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Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel to Receive The Ohtli Award from the Government of Mexico

This is the highest honor bestowed by the Mexican Government to individuals and organizations that have stood out for their work in favor of the empowerment of the Mexican diaspora and helped to “open the path” for the new Mexican American and Latino generations.

The Institute of Mexicans Abroad (IME), through the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia, is pleased to announce that the Consul of Mexico Carlos Obrador Garrido, will present the prestigious Ohtli Award to Dr. Antonia M. Villarruel, Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The ceremony will be broadcast live at 6:00 PM through the Facebook account of this consular representation (@ConsulmexFila).

Since 1996, the Government of Mexico has conferred this distinction on individuals and organizations that, through their professional and personal achievements, have helped the integration and empowerment of the Mexican diaspora and have paved the way for new generations of young people of Mexican origin to develop their potential in order to foster the well-being and improve the quality of life of their families and communities.

On this occasion, recognition of the work undertaken by Dr. Villarruel makes it possible to elevate and celebrate the efforts of nurses and health care workers, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as highlight that it is the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

As Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Villarruel’s leadership across the school’s nursing research, education, and practice mission has resulted in positive impact in the ongoing effort to improve equity and access to health care in communities around the world.

In addition, Dr. Villarruel has dedicated much of her professional life to serving Latino communities in the area of public health. She has been at the forefront of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership’s efforts to reduce maternal mortality in Latin America, and is a co-founder of the first doctoral program of nursing in Mexico at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León, contributing substantially to the training of hundreds of highly specialized educators and researchers in Mexico.

Moreover, she is the founder of a program that has been implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called ¡Cuídate!, an initiative that aims to reduce risky sexual behavior among Latino adolescents in order to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Dr. Villarruel’s outstanding work in academia and public health has had a significant impact in promoting equitable access to high-quality health services, both in Mexico and in the United States.