UVA Health Celebrates Hispanic National Heritage Month — Highlighting Visionary Leaders and Events

September 27, 2023 by

Hispanic Heritage Month graphicEvery year from September 15 to October 15, UVA Health unites with people across the country to mark National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of people in the United States of Hispanic/Latin American background. The observance starts mid-month, aligning with the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries including all Central American countries on September 15, Mexico on September 16 and Chile follows on September 18. The observance extends just beyond Día de la Raza – a day to commemorate the Hispanic race and heritage – which falls on October 12.

This year’s theme is “Creating a Vibrant Community of Visionary Leaders” – an aspiration UVA Health is proud to share. We celebrate all our team members of Hispanic heritage, the visionaries and leaders in their fields, and their collective contributions toward our shared initiative to cultivate healthy communities and belonging for all.

We’re honored and proud that several of our own visionary leaders are doing impactful work in our institution, local communities, and beyond.

Originally from Colombia, Juliana Bueno, MD, a physician in our Radiology and Medical Imaging Department, has championed the development of an international outreach program in radiology that has led to new opportunities for UVA residents and physicians in partner institutions. Please take the time to listen to Dr. Bueno’s inspirational story which she shared in a recent UVA Health Storyteller Series and Diversity Dialogue with Chief Diversity and Community Engagement Officer Tracy M. Downs, MD, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Max Luna, MD, FACC in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement in the Department of Medicine leads the Latino Health Initiative( LHI) at UVA Health. With LHI, he collaborates with a physicians, nurses and students along with a network of other organizations to provide community health education and services as well as facilitating access to affordable health care to Spanish-speaking community members. LHI also supports Clínica Gratuita, a partnership with the Charlottesville Free Clinic, where they offer free primary healthcare to Hispanics in their own language and with cultural competency.  Within our health system, Dr. Luna collaborates to make our institution more cultural and language competent while we work on increasing the representation of Latinos in our workforce in order to better care for our Latinx patients.

The Latino Health Initiative is supporting several upcoming events in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month including:

Culpeper Fiesta
Sept. 22, 6-10pm

Manassas Latino Festival
Sept. 30, 11am-6pm

Central Virginia Latinx Health Fair
Oct. 14, 12-4pm

We take great pride in the exceptional contributions of Dr. Bueno and Dr. Luna, who serve as inspiring role models for all of us.

As always, thank you to all our team members for all you do to be stewards of our mission of transforming health and inspiring hope for all Virginians and beyond!


Tracy M. Downs, MD
Chief Diversity and Community Engagement Officer, UVA Health

Marianne Baernholdt, RN
Dean, UVA School of Nursing

Wendy Horton, PharmD
Chief Executive Officer, UVA Health University Medical Center

Scott Just, MD
Chief Executive Officer, UVA Physicians Group

Melina R. Kibbe, MD
Dean, UVA School of Medicine

Erik Shannon
Chief Executive Officer, UVA Community Health

K. Craig Kent, MD
Chief Executive Officer, UVA Health

Filed Under: Community, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion