Peralta, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.S.A.H.M. is Associate Professor of
Pediatrics and Epidemiology, Chief Division of Adolescent and Young Adult
Medicine, and Director of the Adolescent HIV Program of the Department
of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Dr. Peralta, who has successfully combined her roles as pediatrician
and adolescent medicine specialist, professor, researcher, and patient
and community advocate, is honored for her pioneer and indefatigable work
to fight the HIV epidemic among young people in Maryland and abroad. She
has addressed the health disparities of HIV-infected and vulnerable adolescents
by creating innovative programs to provide them with access to primary
care services and research. She has lead the youth HIV movement in Maryland
by developing and evaluating community-based HIV prevention, education
and testing programs, clinical services, and research initiatives for behaviorally
HIV-infected adolescents and at-risk youth. Dr. Peralta developed the “One
Stop Shopping” model of service for adolescent and young adults, which
include anonymous, confidential, and free HIV testing and counseling,
specialized gynecological examinations such as colposcopy, sexual abuse
counseling, substance abuse counseling and treatment, pharmacy, dental
care, psychosocial, legal and human trafficking services, and research.
This model of comprehensive care at a single site has been successful in
engaging and retaining youth in care and has been recognized as a national
and international model of care for programs seeking to provide services
Her medical education started in her country at age 15, where she was one of six medical students to graduate (summa cum laude) from an entering class of one hundred. It was her successful treatment of a 13 month-old boy dying of tuberculosis during her rotations which narrowed her choice to pediatrics. Both the patient and his mother were malnourished and she noticed how the baby ate when he saw her (she lived far away and could only visit occasionally), so Dr. Peralta started stockpiling extra food for the mother.
Her voluntary work also honors the memory of her father who passed away in 2003. She created Casa Ruben, a not-for-profit, to continue and expand her voluntary work and to honor her father.
She is the recipient of the 2000 Latinos of Distinction Award conferred by the Food and Drug Administration and the White House. She is the first Latina serving in the National HIV Task Force to establish treatment guidelines for children and adolescents.
Biography courtesy of the Maryland Commission for Women, 2011.
© Copyright Maryland State Archives, 2011