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Cristobal Martinez: Cancer communicator

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Cancer communicator

Cristobal Martinez

Age: 35

Title: Senior Manager Of External Communications

Name of Organization: Susan G. Komen

Cristobal Martinez currently serves as senior manager of external communications and public relations for Susan G. Komen. As head of Midwest and West Coast communications, he ensures information about breakthrough research, patient services, and financial aid are shared widely to those battling breast cancer.

Prioritizing communications to communities with the highest health disparities is at the top of his list as he looks to increase awareness around breast cancer, which affects black and brown communities at higher levels than their white counterparts.

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Previously, Martinez served as public information officer for the Illinois Department of Public Health under the leadership of Dr. Ngozi Ezike. He helped lead the COVID-19 pandemic response in Illinois by ensuring all communications and mitigations regarding the novel virus were translated into multiple languages, especially Ezike’s daily press conferences, which she delivered in both English and Spanish.

Born and raised in Chicago’s Little Village community, Martinez has always put his passion for helping others at the forefront of his career. He served as deputy campaign manager for Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and as communications manager for Illinois Attorney General Candidate Jesse Ruiz. Helping operate political campaigns at the city and state levels gave him a clear picture of the needs of our most vulnerable populations.

Before his time in political campaigns, Martinez served as communications manager at two youth development nonprofit organizations that utilized the power of sports and play to encourage thousands of youth across the city of Chicago to lead healthier lives.

WORDS OF WISDOM: “The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on what we already knew — we need more experts, decision makers, and leaders that look like us. The best way to represent your community is to be the person that ignites change. Shoot your shot.”

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