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United States Department of Health and Human Services
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Rear Admiral Cristina V. Beato, M.D., FAAFP
Acting Assistant Secretary for Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Cristina V. Beato PhotoIn her capacity as the acting assistant secretary for health, HHS, Dr. Cristina V. Beato serves as the principal advisor on health policy and medical and scientific matters to the Secretary of HHS, oversees the Office of Public Health and Science, and supervises related programs and activities within the Department. In addition, she is a rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

Dr. Beato is focused on leading the Department's efforts to reduce health disparities, combat HIV/AIDS, encourage prevention strategies for reducing chronic diseases, and advance women's health. She is a spokesperson for HHS and has been actively involved in the Department's efforts to encourage immunizations, increase preparedness for public health emergencies, promote research integrity and ethics, and establish a women's hospital in Afghanistan.

Board certified in family medicine, Dr. Beato has dedicated her professional life to improving the health and well being of individuals, families, and communities. She emigrated from Cuba in her childhood, and went on to receive her undergraduate and medical school education at the University of New Mexico (UNM). During her medical residency, Dr. Beato instituted the first formal medical community outreach program for abused, neglected, and abandoned children at the All Faiths Receiving Home in Albuquerque.

Prior to joining the Department, Dr. Beato served her community in various capacities, including as a member of the UNM School of Medicine faculty, and as medical director for the All Faiths Receiving Home and for several other health clinics. In 1999, she became the UNM School of Medicine associate dean for clinical affairs and chief medical officer of the UNM Hospital System, the first woman to serve in that position. She was instrumental in leading the integration of academic affairs, clinical research, and patient care in the only Level One trauma center and tertiary-quaternary care center in the state.

Dr. Beato joined the Department in the fall of 2001 as deputy assistant secretary for health and was later promoted to principal deputy assistant secretary for health. President Bush nominated her to be assistant secretary for health on July 30, 2003, and she awaits confirmation from the U.S. Senate.

Dr. Beato is the mother of two children and resides in the Washington, D.C., area.

Last revised: October 5, 2004

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