launch-pad for a multicultural CAlifornia association of community health workers
launch-pad for a multicultural CAlifornia association of community health workers
CHW and advocate for recognition and integration of CHWs into the health workforce. Immigrant from South Africa who has lived in Petaluma, Sonoma County CA since 1993. Trained as a Community Health Worker at the Santa Rosa Community College and graduated in 2010. She was an active member of the American Public Health Association CHW section and now a member of the National CHW Association (NACHW) and attends UNITY Conferences
Served on the Community Health Worker Core Competency Project (C3) advisory panel for the essential work done to establish the CHW core competencies recognized nationally as an essential tool in defining the CHW workforce
Reader for the second edition of the seminal CHW teaching resource “ Foundations for Community Health Workers” edited by Tim Bertold We have been part of the American Public Health Association CHW section efforts to establish the nationally accepted CHW definition ( adopted by NACHW) and have the BLS SOC recognize Community Health Workers as a unique profession Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS)Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 21-1094 Community Health Workers. The APHA CHW leadership was instrumental in establishing the need for and the implementation of the National Association of Community Health Workers(NACHW).
APHA Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Ms. Somsanith started her career as a Community Health Worker at a Community Health Center. Since then she has worked for various projects that work to advance health equity, access to care, and professional recognition and support for CHWs. She has 20+ years of experience in advancing the workforce and integration of community health workers (CHWs) and bilingual dual role staff within the health and social services field. In addition, she has been honored to be part of the faculty of City College of San Francisco (CCSF) since 2007. With her work at CCSF she has extensive experience with curriculum development, teaching in career and technical education programs, and program management.
Silvia Ortega, a Loma Linda University, San Manuel Gateway College. Promotores Academy clinic-based community health worker graduate, is passionate about working within her community to help expectant mothers and families become healthier; physically, mentally and spiritually. Ortega was among 14 students that became the first clinic-based community health worker graduates of San Manuel Gateway College.
Ortega has used her personal experiences, dedication to family health promotion and CHW education to become an integral part of the accreditation process for programs like the Home Visitation Expectant Mothers Program.
Because of her devotion to making a difference in the lives of vulnerable families and communities, in November of 2016, Ortega became the first Latina and youngest governing board member elected to the Jurupa Unified School District, trustee area two — her home school district.
Founder and President, Consulting Solutions, LLC
Co-Chair, San Diego County Promotores Coalition
Margarita Holguin, MPA, Holguin is the founder and current co-chair of the San Diego County Promotores Coalition, which aims to connect vulnerable communities to services through the promotora model.
She acquired extensive experience working as a client/patient advocate in her role as the Executive Director for the Chula Vista Community Collaborative. She has managed several research projects and has been the community advisory committee representative for projects with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Holguin has significant experience in community-based participatory research and ensuring that research involves the community and addresses patient/client needs. She has overseen community-based programs for almost 20 years. In her role supervising five family resource centers, she is tasked with understanding the needs of the community and developing programs and services that meet the identified needs of clients. She has a passion for social justice and health equity.
As an immigrant to this country who has faced challenges and health disparities, she values the authentic perspectives of the community. She has seen the types of projects PCORI is involved in and sees an attempt to have a true balance between academics and community perspective, and she respects that vision. Holguin appreciates PCORI’s efforts to truly hear what is needed from the voice of the community and she wants to be part of amplifying this voice.
Her experience includes over 20 years of experience in community programs. She has a Master of Public Administration and a true passion for community.
Past executive Director of the Chula Vista Community Collaborative Adelante Promotores Academy Adelante Promotores Conference
Senior Pubic Health Advisor, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Region 9 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), San Francisco, CA
Kay A. Strawder is the Senior Public Health Advisor for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Region 9 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. She is the principal advisor to the Regional Health Administrator and plans, coordinates, implements, and evaluates activities that promote health equity and reduce health disparities.
Kay has worked in academia, federal domestic and international programs, and the private sector for more than 30 years. Her passion is empowering individuals and communities. She became a CHW ally when she led the development of the Border Women’s Health Leadership Institute which trained promotores, on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, to take a public health systems approach to colonias. Later, she led the translation of that curriculum into English and obtained funding to train hundreds of CHWs across the U.S. and the Outer Pacific. These CHWs have transformed vacant blocks into parks, increased access to bus routes, started farmers’ markets, and successfully focused on other social determinants of health within their communities.
APHA 333894 Evaluating systems-level changes initiated by community health workers: An evaluability assessment for the Office on Women's Health Women's Health Leadership Institute Office on Women’s Health (OWH) Women’s Health Leadership Institute (WHLI) San Francisco, CA
Lily Lee, DrPH, MPH is a multicultural CHW ally from Southern CA devoted to building CHW/P workforce capacity and organizational readiness for CHW/P integration across various settings. She has worked with and along CHWs/Ps since the early 1990s.
Under her current role as Director of San Manuel Gateway College and the Promotores/CHW Academy at Loma Linda University Health, she has built partnerships, trained, and supported integration of over 300 CHWs/Ps into health plans, health care organizations, school settings, and community-based programs.
Dr. Lee is committed to ensuring that CHWs/Ps retain the “community” in the core of their practice. As a public health practitioner and translational researcher, she works closely with researchers and administrators to design programs, evaluate, develop curricula, train, mentor and consult to ensure CHWs/Ps are included as valued essential members of teams and programs.
Dr. Lee thrives when she engages in opportunities to contribute her strategic and organizational management skills to operationalize CHW-engaged teams to achieve greater impact in population health outcomes. She currently serves as an elected board member of NACHW and other national and state CHW coalitions. She loves to work closely with CHWs/Ps to unite voices, to mentor and be mentored, and to support CHWs/Ps to take the courage to rise to the occasion into leadership opportunities.
Outside of work and volunteer commitments, she enjoys family time and hiking, especially nature walks.
Health Outreach Partners : Executive Director
Cindy joined Health Outreach Partners as Executive Director in November 2019, bringing
over 30 years of health center and non-profit leadership experience. Prior to joining the
HOP team, Cindy worked for Planned Parenthood Northern California, most recently as
Senior Regional Director for Contra Costa and San Francisco health centers. Cindy is a
recent graduate of the Clinic Leadership Institute, a joint venture of the Healthforce Center
at the University of California at San Francisco and the Blue Shield Foundation of California.
Cindy is a native to the Bay Area, originally from San Francisco. Cindy has a bachelor’s
degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Biology. She started her health
center career volunteering for the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, which fueled her dedication
to health equity and assuring access to health care for all. Cindy’s other passions, are her
two boys Justin and William, listening to live music, and the San Francisco Giants baseball
Massoud Agahi, MD, MPH has lived and worked in a wide range of communities throughout his personal and professional life, emigrating to the U.S. as a child during political turmoil from his birthplace in Iran. Educated and trained as a researcher, physician, and a general and vascular surgeon in diverse inner city and rural populations across the U.S.
Dr. Agahi has been working professionally in the Los Angeles area since 1997. He later supplemented his medical education with graduate studies in public health which he completed during the COVID-19 pandemic. His work has been significantly focused on the latter during the past year, treating COVID patients as well as leading efforts on mitigating measures for at-risk populations, including frontline workers and those living in minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.
A successful program he envisioned and spearheaded for this purpose is a model for increasing capacity by recruiting and training CHWs with government funding. As a member of the medical staff and faculty at several community hospitals and major university and medical centers in the area, Dr. Agahi’s long-term goal is to collaborate with private and government stakeholders at all levels to continually support the role and interests of CHWs as prominent and effective healthcare provider team members.
Masoud Agahi helped United American Indian Involvement Inc UAII to design and launch their CHW program in the L.A. and Orange Counties as well as heading the CHW program evaluation and reporting to CDC
Alexander Fajardo brings over 12 years’ experience in community empowerment and has
demonstrated a passion for building the capacity of individuals and organizations to improve health outcomes. Mr. Fajardo holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and has a track record of designing and implementing successful community-based programs targeting individual, family, and community change through health education and outreach programs, using the Community Health Worker model.
Through this model, a powerful transference of positive community change results: families become healthier and more stable; neighborhoods become revitalized by increased collaboration, health, and opportunity; and communities are healed and renewed through positive action, a solidified identity, and an increased sense of hope. As a result of this passion and vision, Alex created the Community Health Worker Academy, in partnership with Loma Linda University and El Sol Community Health Worker Training Center. Mr Fajardo has developed a vast of basic training and includes topics such as adult and informal learning approaches, care coordination and case management, conflict resolution, leadership, health care and health policy, child welfare policy, ethical practice, community advocacy, among other
Mr. Fajardo has served as Executive Director of El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center since March 2003.Through his leadership, Mr. Alex led El Sol through strategic planning and sustainability planning which has resulted in unprecedented organizational growth and has garnered the reputation of being the premier Community Health Worker organization in the Inland Empire and be recognized as a Leader on the CHWs world. In 2012 El Sol received the nonprofit organizational excellence award from the Community Connects’ Nonprofit Resource Center.
Alex is bilingual and an experienced leader, consultant, and active member of the community, having created and implemented several programs serving under-served communities, with a primary focus on Latino/Hispanic communities. Alex has facilitated CHWs trainings with the African American, Native American and Asian Pacific Islander Population; he has trained agencies across the United States; Mexico and Japan on Community Health Workers Philosophy and he has presented at Local, State and National conferences.
In 2011, Mr. Fajardo was elected as President of the Latino Coalition in the County of San Bernardino; and he had received the Cultural Competency Excellence Award for his cultural competence skills at an individual, community, and organizational level by the County of San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health in 2013.
“My name is Cameron, and I recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology. Alongside my emphasis in biology, my academic and professional interests also extend to the realm of public health."
I have long been passionate about the intersectionality of the biological science and public health fields. My research has traditionally involved molecular and genetic studies in metabolism and metabolic diseases. Through my research and clinical volunteering experiences, my interests in
methods for preventative medicine and healthcare advocacy grew exponentially.
Holding leadership positions in university student organizations, such as the American Red Cross, and professional undergraduate positions, such as a Resident Assistant role, I implemented programs and organized events aimed at raising awareness amongst students and the local community of prominent community health-related issues and needs. Through my leadership roles, I also helped create spaces for individuals and students of diverse
backgrounds to share their voices on important topics in health and wellness that affect people in our local communities.
Eventually, I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Massoud Agahi as a research associate on a project aimed at advocating for the CHW role among returning high school students and establishing a training program to prepare the CHWs of tomorrow for the issues in healthcare that we face today in California. Our program is aimed at developing a CHW
curriculum that encapsulates an education of pressing topics in the worlds of medicine and public health, including shared decision-making and vaccine hesitancy. With the experiences I have had and the skills I have developed, I am excited to apply myself to building a multicultural CHW community of practice in our state of California.
Valley High School Health Tech CHW Academy
I implemented the country's first high school-based community health worker training program. Valley High School Health TECH students who meet all requirements earn a community health worker certificate. Health TECH students participate in a variety of paid internships.
As Health TECH coordinator, I design curriculum, manage grants, and interact with healthcare professionals in the community.
Melissa Perez Martinez CHW
Loma Linda Graduate CHW
CLINICAS DE SALUD DEL PUEBLO, INC.
Recipient of 2017 Community Advocate Award by the Latino Center on Aging (LCA) and the 2012 Sunshine Health Education Champion Award from the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SFLHCC), Ms. Rodríguez currently leads the Chula Vista Community Collaborative near San Diego, CA, operating 5 family resource centers in the area. Before that, she managed the Community and Stakeholder Engagement (CaSE) for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) among other programs during her 18-yr tenure at University of Miami. Ms. Rodriguez has over 20 years of experience in developing and administering community-based interventions to address health disparities in USA and Australia, having served as manager in several CHW interventions in clinical trials. She has worked with local CHW stakeholder groups to develop, translate and implement a structured educational program training around 600 Community Health Workers (CHWs) in patient centered outcomes research (PCOR) across 3 states (CA, TX and FL). Ms. Rodríguez is Co-Lead of the PCOR-funded engagement award “Partnership for Training Community Health Workers in PCOR in the Context of COVID-19”. She is a certified Bilingual Healthcare Provider (#5572427), certified public health (NBPHE #15119), and Recognized Education Provider (#5264-A) by the FL Certification Board. She routinely provides technical assistance and volunteers at several regional, state and national committees.
Personal statement: “In partnership with state stakeholders, as Co-President of the FL CHW Coalition, Inc., I lead the creation of a new health care professional credential, the FL CHW Certification, which has certified over 573 CHWs in its first 2 years. I motivated, engaged and mobilized the support of stakeholders from private and public sectors on the issue of professionalization of CHWs within the healthcare workforce. This has proven to be the greatest joy and most significant achievement of my career in FL. Since then, my work engaging and mobilizing multiple and diverse stakeholders (CHWs, social service and cultural organizations, academic research and training centers, local health councils, patient advocate groups, etc.) has proven fruitful and incredibly rewarding. Coming from academic research, in order to bring CHWs to center stage, I had to build trust with CHWs, health councils, federally qualified health centers, social service organizations and use state and local governments and private payers as critical leverage points to further health equity collaborative work. Working as a volunteer-only organization, I did outreach, met and called many groups, framing the issue as a common ground health care workforce development cause, in alignment with national trends.”
Incoming events to know more about the Chula Vista Community Collaborative and other orgs: please consider my platform of CVCC Partner organizations monthly virtual call to present any project/request feedback from organizations in South Bay area in San Diego county. We meet second Tuesday of the month, and we have a lineup of presenters (15 mins plus Q&A) for about 4 speakers per call after my CVCC-wide updates. For call schedule, Teams link to call and access to previous calls materials and recordings, please check:
We usually have about 80-95 attendees per call.
Brendaly Rodríguez, MA, CPH | Director
Founder and Executive Director Alma Consulting
Previously VYC Regional Director
For 19 years I have contributed to Spanish speaking community well being in California, Nevada and Colorado. I have developed and implemented curricula on topics such as Advocacy, Leadership, Promotoras training, Mental Health among others. Through focus groups, facilitation of community meetings and formation of community committees, collaboration groups and coalitions, I work with different agencies, implementing and supervising capacity building projects and community participation.
Karissa Moreno is Executive director of the Center for Wellbeing CHW mission is to promote the well-being of the whole person by empowering people with the knowledge, skills, and spirit to take responsibility for personal, family, and community health. Through thoughtful leadership and innovative partnerships we can transform community health and achieve a more equitable, healthier community for all. The center serves all of Sonoma County and adjacent areas, and provides health education programs and services to over 25,000 individuals annually.
Moreno was born in San Francisco and was raised in Marin and Sonoma counties. Moreno proudly identifies as queer, and she has always championed equity and inclusion for all – regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, country of origin, documentation status, disability, language, and/or age.
Advocating for equity and social justice has always been at the forefront of who she is and what she does.
Encouraged by the Patient Centered Care movement in primary care and inspired by the Ask What Matters to You IHI initiative, Ellen developed the Imagine You Project. Imagine You is the most current and core program of the Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation, where Ellen is Director of Program Development and Outreach.
Imagine You trains to 8-10 short, simple tools to incorporate in everyday work with patients/clients. Since 2013 Imagine You has trained over 1000 staff in community agencies across Northern California, in both the medical and social service sectors. From 2010 -2015 Ellen co-created and co-taught a year-long Patient Navigation certificate program at Sonoma State University. Nearly 100, mostly lay, Navigators graduated and all graduates completed a 4-6 month internship as Patient Navigators in local agencies and clinics. At that time the work of patient navigators was often very similar to CHWs.
Ellen is a now retired family doctor and was for many years curriculum director of the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency. She worked before her medical training in educational systems development and worked at USC School of Medicine.
First meeting: 5.17.21
Job: Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, Western University of Health Sciences Western University
Cultural Heritage: (Vietnamese TBC)
Interest: Employment of CHW in pharmacy outreach for COVID Vaccinations
Micah Hata, PharmD
Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Administration
College of Pharmacy
I work with organizations to elevate their performance by envisioning and implementing practical solutions to business and process problems. I have a unique breadth of experience having worked in many industries, public and private agencies, startups and Fortune 500 companies over the past 20 years. For the past 10 years, my focus has been in leadership development, Public Health and healthcare technologies. I am deeply committed to creating a culture that fosters trust, collaboration and teamwork, and provides my colleagues opportunities for personal and professional growth and development.