Maria D. Otero
Maria D. Otero is an immigrant, community leader, public health educator, and grassroots activist. She is deeply committed to social justice and has dedicated her career to advocating for marginalized and vulnerable populations, especially the Latino community. Currently serving as the National Director of Priority Populations for Compassion & Choices, Maria collaborates with national organizations and stakeholders to develop comprehensive strategies addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by priority populations. She works to dismantle barriers and biases in healthcare systems, giving these populations a voice and support in shaping their own end-of-life experiences.
Maria's evidence-based approach has led to significant accomplishments, including co-founding Nuestra Salud, a community-based organization targeting health disparities affecting New Mexico's Hispanic/Latino communities. As Executive Director for the New Mexico Community Health Worker Association, she leads research on various health issues, ensuring interventions are grounded in scientific research and proven strategies. Maria's groundbreaking DEJELO YA campaign effectively engaged the Hispanic/Latino population and promoted tobacco control, receiving praise from national federal organizations like the CDC. Her unwavering dedication has made a significant impact on priority populations, promoting social justice, equitable access to end-of-life care, and improved health outcomes. Her contributions have been recognized through numerous honors and awards, further highlighting her exceptional work in public health advocacy.