Ms. Diurka Diaz, M.A. is a passionate community researcher, advocate, spokesperson for the Latino community and publicist. With over 25 years of experience, Ms. Diaz combines a unique background in healthcare management, research experience, and event coordination. Ms. Diaz is a graduate of the City University of New York, City College and earned a master’s degree in Human Development from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.
Currently, Ms. Diaz is a Program Coordinator for the Mothers and Newborn Study (M&NS) at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH). In this role, Ms. Diaz supervises a staff of over 5 people, diligently works to maintain a retention rate of 95 % and collaborates with Principal Investigators in the design and implementation of new spin-off projects. As the head of the Center’s oldest and largest study, Ms. Diaz leads the CCCEH’s efforts to collect data and to empirically study environmental risk-factor that affect inner-city populations in the Upper Manhattan and South Bronx area. Ms. Diaz is both the first Dominican to serve as Program Coordinator for the M&NS and one of the highest-ranking Latinas within the CCCEH. Her cultural background added to her diverse experience has enabled her to work as an advocate for the families as well as a strategic planner within the Center.
Prior to becoming a Senior Staff at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, Ms. Diaz’s was professionally affiliated to Metrocare Home Care Services as an Administrative Coordinator, to the Children’s Aid Society of New York as a Private Developmental Consultant and to the New York City Department of Health as an Assistant Project Coordinator. In 2004, Ms. Diaz was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society for her excellence in academics and received, in 2005, a Certificate of Merit from the New York City Council for her outstanding work and involvement within the community.
After being a spokeswoman for a community in scientific research at Columbia University and being a co-author for over 15 scientific publication and coordinating health events, conferences and translating research findings to the community gave her the inspiration to start her own publicity firm to be able to continue to translating findings in the fields of arts, math, and science. Also to foster new ways of sharing information and services. She worked as a freelance publicist for over 10 years and have worked with many celebrities in the Latino and non-Latino community
She was the Editor In Chief of a Bilingual lifestyle magazine called Spanglish Magazine. In this role, she worked with many artists like Zoe Saldana, Manny Perez, Toby Love, Aventura, Jim Jones, Lumidee, Tony Sunshine and many others.This gave her the opportunity to coordinate fashion shows and photo shoots at various location of the city such as the Marriot Marquis Hotel, Penn Hotel and the Javits Center in NYC.
Ms. Diaz’s ultimate goal is to effectively translate inquiry findings to foster the community’s knowledge regarding environmental risk-factors and to publish results to foster community empowerment. To this end, she has proactively complimented her work experience with relevant training, community activism, and coordination of events in the entertainment area as well as in the research community. In 2005 she completed the Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training with the NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan. In 2009 and 2016 she completed a 35-hour Participatory Training Program for Frontline Health Workers sponsored by the Community Health Worker Network of NYC and Columbia University’s School of Public Health. Lastly, Ms. Diaz launched her own publicity firm to help individuals and businesses promote themselves and to establish means of communicating services being offered.
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