Ms. Rodríguez has more than 25 years of professional experience as a nurse, certified diabetes educator, author, and bicultural specialist in health communication strategies for diabetes educational resources for Hispanic or Latino, African American, American Indian communities. She is a senior public health advisor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT). Ms. Rodríguez holds a master's degree in the science of nursing with a primary role as a clinical specialist and secondary roles in education and administration.
Ms. Rodríguez has been working in diabetes education and with community health workers (CHWs) and diabetes care and education specialists for more than 25 years. Betsy was part of the working group that developed the CDC Community Guide's systematic reviews to identify scientific evidence for the role of community health workers/promotores de la salud in cardiovascular disease, diabetes management, type 2 diabetes prevention, and cancer. For the past 25 years, Ms. Rodríguez has been diligently working to support Hispanics and Latinos living in the States that experienced some inequity due to diabetes. She has developed multiple diabetes educational resources that are culturally and linguistically appropriate for this population. She conducts trainings to professionals and community health workers (promotores) across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Central and South America, Mexico, and the U.S.-Mexico border. Ms. Rodríguez was one of the principal investigators of the 10-year CDC-funded research conducted with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization's (PAHO/WHO) U.S.–Mexico Border Diabetes Prevention and Control Project. Since 1990, she has worked with the International Diabetes Federation in the Central and South America Region (SACA) coordinating diabetes health education programs and developing their strategic plan. She conducted a Hispanic/Latino Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers (MSFWs) Audience Needs Assessment to better understand their educational needs in respect to prediabetes and diabetes and to identify what, if any, culturally and/or linguistically tailored materials, message, products, or campaigns exist for this audience. Ms. Rodríguez has been instrumental in forming numerous health and human services organizations locally, regionally, and nationally, such as the HHS/OMH Promotores de Salud/Community Health Workers Initiative. Ms. Rodríguez is the author of many publications, health education and communications resources. The most recent ones are: 1) the CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program Spanish Prevent T2 curriculum, 2) In collaboration with AANP, ADA and ADCES, she developed the CDC DSMES Marketing Playbook and the DSMES Literacy Tool 3) The Road to Health Toolkit- designed for Community Health Workers/Promotores de la salud serving African American and Hispanic Latino communities, the Road to Health Toolkit provides materials to start a community outreach program to help people prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. She was recently recognized by the CDC Office of Communications Division of Communication Science and Services to receive a 2023 Health Literacy Hero Award.
At CDC, Ms. Rodríguez provides technical assistance and training to state health departments, and national and international diabetes-related professional organizations. She was the former chair of the ADA Health Disparities Committee and a member of the ADCES Diversity and Inclusion committee, Favorably Review and ADCES’s Professional Practice Committee. At ADA, she is a member of the Clinical Update Conference 2024 Planning Committee member. She is a NACHW board member. Ms. Rodriguez is a member of the IDF Blue Circles Voices of Diabetes and pancreas mom.