Adriana has been inducted into the Clinical Engineering Hall of Fame in recognition of her significant contributions to the advancement of the profession in several key areas: For many years Adriana has been an extremely influential advocate for clinical engineering around the world, especially in underdeveloped countries. She has done this by relentlessly lobbying healthcare planners and clinical professionals at every opportunity on the benefits of clinical engineering to their patients. In her native Mexico, she was instrumental in creating Mexico's National Center for Health Technology Excellence which quickly became a model for other countries. Adriana was a clinical engineering consultant with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) where she worked closely with the health planners in PAHO's member countries educating them on the benefits of having access to clinical engineering services in their healthcare delivery systems and helping to establish the practice of clinical engineering in nine countries.
- Management Diploma, IPADE, Mexico. Special course designed for the Health Sector high level officers
- MSc, Clinical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
- Intensive Course in Hospital Management, Mexican Hospital Association
- BSc, Biomedical Engineering, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico. Thesis: "Design of a vibrotactile hearing aid system for profoundly deaf children"
Certification, Registration, & Peer Recognition:
- Honorary Member of the International Organization of Medical Physics, 2015
- Clinical Engineering Individual Award of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering
- Distinguished Alumni Award in of Biomedical Engineering, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico
- ACCE International Clinical Engineering Award, 2008
- AAMI Foundation and ACCE Robert Morris Humanitarian Award, 2017
Summary of Career:
From 1991 through 2000, Adriana was a clinical engineering consultant with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) where she worked closely with member states to educate them on the benefit of providing clinical engineering services to their healthcare delivery systems. She provided guidance to clinical engineering programs in Chile, Costa Rica, Columbia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela.
In 2004, in Adriana's native Mexico, she was instrumental in forming (and was the first director of) CENETEC - Mexico's National Center for Health Technology Excellence. CENETEC's mission was to produce and disseminate information that would assist Mexico's healthcare providers by applying an evidence-based approach to medical device acquisition, use, and support. CENETEC would soon become a model organization for other countries facing similar needs.
From 2008 through today, Adriana has filled senior roles in the Essential Health Technology Department of the World Health Organization (WHO). She has been responsible for the development of 16 WHO books and publications on health technology management for use by governments and providers worldwide. The publications and the complementary educational programs she developed have covered all aspects of the acquisition, use and maintenance of medical technology; including recommendations on regulations, standards, nomenclature, policies, best practices, and implementation guides. Some of the conferences she has organized have had attendance from well over 100 countries. Adriana has created innovative tools (e.g., new websites, the aforementioned publications, regional workshops, collaborating centers, and a group of volunteer subject matter experts) for delivering critical clinical engineering guidance that can be scaled to help improve a region's application of health technology regardless of their location, size, or level of financial resources.
Much of what Adriana has produced at WHO finds its way into regulations and guidance adopted by ministries of health in many individual countries. One great benefit of this is that clinical engineering practitioners can point to credible documents from WHO that help enable them to justify resources and support that those practitioners will need to meet their own government standards.
Adriana has been very effective in maintaining relationships with various international clinical engineering professional organizations such as ACCE, AAMI, IFMBE, IFMBE/CED, SOMIB, CORAL, and AIIC; and she has established WHO Collaborating Centers with universities and organizations that make many valuable programs and resources available to the world clinical engineering community at large.
Adriana's contribution to the advancement of the clinical engineering worldwide has certainly ended up being greater than the sum of her individual accomplishments. Her strategic vision, coupled with her tireless efforts to make clinical engineering programs available in all countries, large and small, advanced and developing, is having a measurable impact on world health.
Below are some extracts from tributes by her peers:
"What makes her special is that she has established a legacy of planning and acting at the strategic and policy level, beyond the operational boxes, to improve the health of all peoples with the proper health technology support. Her research and documentation of the depth and breadth of the clinical engineering practice worldwide has provided data that empowers the clinical engineers to present their cases to leadership for awareness and support. From the most humble biomedical shops in places such Africa to the first world, organizations have benefited from the legacy of CENETEC, WHA60.9 (WHO resolution on Health Technologies), and the rich clinical engineering web resources available at WHO, all from Adriana's efforts."
"She has brought many, many people together in the developing world to learn about health technology best practices and to develop solutions via networking and education. Adriana has travelled globally, especially to the neediest countries on a regular basis to work with regional and country WHO agencies, ministries of health, and regional and country CE/BME societies. She is also a contributing member of many international societies such as ACCE and IFMBE."
"Adriana always finds ways to connect and collaborate between multiple groups with enthusiasm to bring along the commitment of clinical engineers' roles to improve patient health outcomes based on a safe, accessible, and effective platform. While doing this Ms. Velazquez always promotes the value of engineering education and professional development through training and clinical engineering credentialing programs around the world."
"She has used WHO as a jumping off platform to reach out to and create global networks for improving healthcare services through policy adoption, educating clinical engineering practitioners, and sharing best practices. She finds ways to innovate program sustainability through WHO collaborating centers and does not give up in the face of limited resources and constraints of manpower/funds/time."
"One key way that Adriana has influenced all audiences is through the creation of the WHO-led Global Forums on Medical Devices (GFMD), bringing together global CEs, industry and societies around the world. There have been 4 GFMDs so far – in Thailand (2010), Geneva (2013), Geneva (2017) and India (2018); with a 5th one planned for later in 2020. The 2018 GFMD in India had over 1100 registrants from 90 countries and focused on the critical need for access to HT resources in developing countries."
"Adriana's essential contribution is that she paved the road for clinical engineering to be recognized and grow internationally. In senior healthcare technology positions in her home country of Mexico and the WHO, she enabled increased access to technologies that developed countries take for granted to a generation of practitioners in the poorer and sicker regions of the world."
"What I most admire about Adriana is that throughout her career, the patient, not the technology has remained central to her view of our profession. She expressed this most recently at the 2019 AAMI Exchange by stating "Don't think about the equipment, think about who that equipment serves"."