WASHINGTON, -- LUNGevity Foundation, the nation's leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, is pleased to announce Arif J. Vega, PhD, as the organization's Director of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion – Engagement and Outreach.
Dr. Vega comes to LUNGevity with a distinguished 26-year career in healthcare where he has developed, implemented, and managed programs that focused on the intersection of representation, access, and HIV/HCV care. Most recently, as the Senior Administrator for the Maryland Department of Health Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, he created strategies to address medical care inequities within minority communities while managing CARES ACT grants totaling over $3.8 million.
Before his tenure at the Maryland Department of Health, Dr. Vega served as Senior Director of Diversity and HIV Medical Programs and Services for Mary's Center, where he was Instrumental in implementing strategy and embedding diversity, equity, service learning, and civic engagement within agency-wide policy and training curriculum.
In his new role, Dr. Vega will engage medically underserved populations with trusted stakeholders to gain community insights and deliver information, hope, and awareness for optimal lung cancer care. He will also work with legislators at the state and federal level (eg, Black and Latinx Caucuses) to address issues relevant to access to quality lung cancer care throughout the care continuum for vulnerable communities.
"We are truly excited to welcome Dr. Vega to our team," stated Jeanne Regnante, LUNGevity Foundation's Chief Health Equity and Diversity Officer. "Arif brings with him a wealth of experience as well as a profound understanding of the effects of health disparities on vulnerable communities. We look forward to his contributions to expanding our efforts to secure quality care for all lung cancer patients and their families."
Fluent in nine languages (German, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Japanese, Czech, and Polish), Dr. Vega has a PhD in Psycholinguistics and an MBA from Harvard University. He obtained his Master of Psychology Counseling from Pace University.