Elmer Huerta, M.D., M.P.H.

Communication and Outreach to Hispanic/Latinx Communities

Research Area: Cancer Prevention

Portrait of Elmer Huerta, M.D., M.P.H.
Elmer Huerta, M.D., M.P.H.
Communication and Outreach to Hispanic/Latinx Communities

Dr. Elmer Huerta, M.D., M.P.H., is recognized for his work in public education and cancer prevention and control, an impact he made, in part, because of the Spanish-language radio show he has made for almost 30 years, “Cuidando su Salud,” (Taking Care of Your Health) on Radio America.

In 1994, Dr. Huerta created the Cancer Preventorium at Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a low-cost prevention and screening clinic that reaches underserved urban Hispanic/Latinx communities in the Washington, D.C. area. His listeners were some of the first people to use the clinic. The goals of the program are focused on education and outreach, cancer screening and education, and patient navigation. In addition to caring for this underserved population, the program is a laboratory to study different aspects of behavioral health and access to health care.

The Preventorium continues now at George Washington (GW) University Cancer Center, where Dr. Huerta serves as the director of the Cancer Preventorium Clinic and a clinical professor of medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Dr. Huerta trained at the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplásicas in Peru, focusing on internal medicine and medical oncology, and completed a fellowship in cancer prevention and control at the NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program. His numerous accolades include his appointment as a member of the National Cancer Advisory Board in 1998 and the Innovation in Prevention Award from the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in 2004. Dr. Huerta also inspired the Patient Navigator, Outreach, and Chronic Disease Prevention Act with his cancer preventorium. This act was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush in 2005. Dr. Huerta is also the former and the first ever Latino president of the American Cancer Society.

To learn more about Dr. Huerta, read this article in GW News.