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Larissa Avilés-Santa, M.D., M.P.H.

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Larissa Avilés-Santa, M.D., M.P.H.

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Larissa Avilés-Santa, M.D. and M.P.H. joined the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in 2006. She is an expert on the study and prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in underserved populations, particularly among Hispanic communities. Dr. Avilés-Santa is currently the Project Director for the Hispanic Community Health Study - Study of Latinos (HCHS-SOL), which was initiated on October 1, 2006.  HCHS-SOL is the largest study to date to examine the prevalence of common heart disease risk factors—high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and smoking—within a diverse Hispanic/Latino population.  HCHS-SOL has enrolled over 16,000 adults of different backgrounds, including Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Central American, and South American.

Dr. Avilés-Santa received her M.D. in 1992 from the University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine. She then completed her residency training in internal medicine at the University Hospital in San Juan in 1995. Following her residency, she moved to Texas to pursue subspecialty training in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. After finishing her fellowship, Dr. Avilés-Santa joined the faculty of the Endocrine Division at UT Southwestern, during which time she also earned a Masters in Public Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health. She is board certified in internal medicine and endocrinology.

Areas of Expertise: diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Hispanics; women’s health; access to and utilization of health care services by the underserved; bioethics; clinical care; endocrinology