Meet Our 2023 Award Winners: Diana Lemos - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Meet Our 2023 Award Winners: Diana Lemos

August 16, 2023

Health & Medicine’s Research Award recognizes an individual involved in any aspect of quantitative or qualitative research, community-based research, or evaluative research that serves to promote improvements in quality of life while recognizing the multiple determinants of health.

This year’s recipient, Diana Lemos, is a passionate advocate for community well-being and social and racial justice, combining her background in community psychology and public health to drive positive change. As the Director of Evaluation and Learning at the AMA Center for Health Equity, she dedicates her career to conducting impactful research and evaluation using participatory methodologies, empowering those most impacted by initiatives, and promoting health equity.

Dr. Lemos has worked in nonprofit, health care and foundation sectors to advance health equity research and programmatic initiatives domestically and in Southern Africa. Some of her previous institutions with strong emphasis on health equity and social justice include Hektoen Institute of Medicine at Stroger Hospital of Cook County, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and Obama Foundation. Dr. Lemos is a dedicated professional who believes in the power of collective action to create transformative change. Through her expertise, passions, and values, she strives to create a more equitable world for all.

“I am truly honored and grateful to be recognized for my work. This award holds deep personal meaning to me, as it not only acknowledges my individual efforts but also acknowledges the invaluable support of my teams, mentors, and loved ones who have stood by me throughout my journey,” Dr. Lemos shares.

Serving on the American Evaluation Association’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group (focused on advancing equity in membership organizations), Dr. Lemos works closely with programs and initiatives that seek to develop and foster the new generation of equity-minded evaluators.

Diana’s contribution to public health and social justice is driven by a deep commitment to making a positive impact on individuals and communities. She prioritizes equitable access to quality health care, recognizing the influence of structural and political determinants of health. “My values have been shaped by my experiences, professionally and personally, and are consistent with the guiding principles that shape my work at the AMA Center for Health Equity to advance health equity, including inclusion, being evidence informed, humility, openness, and authenticity,” she shares. “These values are the foundation of everything I do and are essential for my work in public health.”

Dr. Lemos utilizes community-based research and participatory methodologies to engage marginalized populations. By involving communities in the research and evaluation process, she ensures their voices are heard, their needs are explicit, and their assets are prioritized. This approach fosters a sense of ownership and enables effective, transformative change.

In line with Health & Medicine’s mission, Dr. Lemos promotes equity, inclusivity, and health care access for all. Through her work, she contributes to reframing conversations about health and building upon the legacy of social and health justice advocates. “Some of the most significant contributions in my work have been creating foundational processes, documents, and stories that reframe how we talk about health,” she says. “I firmly believe health is a human right and strive to create a society where everyone has equal opportunities for a healthy life.”

Dr. Lemos holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Illinois at Chicago, Master of Public Health from University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and a PhD from DePaul University. Outside of work, Diana finds inspiration in exploring different cultures through travel and supporting local businesses. She also nurtures her love for nature through keeping houseplants alive and appreciating time with her pet bunnies. With roots in Chicago and a strong connection to her Mexican heritage, Diana seeks to deepen her ties and understanding of her ancestral land while fostering meaningful connections.

“This significant milestone that reaffirms my commitment to driving positive change and making a lasting impact in the fields of health equity and racial justice. It fuels my sense of purpose and motivates me to continue pushing boundaries and seeking innovative solutions to address these critical issues.”

Join us on September 20, 2023, as we connect honor these local health justice advocates, enjoy food and refreshments from The Fat Shallot, and celebrate 42 years of working together to advance health equity.