Rosamaria Murillo, Ph.D.

Rosamaria Murillo, Ph.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Dr. Murillo is currently the Director of Special Initiatives for the Department of State Health Services where she is responsible for implementing the department’s “Educational Footprint” and developing academic linkages between the Department and academic institutions including collaborative partnerships and internships with schools of public health, social work, and medical schools for purposes of workforce development, joint development of research agendas, and coordination of the Medical Residency Program designed to train post graduate physicians. In this position she is also responsible for the partnership to implement the Texas Border Health Foundation.

Dr. Murillo was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and grew up in the Juarez-El Paso. In 1985 she moved to Austin, Texas and since then has lived in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston; as well as worked along the US-TX Border and across the US. For over 18 years, Dr. Murillo has worked within different systems to lead, develop, implement, and strengthen health and social services to underserved populations. She has been the principal investigator for projects focusing on breast and cervical cancer outreach, screening, and prevention; comprehensive cancer initiatives; HIV/AIDS testing and counseling in Texas Colonias; maternal and child health, community health worker collaboration initiatives; diabetes; and community organizing and advocacy. Dr. Murillo has also served as an advisor on diverse local, state, and national groups to develop policies, effective program and service strategies for underserved populations, and implement community-based participatory research projects. She has extensive experience in the area of community health and non-profit management, service delivery, policy practice, advocacy, and community-based participatory research. Her work in the field of community health has received several recognitions and national, state, and local appointments including:

  • “The Avon Breast Cancer National Leadership Award” for outstanding outreach to women in the fight against breast cancer.
  • “A Community’s Cancion Para Rosamaria” (A Song for Rosamaria) this recognition song was written, sang, and presented by Community Health Workers in appreciation for her work and leadership as the Associate Director of Migrant Health Promotion and leader of the REACH Promotora Coalition.
  • Leading the creation of the first REACH Promotora Coalition (South Texas) to implement an extensive Community Action and Research targeting micro and macro level systems to address diabetes. The REACH Coalition won national recognition and her agency the first bi-national Border Models of Excellence award.
  • Appointment to the University of South Carolina Blue Ribbon Panel focusing on evaluation of the CDC – REACH Initiatives, and programs focusing on elimination of health disparities.
  • Appointment to the Texas Promotora Program Development Committee.
  • Appointment to the Centers for Disease HIV/AIDS Research National Workgroup.
  • Advisory member to the Community Health Worker Evaluation Tool Kit. Project of the University of Arizona Rural Health Office.
  • Texas representative on the advisory council of the National Community Health Advisor Study.
  • Member of the Texas Cancer Council Advisory Committee National Hispanic Leadership Initiative on Cancer: En Accion.
  • Founding board member of the South Texas Promotora Association, Inc. Appointed as its Spokesperson.

Professional Interests

Organizational development within health and human service organizations; strategic planning; stakeholder engagement; policy practice, community-based participatory research, and workforce development


  • Ph.D., Our Lady of the Lake University
  • M.S.W., Our Lady of the Lake University
  • B.A., University of Texas at Austin

Teaching History


Social Work Building


Mailing Address

The University of Texas
School of Social Work
1925 San Jacinto Blvd D3500
Austin, TX 78712-0358