Melissa Smith, MD, is a family medicine physician who has worked in primary care clinics in poor communities in the U.S. and Central America for three decades. Dr. Smith is the Director of Health Equity Initiatives at UC Santa Barbara, where she teaches a seminar on community-based participatory research on health disparities. She also leads the Global Health in Mexico Program with UC Education Abroad. Dr. Smith has developed training programs for community health workers and midwives in Nicaragua and Guatemala, and is engaged in a Participatory Action Research project focused on maternal health in Mexico. She has served as medical editor and writer for Hesperian Health Guides, widely used public health manuals on community health and empowerment.