Cuban-American Latina Is a Premier Healthcare Anthropologist

Iveris Luz Martinez

Meet Iveris Luz Martinez the 2017 Hispanic Woman of Distinction Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Florida International University – Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine


“A role model is not necessarily someone who follows the same career path as you or has the same opportunities, but someone who models the important values of curiosity, hard work and integrity in whatever walk of life they come from, and motivates you to see no limits and achieve your dreams.”

Margaret Meade was the most famous cultural anthropologist in recent history. If Iveris Luz Martinez, Ph.D. continues to study, teach and publish the way she has been throughout her career, she may very well become known as the premier medical and healthcare anthropologist.

Iveris Luz MartinezShe began her studies not far from her New Jersey birthplace at Connecticut College and then went on to receive her B.A. degree with honors in Sociology and Anthropology from Florida International University.  

From there she achieved her Masters, Doctorate and Post-Doctoral Fellowship from John Hopkins University in Anthropology, Public Health and Health Policy and Management.

With her extensive studies as an anthropologist, Iveris uses her knowledge to teach physicians and other medical professionals the importance of teamwork and addressing the social determinants of health particularly in the Latin and other minority communities.

Not only does she work as a professor at FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, she has been published dozens of times. And while the maxim “publish or perish” in academia is a common mindset to maintain or improve one’s career, for Iveris it has a more important meaning.

She strongly believes that it is extremely important to disseminate her findings to the medical and healthcare communities so they may better serve their patients.

This Cuban-American’s research has led her to write articles, book chapters, government reports, scientific papers and more about the disparities on aging in relationship to health, integrating anthropology into medical training, social determinants in regards to health care, geriatrics in minority communities, the effects of cultural and psychological changes on Latin immigrants and more.

Iveris has been a featured speaker at numerous medical conferences, symposiums on aging, colleges and universities and meetings on societal and social relations.

Since 2009 she has organized an inter-professional workshop for students from eight health professions on the importance of collaboration and teamwork and has seen participation in these workshops grow each year.

She also organized a conference on Health Disparities in Aging at FIU that brought together participants from the U.S., Denmark, Sweden and Canada.

In January of this year Iveris began her term as Board Chair of the Alliance for Aging for Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties where she hopes to expand the board’s ability to fundraise and advocate for their area’s most vulnerable seniors.

From 2014-16 Iveris served as the president of the Association of Anthropology, Gerontology and the Life Course mentoring students and encouraging them to enter the field of aging in the academic, private and public sectors.

For her efforts, Florida International University named Iveris “Top Scholar” and she, along with her colleague, Colleen Rose-St. Prix received the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation MededPortral Interprofessional Education Collaborative award for their paper “A Hybrid Education Experience Training Future Health Professionals to Work Together to Improve Patient Outcomes.”

Knowing how important “down time” is to a healthy mind and body, Iveris enjoys spending time with her husband of eight years, Carlos Antonio Miranda, an electrical engineer, and their two children, Nathanael Joseph and Sarah Eloise at their Miramar home. She also relishes dancing, reading, photography, having fun at the beach and traveling around Europe.


2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction honorees

2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction honorees

At PACE Center for Girls, girl-centered culture celebrates the power and potential of girls. With 19 non-residential centers throughout Florida, they provide a safe environment where middle and high school aged girls can thrive.

The balanced emphasis on academics and social services is combined with a program model to produce an experience that is nationally recognized as one of the most effective programs for helping at-risk girls realize brighter and more productive futures.  

The Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation (JJCCF) is a nonprofit public charity founded in 2004 by Sandra Muvdi shortly after the loss of her only child to cancer. Its mission is to provide emergency financial assistance for children fighting cancer to ensure access to basic human necessities. The Foundation also advocates for and raises awareness of childhood cancer.

Presented by Latina Style Magazine, the nation’s leading publication for Latina entrepreneursin partnership with Bank of America and AARP, the highly-promoted celebration brings to the forefront the contributions of Hispanic women from South Florida.  Co-sponsors include Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Walmart, Latin Business Today and La Poderosa Radio.  What the women have in common and is a major part of the judging process, is their American entrepreneurship intertwined with their values and traditions.

“This year was truly a difficult decision for our judges. With more than 50 nominations submitted, selecting 12 became a week-long effort to cast votes for the “crème de la crème” stated, Elaine Vasquez, founder and producer of the annual event.  Nominations were solicited from past honorees and community leaders in south Florida. 

“We are delighted to continue our long-time partnership with Hispanic Women of Distinction and provide insight and support to the entrepreneurs and community leaders who are making a difference, “said Robert Bard, CEO and Publisher of Latina Style Magazine.  

The 2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction are:

GLORIA L.  DIAZ-DANIELS –Div Sales Mgr Sales-Pharmacy Walmart – Palm Beach

ADRIANA FAZZANO FICANO – Chief of Staff, Broward College – Broward County

BLANCA GUERRA -Broward County Schools-Curriculum Sup/Dual Languages –Dade Cuban Latina Excels at Education and Preserving Heritage Languages  

KARINA GOMEZ-HERRERA – Pres. CEO Karnna Fashion & Company – Broward:  Outstanding Venezuelan Latina Excels as a “Hispanic Fashion Advisor”

Dr IVERIS LUZ MARTINEZ- Assoc Prof. Herbert Werthein College/Medicine FIU-Dade

LORENA MASTRARRIGO -Assistant Public Defender, Broward County – Broward  Argentinian-American Latina Attorney Helping Hispanic Community

CHRISTINA PEREZ McDOWELL – Founder, Solutions by CPM, LLC – Dade

JACQUELINE NUNEZ – Co-owner, SOMA Medical Centers PA – Palm Beach

Dr. JACQUELINE PENA – Dean Academic Affairs – Miami Dade College –  Dade

MICHELLE MARTINEZ-REYES- CMO, Greenspoon Marder Law Firm – Broward

MARIELLE SOLOGUREN – Vice President. Pierson Grant Public Relations – Broward Latina of Ancestry Cuban-Peruvian Making Waves in PR

RACHEL TOURGEMAN –Community Relations Dir.- Florida National University-Dade


DAISY EXPOSITO-ULLA – Chairman, CEO of d exposito & Partnersa visionary creative leader in cross-cultural brand building for more than 30 years, Daisy has been recognized by numerous organizations and named as one of the most influential Latinas in the United States. 

Daisy joins past Latina Pioneers: Columba Bush, Ileana Ros Lehtinen, Maria San Juan, Caridad Asensio, Joyce Kaufman, Nelly Rubio, Aida Levitan, Maria Elena Torano, Helen Aguirre Ferre, Marielea Villamil and Millie Herrera.

Tickets to the luncheon are $95 per person.  Table sponsorships are $1500.  The luncheon includes a social hour with complimentary “mojitos”, a business expo, raffles, Latin entertainment, as well as a runway fashion show presented by the Las Olas fashion designer, Zola Keller. 

For more information visit or by calling (954) 709-1622.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. 

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