Diego Chaves-Gnecco (MMPH '00) was recently awarded the 2016 FUERZA Award by Cafe Con Leche for his work with Salud Para Niños and service to Pittsburgh's Latino community. “The FUERZA Awards celebrate local Latinx talent and the contributions they have made to the Pittsburgh region,” said founder, Tara Sherry-Torres.
Chaves-Gnecco, MD, MPH, FAAP is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, director and founder of the program Salud Para Niños.
Chaves-Gnecco graduated from Gimnasio Moderno in Bogotá, Colombia and obtained his title as a Medical Doctor from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana where he held a position as instructor of physiology and pharmacology at the School of Medicine. From 1995 to 1998 he completed his residency in Pediatrics at Hospital Universitario San Ignacio, Clínicas Infantiles Cafam and Colsubsidio being Chief Resident during his last year. In 1998, he came to Pittsburgh as a visiting instructor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Center for Clinical Pharmacology where he worked until 2002.
He obtained a master's degree in public health from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in 2000. In 2002, he started his residency in pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and joined its Community Oriented Residency Education (CORE) program, a concentration in pediatrics that trains leaders in community health and child advocacy. As part of his CORE training, in the summer of 2002 he created the first pediatric bilingual-bicultural clinic in southwestern Pennsylvania. Since its creation, this clinic has expanded to the program Salud Para Niños (Health for the Children).
At Salud Para Niños, culturally and linguistically competent primary care for children and families is complemented with activities oriented toward prevention and
community empowerment for health. Some of the activities of Salud Para Niños include:
- a weekly clinics in Oakland at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Primary Care Center,
- a monthly free clinic at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Care Mobile and at the Birmingham Clinic,
- participation in / organization of community fairs,
- a literacy program where children are given bilingual books to promote literacy and learning of English as a Second Language for both children and parents,
- translation of health prevention materials into Spanish, and
- Hispanic/Latino Car Seat Checks in which emphasis is made in car safety issues.
Chaves-Gnecco has been extensively honored for his work and service to the community including the 2015 NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
Find out more about the Fuerza Awards or get to know more about Chaves-Gnecco's work in this WESA-FM radio feature "For Latino Children With Autism, Additional Barriers Exist."
“At Salud Para Niños, culturally and linguistically competent primary care for children and families is complemented with activities oriented toward prevention and empowering the community about its own health. ”
— Dr. Diego