Dr. Vela Acosta is an environmental, occupational and public health professional, passionate about improving health equity and well-being of underserved communities through applied research, evaluation and prevention programs. She received her medical degree from the University of Guanajuato’s School of Medicine in Mexico. Her Masters in Environmental Health and Epidemiology was awarded by Colorado State University, as well as her Ph.D. in Environmental Health and Industrial Hygiene. As the Director of Partnerships for Health Equity, she approaches complex problems by integrating interdisciplinary methods, developing consensus, and advancing action-oriented solutions for practical roadmaps towards sustainable health and equity.

As a bilingual advocate, Dr. Vela Acosta appreciates the complex issues associated with linguistic and cultural challenges essential to unite discrete individuals and families. She is proficient in leading, convening and achieving agreements among polarized organizations and diverse agencies (in health care, research, education, government and advocacy groups), individuals (employers, workers, family members and scientists), and trans-boundary coalitions (global/ecologic approach).

As a former family practitioner, Dr. Vela Acosta is committed to improving the well-being of diverse and vulnerable populations, farmworkers, youth, immigrants and Spanish-speaking populations in the United States and Latin America. She is committed to social justice and sustainable system changes for food, health, and well-being, programs that aim to meet the needs of UCSD students, faculty, and staff, as well as for our local communities.


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