Ercilia Calcano, MPH
Ercilia Rodríguez Calcano, MPH is a Social and Behavioral Researcher in the Department of Child & Family Studies, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, as well as in the College of Public Health. Since February 2016 she has served as Assistant Director of the Institute for Translational Research Education in Adolescent Drub Abuse (ITRE).
Prior to February, for the past 5 years, she was the project manager for Latino STYLE, a prevention intervention that focused on parent-teen communication to improve health outcomes in Latino families. She also served as Public Health Adjunct Instructor, teaching “Community Engagement in Public Health.” Through that class she took the students out of their comfort zone and exposed them to other ways of life by having them visit/share with people of different ethnic, socio economic, and other diverse backgrounds. This included a project the students conducted by engaging with a community of migrant Farm Workers in East County.
She has represented USF in numerous community committees, such as the Latino Coalition, the Healthy Teens Network, and the School Health Advisory Council. Within USF, she is part of a workgroup to establish a Diversity Committee in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, and serves as volunteer for the “Status of Latinos (SOL)” committee.
In past years, she has brought a voice to the Hispanic community by serving in numerous county, state, national, and international health boards and workgroups. Some of them include:
- Southern U. S. workgroup panel member to discuss strategies to reduce health disparities in the U.S., led by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
- One of 27 expert panel members brought together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss tobacco control among Hispanics/Latinos living in the U. S.
- Workgroup member and Trainer for Florida Department of Health’s Prevention Coordinators on “Best Practices Toolkit for Successful Community Partnerships.”
- Founding and Board member of a non-profit organization called “Fundación Familia Sana” that linked students and Professors from the University of South Florida with public health needs in several Latin American countries including the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Mexico.
Ercilia was key in the Florida’s fight against tobacco, training close to 3,000 teens in advocacy and leadership, working diligently to achieve smoke free restaurants and workplaces, and obtaining an ordinance to keep tobacco behind counters in Hillsborough’s retail stores. She was also instrumental in obtaining almost $7 million in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Steps to a Healthier US. Funding helped increase Hillsborough public schools’ healthier food choices, playgrounds, walking trails & nutrition education.
Ercilia is 1 of 11 siblings raised in a small two-bedroom home with no running water, indoor plumbing, nor much electricity, but full of care and support. When she was a child, she went to school with 1/3rd of a pencil and ½ notebook. She came to the U. S. in 1990 as part of an international scholarship program from the U. S. Agency for International Development that promoted world peace. She served as Cultural Ambassador while learning English and studying Business Management. She went back to the DR and returned in 1994 to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and a Master’s degree in Public Health, at the University of South Florida.
Ercilia is well known among Hispanics in this community. She was the recipient of the “Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc.’s 2016 Health Leadership Award.”
She is married to José Eduardo Calcano, a Dominican Art painter, and has two beautiful daughters.