Patricia García, former Minister of Health of Peru (2016-2017)

Voices in Leadership During Crises: Patricia García

Thursday, May 21, 2o2o

Peru took aggressive action early on in the fight against COVID-19, yet they have the second highest rate of infections from this virus in Latin America. On May 13, the Peruvian government had a wave of positive test results from merchants in Peru’s capital, Lima. The government immediately increased movement restrictions and lockdown precautions, including military-enforced curfews, which is scheduled to end on May 24. We welcomed Dr. Patricia Garcia, former Minister of Health of Peru (2016-2017), and discussed how Peru will balance lockdown strategies and the gradual re-opening of key sectors of the economy.

Dr. Patricia J. García is Research Professor at the School of Public Health at Cayetano Heredia University (UPCH) in Lima, Peru. She served previously as Minister of Health of Peru (July 2016-September 2017). During her appointment as Minister, she introduced new public health policies in sexual and reproductive health, HPV vaccination, food labelling, cervical cancer, electronic medical records, telemedicine etc. Prior, Dr. García served as Dean of the School of Public Health at UPCH (2011-2016), and as chief of the Peruvian National Institute of Health (2006-2008), where she introduced the first information system for the national network of public health laboratories in Peru (NETLAB). Dr. Garcíawas also a Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Chan School during the Fall 1 2018 academic term. 

Dr. García is recognized as a leader in global health. She has been a member of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Foundation Technical Advisory Group (FTAG), a board member of the Consortium of Universities in Global Health, and president of the Latin American Association Against STDs (ALACITS).  Dr. García is Affiliate Professor of the Department of Global Health at University of Washington and at the School of Public Health at Tulane University. She is actively involved in research and training in global health, reproductive health, STI/HIV, HPV, and medical informatics. She has recently been appointed as a member of the United States National Academy of Medicine, becoming the first Peruvian professional with such a distinction. 

Dr. García holds an MD from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru; an MPH from University of Washington, Seattle; and a PhD in epidemiology from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru.