October 14, 2022
Named “Latina Elected or Appointed Official Award Winner” by HABLA
(Austin) – Central Health is pleased to announce that Deputy Administrator Perla Cavazos is the recipient of the 2022 Latina Elected or Appointed Official Award winner by Hispanic Advocates Business Leaders of Austin (HABLA), a think tank group and forum made up of local Hispanic/Latino community and business leaders committed to discussing and developing sustainable solutions on current affairs, public policies and quality of life issues impacting the local Austin Hispanic/Latino community.
Cavazos has been with Central Health since July 2016, originally serving as director of government affairs. She has a BA from Stanford University and an MA in public affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. She was presented the award the evening of Thursday, Oct. 13.
“It is a huge honor to be recognized by the members of HABLA with an award, and to stand alongside other amazing elected and appointed Latinas — some of whom I work with on a daily basis in local government collaborations,” Cavazos said. “We work in government because we want to make a positive impact on the lives of the people living in our community.”
Each October, which is Hispanic Heritage Month, HABLA Con Orgullo – “Speak with Pride” — recognizes and awards individuals/organizations with the Habla Con Orgullo Award to celebrate the leadership and impacts of Latinos in Austin.
“I am honored to work with and learn from Perla. She is a remarkable leader, centered on equity, justice, and having an impact in the communities we serve,” said Mike Geeslin, President & CEO of Central Health. “Perla’s work speaks for itself, and it is work we should all emulate.”
Cavazos was born and raised in San Benito, a small town on the Texas-Mexico border, and moved to Austin over 20 years ago to take a job advocating for affordable housing for people with low income. Since moving to Austin she has developed expertise in public policy, advocacy and government affairs with a focus on improving the lives of Texans who are low income.
Before joining the team at Central Health, she worked for Texas Legal Services Center, Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, and in the Texas Senate as a Senior Policy Analyst and Legislative Director.
Cavazos is an active volunteer in the community and has served on several non-profit boards and city commissions and task forces. She currently serves as a board member of Planned Parenthood-Greater Texas, Texas Access to Justice Foundation and the Lola Wright Foundation. She is active with The New Philanthropists and a founding member of FuturoFund, a local philanthropic circle that supports Latino-serving nonprofit organizations in Austin. Her public service includes past terms with the City of Austin Planning Commission, Commission for Women, Resource Management Commission, Imagine Austin Citizens Advisory Task Force, and the City Manager Search Task Force. She is a Leadership Austin Alum (’08) and recipient of the “Austin Under 40 Award” in government and public affairs (’08).