Cyrena Gawuga is Director of Operations at the Preparedness and Treatment Equity Coalition (PTEC). As Director of Operations Cyrena facilitates the design and implementation of activities and initiatives that further PTEC’s mission to increase the use of data metrics to reduce health inequity in the healthcare system, particularly for Black, Latinx, and Native American communities. Cyrena directs communications for PTEC, including social media and educational webinars, in addition to supporting organizational management and strategic initiatives. Cyrena played a significant role in the creation and launch of PTEC’s Health Inequities Research Grant program and serves as a grant program administrator in concert with PTEC’s Chief Scientific Officer.
Before joining PTEC, Cyrena completed a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at Brown University, focused on the influence of adverse childhood experiences on inflammation and health outcomes in adulthood. Subsequently, she earned an MSW in Macro Social Work at Boston University. She also was research associate on a PCORI-funded community-based participatory research program at Boston University School of Social Work.
Cyrena has also participated in patient advocacy and outreach for many years, serving as advisory board member for a number of organizations including Patients Like Me and the Lupus Foundation of America. She is a frequently-sought speaker and contributor on issues of equity and inclusion in patient leadership for the Medicine X program at Stanford University.