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Alejandra Gonzalez Ruiz, MD, MIH

Alejandra Gonzalez Ruiz, MD, MIH

  • Program Manager, Oncology Strategic Initiatives


Dr. Alejandra González Ruiz is a Mexican physician and a strategic planner and manager of international and global health programs. She currently works with the Chair of the Department of Oncology at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis as the Oncology Strategic Initiatives Program Manager. Alejandra has successfully managed and led large-scale and complex international projects to improve the quality of health care in Latin America and the Middle East on diabetes and childhood cancer, and global health systems strengthening programs on childhood cancer, migration and health, COVID-19, monkeypox and HIV/AIDS.

The path that led Dr. Alejandra to work at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital began in 2005, when she met a four-year-old girl living with HIV/AIDS at a Mexican pediatric hospital during her medical internship. Alejandra decided to dedicate her professional life to changing the conditions of care and medical treatment for patients and their families. Little did she know that this promise would set the stage for the next decade of her life.

After a couple of years living in the Middle East with her husband, she received a scholarship from the Huygens Scholarship Program for International Talent to study a master's degree in international health in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2009-2010). Alejandra returned to Mexico where she was Head of Department at the National Center for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS of the Ministry of Health, there she managed the national supply chain of antiretrovirals for HIV/AIDS at the national level, to provide universal access antiretrovirals to the target population.

In the US, Alejandra worked from 2016 to 2018 at the non-profit organization Microclinic International as a Senior Manager of Global Health Programs in Latin America and the Middle East, where she managed the diabetes prevention and control programs funded by the World Diabetes Foundation in Mexico and in the Middle East, serving refugee populations in Jordan, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East ( UNWRA).

In 2018, Alejandra joined the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine at St. Jude, where she coordinated the Global Critical Care Program and the Pediatric Early Warning System (PEWS/EVAT) multi-site project at 63 hospitals in 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to improve the quality of care for children hospitalized with cancer. In 2021, she joined the Health Systems Unit as coordinator of the WHO Collaborating Center for Childhood Cancer, supporting the WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer by working with WHO Headquarters, Regional Offices and Country and global partners around the world. These activities were aimed at increasing access to quality care for children with cancer and improving survival rates, supporting WHO in integrating childhood cancer into national cancer control plans and policies, in developing tools for disseminating health systems innovation and leadership engagement in childhood cancer management and strengthening childhood cancer control and management through technical support and global stakeholder engagement and region. There she was a member of the global task force working with the WHO to establish the Global Platform for Access to Medicines for Childhood Cancer. She also coordinated a project to strengthen health systems in childhood cancer contributing to the development of the Country Collaboration Tool in Ukraine, Sri Lanka and Mongolia and 12 countries in Latin America.

From 2022 to 2023, Alejandra worked in the International Development Division of Abt Associates as Country Program Manager and technical lead for the Local Health System Sustainability (LHSS) Project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Peru. She managed the implementation of complex work plans of COVID -19, monkeypox, health financing, migration and health and HIV/AIDS initiatives in Peru, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. She provided strategic and managerial direction and technical leadership on national health system strengthening programs with combined annual budgets totaling more than $5 million.

The values of St. Jude resonate deeply with Alejandra; her work helps make a difference in the lives of children with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses and their families. Back at home, she is the proud mother of 2 smart and beautiful girls, and she and her husband experience the world through their eyes. Alejandra is grateful to be a part of St. Jude, where she will continue to dedicate her professional life to realizing the human right to health for all.

Selected Publications

Agulnik A, Muniz-Talavera H, Pham LTD, Chen Y, Carrillo AK, Cárdenas-Aguirre A, Gonzalez Ruiz A, Garza M, Conde Morelos Zaragoza TM, Soberanis Vasquez DJ, Méndez-Aceituno A, Acuña-Aguirre C, Alfonso-Carreras Y, Alvarez Arellano SY, Andrade Sarmiento LA, Batista R, Blasco Arriaga EE, Calderon P, Chavez Rios M, Costa ME, Díaz-Coronado R, Fing Soto EA, Gómez García WC, Herrera Almanza M, Juarez Tobías MS, León López EM, López Facundo NA, Martinez Soria RA, Miller K, Miralda Méndez ST, Mora Robles LN, Negroe Ocampo NDC, Noriega Acuña B, Osuna Garcia A, Pérez Alvarado CM, Pérez Fermin CK, Pineda Urquilla EE, Portilla Figueroa CA, Ríos Lopez LE, Rivera Mijares J, Soto Chávez V, Suarez Soto JI, Teixeira Costa J, Tejocote Romero I, Villanueva Hoyos EE, Villegas Pacheco M, Devidas M, Rodriguez-Galindo C,  Effect of paediatric early warning systems (PEWS) implementation on clinical deterioration event mortality among children with cancer in resource-limited hospitals in Latin America: A prospective, multicentre cohort study. Lancet Oncol 24(9):978-988 2023.

Wiphatphumiprates PP, Graetz DE, Ferrara G, Puerto-Torres M, Gillipelli SR, Elish P, Muniz-Talavera H, Gonzalez-Ruiz A, Armenta M, Barra C, Carpio Z, Hernandez C, Juarez S, de Jesus Loeza J, Mendez A, Montalvo E, Penafiel E, Pineda E, McKay V, Agulnik A. The COVID-19 Pandemic's impact on sustainability and expansion of a Pediatric Early Warning System in resource-limited hospitals. Cancer Med Apr 6, 2023.

Agulnik A, Gonzalez Ruiz A, Muniz-Talavera H, Carrillo AK, Cárdenas A, Puerto-Torres MF, Garza M, Conde T, Soberanis Vasquez DJ, Méndez Aceituno A, Acuña Aguirre C, Alfonso Y, Álvarez Arellano SY, Argüello Vargas D, Batista R, Blasco Arriaga EE, Chávez Rios M, Cuencio Rodríguez ME, Fing Soto EA, Gómez-García W, Guillén Villatoro RH, Gutiérrez Rivera ML, Herrera Almanza M, Jimenez Antolinez YV, Juárez Tobias MS, López Facundo NA, Martínez Soria RA, Miller K, Miralda S, Morales R, Negroe Ocampo N, Osuna A, Pascual Morales C, Pérez Fermin CK, Pérez Alvarado CM, Pineda E, Andrés Portilla C, Rios López LE, Rivera J, Sagaón Olivares AS, Saguay Tacuri MC, Salas Mendoza BT, Solano Picado I, Soto Chávez V, Tejocote Romero I, Tatay D, Teixeira Costa J, Villanueva E, Villegas Pacheco M, McKay VR, Metzger ML, Friedrich P, Rodriguez-Galindo C, Escala de Valoración de Alerta Temprana (EVAT) Study Group. Model for regional collaboration: Successful strategy to implement a pediatric early warning system in 36 pediatric oncology centers in Latin America. Cancer Nov 15;128(22):4004-4016, 2022.

Agulnik A, Schmidt-Grimminger G, Ferrara G, Puerto-Torres M, Gillipelli SR, Elish P, Muniz-Talavera H, Gonzalez-Ruiz A, Armenta M, Barra C, Diaz-Coronado R, Hernandez C, Juarez S, Loeza JJ, Mendez A, Montalvo E, Penafiel E, Pineda E, Graetz DE, McKay V. Challenges to sustainability of pediatric early warning systems (PEWS) in low-resource hospitals in Latin America. Front Health Serv Oct 31, 2:1004805, 2022.

Mirochnick E, Graetz DE, Ferrara G, Puerto-Torres M, Gillipelli SR, Elish P, Muniz-Talavera H, Gonzalez-Ruiz A, Armenta M, Barra C, Diaz-Coronado R, Hernandez C, Juarez S, Loeza JJ, Mendez A, Montalvo E, Penafiel E, Pineda E, Agulnik A. Multilevel impacts of a pediatric early warning system in resource-limited pediatric oncology hospitals. Front Oncol Oct 12;12:108224, 2022.

Agulnik A, Malone S, Puerto-Torres M, Gonzalez-Ruiz A, Vedaraju Y, Wang H, Graetz D, Prewitt K, Villegas C, Cardenas-Aguierre A, Acuna C, Arana AE, Díaz R, Espinoza S, Guerrero K, Martínez A, Mendez A, Montalvo E, Soberanis D, Torelli A, Quelal J, Villanueva E, Devidas M, Luke D, McKay V. Reliability and validity of a Spanish-language measure assessing clinical capacity to sustain Paediatric Early Warning Systems (PEWS) in resource-limited hospitals. BMJ Open Oct 10;11(10):e053116, 2021.

Last update: October 2023