About Our Board Candidates

All current members of NACHW in good standing, as of July 11th, 2022 are eligible to vote. There are 7 positions open and 9 candidates.

Please take some time to watch all of the videos below to hear from our candidates why they want to join the Board of Directors at NACHW. You can also click to read personal statements from each candidate.

Voting will be held on August 3, 2022 during our annual meeting session.

Treva Smith

I would like to be a member of the National Association Community Health Workers Board of Directors for several reasons. Reason number one is because NACHW is an incredible organization that has continue to grow and thrive. NACHW has great leadership with members who are passionate about the health and well-being of people. I would like to not only share my experience as a Community Health Worker, a Community Health Worker instructor, a Community Health Worker supervisor, but also as a Community Health Worker Coalition leader and a Community Health Worker workforce developer. I would like to learn more about Community Health Worker workforces across the nation and how they work. I would hope to help Community Health Worker programs continue to improve. We know that Community Health Workers help improve health outcomes and this is why it is important to me to continue to work towards creating sustainable Community Health Worker programs. I am hopeful that NACHW will continue to grow and be a support for Community Health Worker and Community Health Worker employers. I envision NACHW as a vehicle to help move healthcare policy in the United States to a more patient center system that will increase the health and well-being of all Americans regardless of race, economic status, zip code, or gender. I truly believe that Community Health Workers are a central part of such a system and for these reasons I would like to be considered for a position on the Board of Directors. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, Treva Smith

Dolontria Bryant Williams

Previously representing as the Texas Ambassador of NACHW highlighted the innumerable  possibilities of impactful and necessary networking in the world of community health work. Joining the Board of Directors would offer the opportunity to take part in further creating effective change in the CHW workforce. While I advocate locally, I believe having the ability to make change nationally can bring enormous awareness to the CHW profession. Unyielding advocacy  is a key factor in  transcending the respect of CHWs and the profession to the next level. My vision for NACHW is to foster positive and creative attitudes through relevant education and resources that will influence successful behaviors among CHWs. I envision NACHW being the force that encourages CHW unification across the nation to embed their much earned position within the field of Public Health. It is my belief that I’ve unknowingly been preparing for this position my entire career. I’ve worked in the field of Public Health for 17 years and been a Community Health Worker for 14 of those years. I’ve done grassroot community work, created programming, wrote grants, and managed CHW’s. I currently have the pleasure of serving on the Board of Directors for the Texas CHW Association, Membership Co- Chair, and the Texas Gulf Coast CHW/P Association (Houston), Interim President.  I have gained very different but useful information from each of these Associations that makes me a unique candidate. I look forward to working alongside other optimists who are as determined as I am to create change.

Melanie Joyner

I’m excited to here that NACHW has open of nominations for Board of Directors and I have the
opportunity to nominate myself. Combining my 10 years of experience as a Community Health Advocate
along with my Bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management, I’m confident I would be an idea
candidate to be a member of NACHW Board of Directors.

Throughout my career, I’ve demonstrated an ability to provide superb emotional support and guidance
to those I serve. I’ve accumulated valuable hands-on experience in many facets of social work.
My credentials, track record, and volunteer experience all show my unwavering dedication to the work
of Community Health Advocacy. I truly love helping people overcome seemingly insurmountable

Personally, for me I would like to join the Board of Directors for the National Association of Community
Health Workers because I’m passionate about the Community Health Workers profession, advancing it,
helping others and being a part of our professional organization. I believe in the mission of the National
Association of Community Health Workers and its core values. I believe by working together, we can
uplift and promote Community Health Workers, influence policies and legislation and push our
profession forward and impact the most vulnerable populations that we serve.

Betsy Rodriguez

I would like to apply for the position of Board Member with the NACHW as a CHW ally. I am an active CHW ally with more than 25 years of experience as a nurse, certified diabetes educator, CHW SME, author, and bicultural specialist in health communication strategies. I hold a master’s degree in nursing with a primary role as a clinical specialist and secondary roles in education and administration. I would love the chance to give back by lending my skills to an organization such as yours.  My contributions in the field of CHWs are:

  • Establish the first Promotores de la Salud Initiative led by HHS/OMH
  • Develop the first CHWs position statement from a federal agency to support CHWs roles 
  • Build the evidence for CHWs effectiveness with CDC Community Guide’s systematic reviews in cardiovascular disease, diabetes management, type 2 diabetes prevention
  • Senior Advisor for:
    • 3 C Project 
    • CHW Document Resource Center
    • CHW Common Performance Indicators 
    • ADCES practice paper to support CHWs
  • Former chair of the CDC CHW WG
  • SME for the CDC/DDT Program Development Plan CoP 1815-1816 States Health Department grantees 
  • Current coordinator -TA and Training & Best Practice Committee- CDC CHW WG 
  • Led the development of the ADA CHW new membership category and included CHW representation in the ADA Health Disparities National Committee
  •  Developed CHWs education resources 
  •  Led the first CDC/DDT CHW Forum
  •  Currently SM to the NACHW CHW Registry 

 I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to serve on your board and put my knowledge to use.

Oreta Tupola

I believe I have many strengths that will be beneficial in serving as a board member. My experience in understanding high level operations and overall integration of systems as well as the interoperability of these systems can be a huge benefit on a national level in regards to oversight of different state operations and developing best practices, models and or innovation for infrastructure that identifies SWOT to provide guidance in addition to other board member strengths and ideas. 

What I hope to gain as a member of NACHW Board of Directors is insight from different professional backgrounds and experiences that will help to contribute strengths for States to help build CHW Workforce infrastructure that will benefit the CHW Workforce but also maintain key stakeholder support and partnerships. I feel that the experiences of Board members as well as the engagement of providing support on a national level will provide the experience I will be able to build capacity and pathways/opportunities for people from my community but also others to feel empowered to continue to elevate their dreams or goals/accomplishments because they see people like them or who come from similar spaces and communities in these positions.

Luis Lagos

My name is Luis Lagos and I have been a Community Health Worker & Promotor Comunitario for more than 16 years. I have served as an Ambassador for NACHW for almost 3 years, and I have been working in different positions as CHW in the States of Idaho (a rural state) and California. I started my work as CHW in Los Angeles County California, organizing day laborers, household workers, street vendors and gardeners with the goal to provide healthcare access, chronic illnesses education and creating awareness about the multiple health & safety issues they face. 

I would love to joint NACHW Board of Directors because I believe in their mission of unifying and strengthening the Community Health Worker profession. My vision is that CHWs will be recognized as leaders and agents of change who promote healthy behaviors in their communities. As an immigrant from Honduras and coming from a minority, I believe values of empathy, social justice, dignity, and respect for all humans, are key to our profession.

My experience as a trainer for CHWs and Promotores, community organizing, outreach, program development and implementation, social determinants of health and being a Certified Enrollment Counselor for the Affordable Care Act, will contribute to the Board if I am selected as a member. My expertise in working and managing paid and volunteer CHW staff, in community and clinic settings and working with diverse communities such as Latinos, Refugees, and Farmworkers I think will contribute to the NACHW mission and vision.

Iris Reano

I would like to join the National Association Community Health Worker based on my experience in the working at the Local Tribal community level as members of our New Mexico Department of Health NMCHW certifying board and New Mexico/Southern Colorado Community Health Representative Association board as the Secretary, Having served in various capacities as a Director of Health and Community Health Representative Program I believe I n contribute to patient education, services, emergency, and home care. The pandemic exposed all the limitations and health inequalities and infostructure in our community-based services from no planning, staffing, educating and scientific understanding of Public Health Emergencies and viruses the communities of color have been left out of mainstream health care policies and funding.

I hope to be able to tell the organization how well intended policies may not work, how people of color view a clinic visits different, a referral for chronic health problems effect whole families and providers follows a menu in serving patients without looking at home, environment, and social determinants of health issues.

Shannon Lijewski

I am a CHW and always will be. I have worked in the field, designed, implement and evaluated programs, and  been a leading stakeholder on policy and finance sustainability of CHWs in and outside of Michigan. I have  been actively involved with NACHW since it launched at Unity in 2019 and know that I can support their  sustainability and growth. My vision for NACHW is for the organization to continue to be the CHW  Association leader nationally, being visible of our unique workforce and the value it brings to community  health. I have above average interpersonal skills; multi-tasking abilities and I am able to relate effectively to a  diverse group of people to bring them together around a common goal. Most importantly, I meet all new  challenges with a positive attitude, and I learn new skills quickly. My hope is to bring my experience,  knowledge, relationships and passion to the board as a CHW. Thank you for taking the time to consider my  credentials, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Ben Hummel

I wish to serve on the NACHW Board of Directors, because I feel passionate about the power of CHWs to address health disparities and to transform the health of communities nationwide. I believe CHWs will be more resilient, better resourced, and more effective, when they can rely on a robust national association, which is equipped to address the challenges and opportunities facing the profession. In the years ahead, I envision that NACHW will play a central role in shaping federal policy, conducting public messaging, hosting learning opportunities, and empowering CHWs to lead on questions around recognition, compensation, sustainability, and professional development for the field. 

As an ally that has worked with CHWs for close to a decade, I would bring a range of skills and experiences to the Board, including implementing CHW programs, building multi-sector coalitions, brokering consensus among diverse stakeholders, and engaging CHWs in leadership and decision making. I have been an active member and a convener of Maine’s CHW network since its formation in 2014. My professional experience includes positions within a federally qualified health center and Maine’s public health department. As a representative from a rural state, I could inform what infrastructure and support is needed to strengthen the profession in areas of the country, where the profession is still emerging. As part of my involvement with the NACHW Board, I would look to contribute to the current strategic planning process, NACHW’s public policy platform, member engagement, and training resources.