Gardens.
For more information, visit www.hispanicwomenofdistinction.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $95 per person. Sponsorships begin at $1500. All major credit cards accepted. Follow us on Facebook