October 8, 2021

Santino (Tino) Camacho, a PhD candidate at the School, was chosen as a Health Policy Research Scholar, one of the leadership programs sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

The Health Policy Research Scholars program is designed for doctoral students from historically marginalized backgrounds and populations that are underrepresented. The innovative program helps students apply their work to policies that advance equity and health while building a diverse network of leaders who reflect our country’s changing demographics.

A second-year doctoral student, Tino is a queer CHamoru scholar from the island of Guam. His research interests include developing culturally rooted and adapted health promotion interventions for queer, transgender and Indigenous Pacific Islanders. As part of the Health Policy Research Scholar cohort, Tino hopes to use community-based research grounded in Indigenous CHamoru and Pacific Islander values and ethics to develop theories, interventions and policies that promote cultural resurgence and the development of community-grounded services for queer and trans Pacific Islanders.

“Tino is one of a handful of social welfare doctoral students to be selected for this prestigious, multi-disciplinary, national program in the past few years and one of only two student scholars at the UW,” said Taryn Lindhorst, the School’s Behar Endowed Professor of Oncology and Palliative Social Work and PhD program director. “This award recognizes Tino's developing leadership as a scholar focused on creating a culture of health for all people, especially Pacific Islanders.”

Tino joins a national network of change makers from all sectors, professions and disciplines, including economics, political science, architecture, transportation, social work and environmental health. As part of the program experience, these scholars learn with and from one another—each bringing their unique focus, experiences and leadership styles to the table as they work together to create equitable solutions for the complex health challenges in their communities through policy change.