José R. Romero, MD, is the Arkansas Secretary of Health and Director of the Department of Health (ADH). He is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has board certification in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Dr. Romero earned his medical degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. His pediatric residency and research fellowship in molecular microbiology were at the Department of Pediatrics at the State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook. He completed his fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Colorado and The Denver Children’s Hospital. He has been a Fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Minority Medical Faculty Development Program.
Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Romero was the Director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Section at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Director of Clinical Trials Research at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute. Before moving to Arkansas, he was the Section Director at the University of Nebraska for Medical Sciences (UNMC). While at UNMC, he was involved in efforts to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities in research in his roles as Director for Latino Health-Related Research Affairs and the Minority Health Education and Research Office. He also served as the Vice-Chair of the UNMC Institutional Biosafety Committee.
Dr. Romero is currently the Chair of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and has been a member and Chair of multiple ACIP Work Groups. He is also the Chairman of the US Polio National Certification Commission. Dr. Romero was a member and Chair of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. He has been a member of the American Board of Pediatrics’ Sub-Board of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and the Microbiology Test Committee of the National Board of Medical Examiners. He served as a policy adviser to the administration of Mexican President Vicente Fox through the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Advisory Council of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad.
He is a fellow/member of multiple professional organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, and the American Society for Virology.
“My recent transition to public health from an academic/clinical/research track demonstrates the myriad of professional opportunities available to pediatric infectious diseases physicians. I have never had reason doubt my career choice,” says Dr. Romero. “I am proud to be a member and fellow of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.”