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Cristina Beato

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Public Health and Science

Have you wondered what the federal government does to improve the health of young girls? In the Department of Health and Human Services, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health is very much involved in setting programs and policies dealing with the health of all American girls. Read all about her in this month's "In the Spotlight."


Albuquerque, NM


Teaching and taking care of people (Side note: Dr. Beato is a medical doctor, currently, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Public Health and Science).

Why did you choose your profession?

I was in a hospital in Panama City when I was seven. I remember sitting next to another kid who was getting his foot amputated. He died there right next to me. It was then that I realized anyone can die and I knew that I wanted to be a doctor to help save lives.

What are some advantages to your job?

As a doctor, I learn something beautiful about a person everyday.

What are some disadvantages?

Sometimes, you can’t stop the pain...and you fail.

Who is/was your role model? Why?

My mom. The power of her love could move mountains, literally.

Name one challenge you faced when you were young?

Poor health. I was a very sick kid due to malnutrition and bad medical treatment -- but I got better. I finally got good medical treatment.

Favorite food:

Grilled cheese! And black beans and rice. I can eat them forever.


Sewing, knitting, and to ski down hill, and I love animals.

How do you stay healthy: mind, body, and spirit?

Spiritually, I rely on faith. I also focus on family and eat healthy. Physically, I’m never lazy; I always walk whenever I can by parking far away and taking the stairs when I can.

What advice would you give to young girls today?

Believe in yourself and don’t allow others to take away your independence. Look for things to be thankful for and appreciate what you have. It’s what’s inside you that sustains you.

What is one health issue that you feel is important to teen girls today?

Nutrition! Understand the beauty of a human body. Even if you’re not healthy, you can make it better. What you put in (your body) is what it’ll be made of. So you need the right building blocks.

If you knew what you know now, what would you do differently to improve your health?

I would not have laid out in the sun and I wouldn’t have stayed out so late...I would have gotten more sleep. I wouldn’t have abused my body like that - toasting it and getting so little sleep.

Content last reviewed January 01, 2003
Page last updated January 01, 2003

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.