Kelly Palmer appointed to El Rio Health Board of Directors

Sept. 29, 2023


Kelly Palmer, PhD, MHS, CCRP was recently appointed to the El Rio Health Board of Directors.

Dr. Palmer was approved for the El Rio Health Board of Directors at their August 31, 2023, Board Meeting along with Jon K. Nisbet, MD, an orthopedic surgery consultant at the University of Arizona Campus Health and Department of Athletics.

“It is an honor to bring my experience and perspectives in public health and cancer and cardiometabolic disease prevention to shape the future of El Rio Health and support its mission to improve the health and wellbeing of our community,” Dr. Palmer said.

Dr. Palmer is a Cancer Center member and an assistant professor in the Health Promotion Sciences Department of the University of Arizona College of Public Health and an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Translational Services Department of the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She is also the associate director of the UAHS Center for Health Disparities Research.

Dr. Palmer received her PhD in Health Behavior Health Promotion from the University of Arizona in 2021 and has extensive experience in health disparities research, diabetes research and inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. She is also on the board of the Coalition for African American Health and Wellness in Tucson.

El Rio Health is the largest provider of healthcare services for the uninsured and Medicaid populations in Pima County. El Rio serves the medical, dental, and behavioral health needs of more than 125,000 patients annually and employs more than 1,800 people with an annual budget of over $247 million dollars.

A national model of healthcare excellence, El Rio’s mission is to “improve the health of our community through comprehensive, accessible, affordable, quality and compassionate care.”

“Among many things, I am most impressed with El Rio Health’s commitment to identifying and addressing social determinants for their patients,” Dr. Palmer said.