Nutrition has vast effects on individual and population health—impacting obesity rates, chronic conditions, and quality of life. Yet despite its proven, wide-reaching effects, nutrition remains largely overlooked as a social determinant of health. Dr. Livia Santiago-Rosado, MD, Commissioner of the Dutchess County (NY) Department of Behavioral and Community Health, joins Dr. Enrique Enguidanos to discuss this important topic and how communities can work together to make small tweaks and big impacts.

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About Our Guest:
Dr. Santiago-Rosado has been Commissioner of the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral Health since her appointment in December 2021. Following completion of a BA in Biological Anthropology summa cum laude from Harvard University, she attended medical school at Columbia University. Having completed residency training at Mount Sinai and Elmhurst Hospitals in New York City, has practiced Emergency Medicine in New York for over two decades, working in emergency departments (EDs) in diverse settings including urban, suburban, rural, public and private. She holds an academic appointment as Distinguished Visiting Professor at New York Medical College and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Touro School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Santiago has dedicated her career to working with and enhancing the care of underserved populations. Prior to moving to Dutchess County, she spent 15 years as a clinical leader in New York City’s public hospital system, Health + Hospitals (H+H), where she helped found a novel ED Care Management program for highly vulnerable patients and the first ED-based observation unit in H+H. Prior to her current appointment, Dr. Santiago was the Medical Director and inaugural Chair of Emergency Medicine at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Dr. Santiago is an active member of the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) and sits on its Emerging Issues committee. She also currently serves as a Councilor representing New York at the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and has served two terms on the Board of Directors for the New York Chapter of ACEP. She also serves on ACEP practice committees at both the State and national levels. Throughout her career, she has led and participated in policy development, education, informatics and data analytics, quality improvement, change management, and research in Emergency Medicine, social determinants, and population health at the local, state, and national levels. Lastly, since local health commissioners in New York are required to have a master’s degree in public health (or related field) in addition to a medical doctorate, she is currently enrolled in the MPH program at the University at Albany.