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9th Annual conference Speakers and Sessions


photo of Roberto Dansie

welcome and Keynote Speaker


Diversity, Empowerment and Resiliency, the three guiding stars of Community Health Workers.

Roberto Dansie is a clinical psychologist, Toltec Tribal member, published author, public speaker, and cultural diversity expert. Drawing on his experience to bridge the gap in culturally appropriate communication, he uses his unique, inspirational style to keep participants laughing, clapping, engaged, entertained, empowered, and uplifted.

More information:

photo of Ann Kasper

Empowering Mental Health Tools for Community Health Workers


In this participatory workshop, CHWs will discuss working with people across the spectrums of mental health states including uncertainty. They will learn empowering ways of talking about and documenting mental health through the lens of Intentional Peer Support (IPS). They will be introduced to popular and effective mental health supports and active communities, both in person and in digital form. Participants will be equipped with the knowledge of what really works from lived experience, and “what mental health resource to choose to share when.”

Ann Kasper is a trained CHW, CPSS, MA, warmline operator, older adult outreach supporter, ESOL instructor, mental health policy advocate, and peer support trainer. She was a refugee resettlement coordinator and taught U.S. citizenship classes.

Meet & Greet with ORCHWA Staff


Find out more about who we are and what we do! Staff photos and bios are available on our website.

photo of Oralia Mendez photo of Alex Llumiquinga

Partnering for Resilience and Access with Lincoln County's Latino & Indigenous Communities


In response to access barriers highlighted by COVID-19, OSU Extension professionals joined local public health officials, a non-profit organization, and community organizers to form a beneficiary-centered team with the mission of supporting access and resilience in the Latino and Indigenous communities in a rural Oregon county. By acting responsively and rapidly, and building a diverse team, Juntos en Colaboración was able to identify needs and support actions in order to address community-driven outcomes. Over eight months this team has been able to conduct six community listening sessions, employ beneficiaries to create 27 educational videos on COVID awareness and vaccinations in both Spanish and Mam, conduct a gap analysis of health equity to inform decisions by health leaders and elected officials, implement two new healthcare help lines in Spanish (county) and Mam (state), and increase the bilingual access to health information to nearly 100%.

*Note: Latino and Indigenous are terms preferred by community members served by Juntos en Colaboración. Indigenous refers to people indigenous to Central and South America. Juntos en Colaboración acknowledges that in other contexts, Latina or LatinX or a combination of these terms may be most appropriate.

Oralia Mendez, MPH, is the Workforce Development and Community Programs manager at the OSU Center for Health Innovation. She grew up in the small town of Nyssa, in Malheur County, where she was a Community Health Worker from a very early age.

Alex Llumiquinga was born in the country of Ecuador and currently works part-time for the Migrant Education Program and the Olalla Center as the Outreach Program Manager where he enjoys connecting with the Latinx and migrant populations in Lincoln County.

photo of Adrianna LockeSelf-care break: Ear Acupressure Self-Massage for Pain and Tension


Adrianna Locke has been practicing traditional Chinese medicine and other traditional healing arts for over a decade, including working in public health clinics such as Outside In and Central City Concern in Portland, OR. You can find more about her and her offerings on her website at or Instagram @zocalowellness.

In these 15 minutes we’ll go over a simple ear acupressure self-massage protocol that you can do anywhere and anytime for pain and tension in your body. Auricular (meaning: in the ears) acupuncture and acupressure points have been used in all kinds of community settings from the revolutionary detox centers in the Bronx during the 1970s to disaster aid in refugee camps worldwide. It truly is a tool for the people in its accessibility and efficacy in dealing with the stresses, aches, and pains of community work and everyday living.

Simply bring your ears and a mirror to help locate the points. Participants will gain access to an online training video as a future reference for what you’ll learn in this mini course.

 photo of West Livaudais  photo of Waddah Sofan  photo of Casey Moore

Life after a Spinal Cord Injury


There is no cure for a spinal cord injury (SCI) and those who sustain an injury have an arduous life-long journey of adapting to paralysis, staying healthy, and rebuilding their life. The first 12-24 months post-injury are very difficult. This presentation will describe what a spinal cord injury is, how it affects a person's physical, emotional, social, and economic life, and how you as a community health worker can support a newly injured person along their path towards greater acceptance and health.

West Livaudais is founder and executive director of Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection, a community-based organization that employs people with a spinal cord injury as community health workers.

Waddah Sofan is a trusted member and leader in the disability and immigrant community with extensive experience working with people with disabilities, people of color and immigrants and refugees to overcome challenges and barriers they face on a daily basis.

Casey Moore is an active community advocate and leader for people with disabilities in Southern Oregon. Casey is an OSCI Community Health Worker, completing the 90-hour training last year.


photo of Denise SmithWelcome & CHW Panel 


Featuring a special message from Denise Smith of National Association of Community Health Workers. Panel moderated by Maria Tafolla.

Denise Octavia Smith is a woman of African descent, Community Health Worker, and survivor of a rare chronic disease. She is the founding Executive Director of the National Association of Community Health Workers.

More information:

 photo of Renia Estimo photo of Nyanga Uuka photo of Francis Khan photo of Adán Merecias
Reina Estimo was born on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon. She is currently the Community Planner for the Health & Human Service Branch of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, currently focusing on work in Missing & Murdered Indigenous People.

Nyanga Uuka is a African ascendent of slavery, born on stolen land (USA). Nyanga was trained & certified as a CHW in 2013, through the Urban League of Portland, and has since been providing conflict resolution as a Mediator and Restorative/Transformative practitioner since 2015.

Adán Merecias is a Community Health Worker and Peer Support Specialist originally from the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. He has worked for several years as a Community Health Worker for various non-profits in Oregon.

Francis Kham has a passion for working in his community and advocating for those who do not have a voice, a passion he has developed throughout his life. He has worked with the most vulnerable populations, and has been a CHW/CEW since 2016 at IRCO.

 photo of Ruth Zuniga photo of Fabiola Arreola photo of Delfina Hernandez-Morales
Addressing Latinx Community Mental Health and Wellness


The presentation will describe how a graduate program of psychology and a hospital community health program came together to address mental health and emotional health and wellness for the Latinx community by the Latinx community. We will cover both aspects and promising results of our program, as well as hear testimonial of a promotora-leader on the transformative work.We will discuss two program aspects:

a) mental health trainings for promotores de salud and b) community charlas (conversations and education). The goals of the trainings are to increase the knowledge, comfort and skills of promotores to address Latinx community emotional needs and to empower promotores to educate their communities to ultimately reduce the stigma associated with mental health. The charlas’ aims are to start conversations about mental health, to reduce stigma and to connect community members with local mental health resources.

The collaboration has trained over 90 promotores de salud in Oregon and reached over 15,650 Latinx individuals in-person and online. Preliminary results have shown improvements in program outcomes and an increase in mental health service utilization within the local Latinx community; demonstrating that promotores can be a conduit to support the emotional wellbeing of Latinxs and to increase trust to mental health resources. Also, it shows that a collaboration between promotores and psychologists is a culturally appropriate form of bringing mental health to the people.

Dr. Ruth Zúñiga has an extensive record of working in collaboration with community-based organizations and community brokers (e.g. community health workers, community leaders, promotores de salud) to address the mental and emotional health needs of the Latinx community.

Fabiola Arreola is originally from Michoacán, Mexico and is a Promotora de Salud since she graduated from the program in 2006. Recently, she has gained an interest for learning more about emotional health to help her community as she realized the need for and the lack of information regarding this topic.

Delfina Hernandez-Morales is the Program Specialist for Community Health Promotion with Population Health department for Providence Health & Services Oregon. Previous to her role, she received training through the Promotores de Salud program and became a Community Health Worker.

photo of Jose Madrid BeltranHIV/STI Sexual Health


The Latino community in Oregon has seen an increase in late diagnoses of HIV over the last several years. Familias en Acción, in collaboration with Washington County, the Oregon Health Authority and other community partners, is working to address sexual health disparities within the Latino community.

Our approach to increasing community awareness and education around sexual health topics, which are often taboo, is to train community health workers and other promotores de salud to facilitate community classes, or talleres, using the popular education model.

Jose Madrid Beltran was born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. with their family when they were 2 years old. They are a first-generation college graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology and are passionate about public and sexual health.

Self-care break: Guided Meditation with Cammisha Manley and Chi Bui of ORCHWA


Staff photos and bios are available on our website.

photo of Suzie Kuerschner Weaving a Resilient Basket of Hope


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder exposes the historic and current trauma that can often express its consequences through neuro trauma. Strength-based systems designed and delivered from community driven, culturally informed congruent collaborative circles of care are best carried through a supportive Community Health Worker model that provides a frequency and duration of positive relational contact.Within the understanding of FASD we are offered a gift of opportunity to grow compassionate skills and truly engender hope and deliver promise...weaving and filling our basket!

Suzie Kuerschner is a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Consultant, a Child Development Specialist, and a child and family program developer with intensive training and experience. Her work includes program development, assessment, intervention, parent training, and the design of learning environments for over forty-five years.

1115 Waiver Conversation


Optional learning about the 1115 Waiver, review and feedback on ORCHWA CHW related 1115 Recommendations. Facilitated by Zeenia Junkeer. 

For additional information about the 1115 Waiver renewal, please visit the OHA 1115 Waiver Information website.

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