Betzabe C. Butron-Riveros, M.D., M.Sc., P.H.D.C.
Dr. Betzabe is a Peruvian pediatrician who was born in Lima, the capital city of Peru, a country with a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. After she graduated as a general physician, she studied 3 more years to become a specialist in Pediatrics. She enjoys working with children and professionals who get pleasure from working and sometimes behave as children.
Her first work outside the university context was as a medical doctor for a private NGO that provides care to abandoned children living in public or private institutions. She considers this as a remarkable experience as it gave her the opportunity to design and apply a small-scale program to prevent and manage this special group of children; and to share responsibilities with a multidisciplinary team of social workers, psychologists, and nurses. After two years of working for this NGO, she started working at the Instituto de Investigación Nutricional (Nutritional Research Institute), a Peruvian NGO mainly working on clinical and epidemiological research on maternal and child health issues. As field coordinator of some community-based studies in one of the poorest peri-urban areas in Lima, her responsibilities were mainly the organization and management of fieldwork. This experience was another milestone in her professional and personal life; and motivated her to pursue a Master degree in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London. After obtaining a master degree, she worked as the director of evaluation and supervision unit of an important training project funded by USAID and the Peruvian Ministry of Health. She learned even more about the different cultural context of population living in different areas of the country, and the different factors affecting the work environment and performance of health services. This latter experience motivated her to go in depth in some public health problems affecting mothers and children living in countries facing a demographic and epidemiological transition, and as a result convinced her to pursue a doctoral program at the Maternal and Child Health Department at UNC.
She is currently a second year doctoral student and also a research assistant for two projects working on Hispanic issues. The experience gathered through one of these projects, "Sampling and Measurement Issues in Studying the Perinatal Health of Latina Women", will be her contribution to the 8th Annual Summer Public Health Research Institute on Minority Health.
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