Texas is a big state with a big population. To be singled out as one of the most powerful and influential people in the Lone Star state is quite an achievement, and it’s one that Norma Martinez Rogers, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., can now celebrate.

Rogers, a clinical nursing faculty member at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, was named one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas” by the National Diversity Council in April 2011. She was one of 20 women given the title at the seventh annual Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference.

The National Diversity Council had ample accomplishments to review when considering Rogers as one of their honorees, particularly with regard to her mentoring initiatives. She founded the Juntos Podemos (Together We Can) mentoring program in 2000, with just 20 students. Since then the program has served about 2,400 students, around 200 each semester.

In 2010, both the Health Resources and Services Administration and Congressional Hispanic Caucus gave Rogers $900,000 and $500,000 grants, respectively, to support her mentoring programs. In her current role in the Department of Family and Community Health Systems, Rogers has developed even more mentoring programs specifically for diverse nursing students.

In addition to a slew of organizational roles, including a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health’s Movilizandonos per Nuestro Futuro (as a part of the steering committee), the commissioner of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, and a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rogers also led the National Association of Hispanic Nurses from 2008–2010.

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Find out more about the award and next year’s 2012 Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference at www.texasdiversityconference.com.

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