The COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on the Latinx community in Texas and across the nation. They are facing more severe health and economic consequences than the non-Hispanic white population. This webinar will address the impact of COVID-19 on the Latinx community, including the risk factors for and effects of the disease, the financial consequences and resources available, how Latinx people with disabilities are affected, and focus on where we go from here to address these disparities and improve outcomes for the Latinx community.

COVID-19 and the Impact on the Latinx Community from Tracie Harrison on Vimeo.

Dr Amelie Ramirez's slides

Veronica Cool's slides

Renee Lopez's slides

Eli Covarrubias' slides


Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH

Chair and Professor of Population Health Sciences and Director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio

Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, is an internationally recognized health disparities researcher at UT Health San Antonio. She has 30 years of experience conducting behavioral and communications projects to reduce cancer, prove the efficacy of patient navigation for cancer patients, and improve healthy lifestyles among U.S. Latinos.

Veronica Cool, MSF

Latina Mom, Entrepreneur, Author & Speaker

Dominican-born Veronica founded Cool & Associates, a consulting firm to connect organizations to the Hispanic community, offering strategy, training, marketing/PR & language services.

She and her team published the first of its kind: Hispanic Heritage Month: Essential Toolkit to facilitate the acknowledgement and engagement of the Latino segment in the United States. Committed to empowering our community, she established the Latino Innovators Pitch to scale Latino businesses profitably; along with two Facebook Groups: Yo Quiero Trabajo and Emprendedores Exitosos, that provide resources and opportunities for jobseekers and entrepreneurs.  Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Hogan appointed Veronica as part of the Small Business task force of MD Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.  She also serves on the boards of MedStar Good Sam Hospital, Open Society Institute, ALPFA-Baltimore, Governors Workforce Development Board, AHCC and Montgomery College HBTI.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Veronica was invited to serve on Governor Hogan’s Reopening Business Taskforce.

She’s been recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama, and is the proud recipient of various awards, including the Latina Style Entrepreneur of the Year, NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership award, Innovator of the Year, and US Hispanic Chamber Corporate Leader of the Year. She lives near Baltimore with her husband and two teenagers, keeping busy with writing, reading and donating firetrucks.

Renee Lopez, MEd

She is a 58 year old Latina woman with a physical disability (she uses a wheelchair).

She was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She has lived here her entire life.

She graduated from the University of Texas in 1984 and 1986 with a BA and an M.Ed. respectively. She worked for the State of Texas for 30 years and is now retired. She has a long history of advocating for the rights of people with disabilities since 1982 when a student at The University of Texas.  As a student with a life-long physical disability, she joined other students with disabilities for campus accessibility. She continues to advocate to this day.

She has been on the Advisory Board for SAFE Disability Services since 2010.  She has attended conferences on behalf of SAFE as a workshop presenter teaching and informing conference attendee's on issues of violence and abuse against persons with disabilities. She is also a member of a core group of a coalition put together by the VERA Institute of Justice on ending violence against people with disabilities.

Hilario "Eli" Covarrubias

Health Management Liaison, Central Health Medical Management

He is responsible for assisting high risk MAP patients and their families navigate and access community resources. His passions include advancing the role of the Community Health Worker/ Promotoras. He is currently working on establishing a Network of CHW’s for Central Texas.


Janice F. Hernandez, DNP, RN, FNP-C

Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing

Dr. Hernandez is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the UT School of Nursing and serves as Division Chair of The Holistic Adult Health Division. She received her Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree at The University of Texas at Austin and currently teaches in the undergraduate and graduate level at the UT school of nursing and is committed to educating culturally competent nursing leaders to serve the community.  Dr. Hernandez is also the academic sponsor for the The Hispanic Nursing Student Association dedicated to serving the community, supporting college students who want to pursue a degree in nursing by hosting internal/external transfer workshops as well as mentoring high school students who are interested in the nursing field. Dr. Hernandez is proud to be the President of Texas DNP - An organization representing Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates, students, and faculty in Texas. Texas DNP advances the health of individuals, families, and communities by promoting evidence-based practices and advocating for patient access, quality and safety. She was recently nominated to participate in the University of Texas Executive Management and Leadership Program, Spring 2020. The goal of the program is to develop expertise among university leaders to meet the business, leadership, and organizational challenges ahead for UT Austin.

Presented by the Center for Excellence in Aging Services and Long-Term Care, represented by:

Ronnie Walker, PhD, RN, NE-BC, CNE

Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing

Dr. Verónica García Walker’s work in the area of psychiatric mental health with children and adolescents has spanned over 20 years in a variety of settings including both in-patient and out-patient settings. In 2002, she was hired to manage two psychiatric neurobehavioral units that served adolescents and children at Meridell Achievement Center in Liberty Hill, Texas. Meridell is a specialized residential treatment center for children and adolescents. Dr. García-Walker was recruited in 2006 from Meridell to teach mental health nursing courses in the graduate and undergraduate nursing programs at The University of Texas at Austin. At this time she also was invited to be an instructor for a course in health-professional Spanish language that included content on the Hispanic culture.

Dr. Garcia-Walker completed her PhD in Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin. She is now involved in the research of older adults diagnosed with schizophrenia (OADWS) using Life Course theory in an effort to learn about their perceptions of aging. The purpose of this research is to inform interventions that address their special needs. The research will ultimately assist nursing practice in improving current negative health care outcomes among OADWS, working toward their improved health, increased disease prevention, and improved quality of life.


The Center for Excellence in Aging Services and Long-Term Care would like to thank the webinar planning committee: Laura Arce, Alexandra Garcia, Janice Hernandez and Ronnie Walker.

We appreciate all that you are doing for our community!