Florida International University (FIU) alumnus Mr. Juan Oves received the 2017 People’s Luminary Award from SAVE for his collaborative work with Latinos Salud and FIU in an effort to curb the spread of HIV. Mr. Oves graduated from Florida International Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work with a master’s degree in public health from the department of health promotion and disease prevention in 2014. He now works at FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine assisting medical students in planning and implementing community health initiatives, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues in South Florida.
[Photo: Mr. Juan Oves (right)]
SAVE is considered South Florida’s premier organization for protecting the rights of individuals who identify as LGBTQ. SAVE promotes equal rights by means of grassroots activism, community engagement, and political advocacy and candidate endorsements.
“I am honored and humbled to accept this award from SAVE on behalf of Latinos Salud as a volunteering co-chair of their board,” said Mr. Oves. “It’s exciting to join past recipients in the LGBTQ community, who I have long admired and respected, but this award truly belongs to everyone in the community contributing to the fight against HIV stigma.”
Latinos Salud is a community-based organization for the South Florida LGBTQ demographic that provides free HIV and STD testing, as well as linkage to care, treatment and social programs. While it focuses on areas such as Wilton Manors, Miami Beach and Kendall, FIU has played an important role in delivering innovative behavioral and biomedical solutions from its main campus in Miami.
For Mr. Oves, Stempel College always felt like home. He says the faculty and staff were helpful and sympathetic, ensuring that every student developed academically and professionally. Mr. Oves learned important leadership skills and the value of cultural competency in health through the department of health promotion and disease prevention, and this motivated him to pursue a career in medicine.
“Juan is a wonderful testament to Stempel College’s emphasis on community engagement. He’s applying his knowledge and talent to a vulnerable population that needs support and attention as the HIV epidemic continues to be an issue across the South Florida region,” said Dr. Tomás R. Guilarte, dean of Stempel College.