José Ramón Fernández-Peña, MD, MPA


headshot of José Ramón Fernández-Peña

Elected November 2014
Term Ending: November 2017
Email José Ramón Fernández-Peña

José Ramón Fernández-Peña, MD, MPA, is an associate professor of health education at San Francisco State University, where his works focuses on health workforce diversity and cross cultural communication in health. He has a degree in medicine from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and a master's degree in public administration from New York University. He is the founder and director of the Welcome Back Initiative, a program to assist immigrant health professionals already living in the U.S. through the necessary steps to enter the U.S. health workforce. The WBI currently includes centers in California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, New York, Texas and Colorado. In 2010, the program was recognized by the Maytree Foundation as one of the world’s 15 most successful programs for immigrant integration. In 2011, it received the E Pluribus Unum prize from the Migration Policy Institute. The program has served over 12,500 people from 157 countries and has assisted thousands in joining the U.S. health workforce.

Previously, Dr. Fernández-Peña worked at Mission Neighborhood Health Center in San Francisco as director of health education, where he managed the health education programs in the HIV, Adult Medicine, Women’s, and Teen clinics. Before arriving in California, he was an associate director for quality management at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City. He’s an active member of APHA, where he has served on the Executive Board, the Action Board (previous chair), the Joint Policy Committee (previous co-chair) and the Latino Caucus (chair of the Policy Committee).

He received the “Champion of Health Professions Diversity” award from The California Wellness Foundation in 2011. Also in 2011, he was recognized by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for his work on immigrant integration. In 2012, he received the Henry J. Montes President’s Award from the APHA Latino Caucus for his work with the Latino community.