CONTACT: Mary Planding,
Director, Marketing & Communications
mary.plandings [at] cabrillo.edu
June 4, 2009
APTOS, CA—The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF), during its annual award ceremony on June 15, will award the Champion of Health Professions Diversity Award to Cabrillo College Women’s Studies and History Instructor Dr. Shirley Flores-Muñoz for her work in helping disadvantaged students expand and attain their health career aspirations.
Flores-Muñoz is receiving this award along with two other colleagues, Dr. Guillermo J. Camacho, a dentist in West Covina and Dr. Tomás A. Magaña of Children’s Hospital in Oakland.
In recognition of their efforts to reduce entry barriers and to ensure the success of underrepresented minorities in the health workforce, the honorees will each receive a cash award of $25,000.
“These three leaders understand the importance of mentoring our state’s youth toward earning a college degree with a goal of securing a career in health care,” said Gary L. Yates, TCWF president and CEO. “Programs and support systems are needed to ensure the success of thousands of students who will be able to deliver culturally competent, language-proficient health care.”
Flores-Muñoz was instrumental in establishing the Pathways to Health Careers Program at Cabrillo that was designed to recruit and support underrepresented and first-generation college students who pursued health careers. The program provided students with mentors, counselors, workshops and study groups. The students also received practical, firsthand experience in local health agencies, clinics and hospitals.
“Pathways to Health Careers was a concept developed by a number of people, but Shirley brought it to life,” stated Cabrillo College Vice President of Instruction Dr. Renée M. Kilmer. “She touched the lives of many students and families and promoted opportunities in health careers that would not have been possible without her advocacy.”
Born and raised in Watsonville, Flores-Muñoz received both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in history and a doctorate in history of consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has been honored by numerous organizations including Santa Cruz County Women’s Commission, Latina Leadership Network, and the National Women’s Political Caucus. She was also instrumental in the founding of the women’s studies program at Cabrillo College.
About Cabrillo College
Cabrillo College is a leading California community college serving Santa Cruz County with locations in Aptos, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. It is ranked #1 in transfers to UC Santa Cruz. Founded in 1959, the college offers more than 100 academic and career technology programs that serve multiple educational goals such as A.A. and A.S. degrees, certificates of achievement, skills certificates, transfer to four-year institutions or for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Its mission is to enhance the intellectual, cultural and economic vitality of its diverse community by assisting all students in their quest for lifelong learning and success in an ever-changing world.