Maria Elena Ruiz, has a PhD in medical sociology, social epidemiology, nursing and gerontology focus; a MS and BS in Family Nursing; a MA and BA in Sociology and is a Nurse Practitioner. Ruiz also specializes on racism and vulnerable populations, Latinos, social epidemiology, Latino nurses, and the intersection of cross-cultural health care, with a specific focus on mixed quantitative/qualitative research methods, community-based participatory action research and integration of community health workers.
Dr. Ruiz has Clinical and Educational Expertise in Family Health, Community/Public Health, Spanish for Health Providers, and Global Health and ran a two year Human Interventions Program and Clinical Intervention Trials (OHSU).
Dr. Ruiz is the founder and coordinator of the programs to Cuba and Oaxaca, Mexico. Her research integrates her background in nursing, familism, gerontology, and medical sociology, and open borders, including: Health disparities, racial/ethnic minority caregivers, intergenerational relations, homeless Latinos and Black women/elders, and diabetes.