Staff & Board
Jennine Smart has worked in the healthcare and public health sector for over eighteen years. Her experience is rooted in advocacy, social justice and anti-oppressive practice. Most recently she served as Equity and Inclusion Portfolio Manager at Health Share of Oregon, where her work included operationalizing equitable and inclusive practices and developing traditional health worker strategies to support workforce diversification, development, retention, and access.
Jennine holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development. She is a strong advocate for collaborative, community-driven processes and strives to create inclusive systems that enable communities most impacted by systemic and structural oppression to thrive. Jennine believes that community health workers hold an instrumental role in addressing health inequities. For the last five years she has served as a Commissioner on the Traditional Health Worker Commission and is an active Board member of the Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection.
Workforce Development Director
Yesi Castro brings nearly 10 years of experience working with low-income and migrant farmworkers in Hood River, Oregon, where her prevention work earned her a national recognition award in 2008. Her extensive experience includes working closely with leadership in different sectors (schools, transportation, local city government, health systems, parks, etc.) to ensure Latinx inclusion and voices in different community initiatives.
In 2013, Yesi completed her studies at Oregon State University where she received a Public Health degree and with a special focus in Health Promotion and Health Behavior. Yesi is a certified Community Health Worker, and is passionate about social justice, equity, changing systemic oppression for better health outcomes, and BIPOC representation in the outdoors.
In her free time, she loves to travel (especially outside of the country- and has lived in Japan and India!), horseback riding, hiking, and spending time with people she loves. She enjoys learning about different cultures and is excited to have the opportunity work network with CHWs statewide!
Community Programs Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shanaquewa Finney is dedicated to assisting her community in accessing equitable resources to improve the lives of our current and future generations while working to remove stigmas. Prior to joining the team at ORCHWA, Shanaquewa was employed with the Urban League of Portland, working in the CEW (Community Education Worker) Program fighting health disparities, social determinants, social injustice and systemic racism in the African American community. After 4 years working in the CEW program she moved into the supervisor position, and is glad to expand on that work in her new role at ORCHWA.
She also loves spending time with her 6 grandchildren, working in her neighborhood community garden, traveling and taking pictures.
Policy and Data Manager
Angie Kuzma, MPH, CHW is a community health worker (CHW) whose work in service to people experiencing homelessness spans ten years. Prior to starting her position at ORCHWA in 2018, she worked in direct service roles at Outside In Medical Clinic and the Multnomah County Health Department HIV Health Services Center. She currently volunteers as a CHW with Portland Street Medicine.
In her position at ORCHWA, Angie collaborates with other CHWs and a wide range of stakeholders on developing comprehensive payment via Medicaid for CHWs who work in a variety of settings, including clinical and community-based organizations. She also facilitates training to build capacity and inspire CHWs from all levels of experience to tap into their innate skills and qualities to advocate for their profession and their communities at the policy level.
Communications and Membership Manager
Sossity Chiricuzio comes from a long line of women who have supported the work of healthcare while questioning and addressing the shortcomings of the healthcare system. Raised with an awareness of social justice, advocacy, and the need to help make a difference in the world, Sossity sought out education in both the traditional (BA in Women's Studies/Humanities) and non-traditional (Take Back The Night, Act-Up, Queer Nation) realms, and applies all that she learned on a daily basis.
Sossity left the beautiful desert of Arizona for the progressive city of Portland in 2004, and has been a part of the art and activist scene ever since, with a focus on LGBTQI2S rights, weight bias and fat liberation, health equity, racial justice, disability, and issues related to class. She has decades of organizational, administrative, and media related skills and is excited to apply them to the vital work done by Community Health Workers and ORCHWA.
Training Coordinator and Coach
Chi Bui is a certified Community Health Worker. She is dedicated to advocacy work and helping her community to gain equitable resource. She supports local underserved communities everyday by bridging gaps and linking them to resources. She has a special interest in assisting underserved families, who are unfamiliar with the United State healthcare system, and resolving communication barriers/cultural gaps involving in the system.
Currently, she actively participates as a member of steering committee to provide direction and support to Warriors of Wellness project (WOW), a Community Health Worker Program, and is a Coordinator for the Oregon Community Health Workers Association Education Consortium (ORCHWEC).
Training and Project Coordinator email@example.com
Blanca Cisneros is dedicated in helping her community gain equitable resources. Prior to starting at ORCHWA, she worked with after-school facilitators in the education system within Multnomah County in promoting mental and sexual well being. Blanca supported Latinx youth and their families through academic, high school graduation, and college and career readiness.
She has a passion for helping warriors battling cancer, she wants them to feel loved and heard throughout their treatment and healing process. She is an active volunteer member of Fighting Pretty and Susan G. Komen (2012). As a committee member of Susan G. Komen Latinx Council, she provides direction and support between health systems, challenges, barriers and how to best serve the breast health needs of Latinas in the region.
Administrative and Accounting Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Kamila Marins has 9 years of experience in Accounting and Finance in for profit companies, but her desire for helping her community and having a better work life balance made her look into the not-for-profit sector and realize that it was a great fit for her.
During her career, she was able to build and perfect processes taking the whole organization into consideration providing a systemic approach allowing the company to focus on the main goal instead of dealing with bureaucratic issues.
She is a home bug and loves to spend time with her family, pets and plants.
Board of Directors*
All emails for Board Members should be directed to email@example.com. Be sure to include the name of the Board Member in the subject line.
*Board Members are individual members and do not represent their organizations in any form or capacity on the ORCHWA board. Their employer is listed for context of the diversity of settings that our leaders work as CHWs.
Board Chair: Adriana Rodriguez
Adriana has been living in Washington County for the past 17 years, and has had the privilege to be a parish health promoter for the past 7 years. Through this work she has had the blessing of sharing knowledge about resources with her community as well as seeing them bloom into individuals who feel that they can do what they didn't think they could. Seeing the glow in their eyes once they become empowered is what keeps her doing this work.
Vice Chair: Dr. Julio Maldonado
Affiliations: ORCHWA, and CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association).
Workgroups or other Boards or Committees in which you are active: active: Senior Case Manager at Bienestar de la Familia with Multnomah County.
Skills and Experience: Experience: Certified Childbirth Educator, Health Promotion, Chronic Diseases Self-Management, trainer/facilitator specifically diabetes, heart health, stress, human sexuality and oral health. Field services mentor for the SSCBT home visiting program.
Bio: Dr. Julio Maldonado has more than 23 years of public health and social services experience for Multnomah County in areas of community health work, program management and grant implementation, coalition coordination, case management, and health education. Outside the health department, he spent 15 years working for Kaiser Permanente as a health educator in the area of childbirth education, diabetes self -management, wellness prevention, webinar facilitator, and marketing. Before moving to the United States, he worked as a physician, and health administration for the Nicaraguan ministry of health that included the administration of health services to a rural population of 10,000 community members, and director of a 32 beds hospital, and a health center.
Secretary: Maria Tafolla.
Affiliations: Binational Health Week- Committee Chair 2013 to 2015; SGK Latina Initiative Board Member; OHSU- Latino Outreach Committee Member
Skills and Experience: CHW 60hr training 2012; Motivational Interview; Popular Education; Health Literacy; Community Engagement; Health Education; CHW Supervisor; Program Development; Program Management; Community Outreach; Bilingual-Bicultural
Bio: Maria began her Community Health work in Oregon, as the Health Education Coordinator at a Federally Qualified Health Center, Wallace Medical (WMC) in 2011. With many different leadership roles, she was a key contributor to the success and expansion of the agency and it’s different Community programs. She establish WMC first Community Health Worker Program and Enrollment/Outreach. Led organization initiatives addressing food insecurity, language access, public housing and Jesuit Volunteer Program. In 2012 Maria received her Community Health Worker certification. She has expertise in popular education, strategic planning, community engagement, and health equity. Maria is a founding board member of Oregon’s first Community Health Workers Association.
Chair for Policy & Advocacy Subcommittee: Dr. Zeenia Junkeer
Affiliations: Adjunct faculty, National College of Naturopathic Medicine; contract OHEA CHIP, Urban League of Portland; Director/Co-Founder, Naturopaths Without Borders (NWB)
Workgroups: Healing Hurt People advisory group member, State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon (SERV-OR) advisory group member, SVP Strategy Team
Other Boards or Committees in which you are active: Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon, Oregon Women’s Campaign School.
Bio: Dr. Zeenia Junkeer is the Director of the Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA), a tri-county coalition working for health equity through a racial justice framework. A Naturopathic Physician by training, Zeenia was Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and raised in Beaverton,Oregon. Zeenia is a founding director of Naturopaths Without Borders (NWB), a non-profit supporting prevention-based community-led, holistic initiatives in the US and internationally. Her work centers community based strategies, voices of community members most impacted, sustainable programming and policy, and grassroots advocacy efforts. Zeenia has experience as a facilitator, advocate, organizer and public health professional, in addition to direct clinical care. Her love of travel and learning keeps this Sagittarius seeking new opportunities to share, learn and grow while deepening her own racial justice analysis.
Region 1 Chair (Hood River/Dalles):
Maria Sanchez; The Next Door Inc./ One Community Health
Job Title: Community Health Worker
Affiliations: THW Commission; Spectators; Mission Outreach Community Health Advisors - MOCHA
Skills and Experience: Toña has served communities for her entire life including health promotion, and advocacy. Upon her arrival to the US she began working as a volunteer CHW and soon after became one of the first ever paid CHW in the Nation. Toña has also served on several advisory committees as well as boards around the region. Toña’s possesses experiential leadership skills as well as leadership development skills. Additionally Toña possesses compassion, empathy and passion for her work in conducting outreach to provide health education.
Bio: María Antonia (Toña) Sánchez has been a Community Health Worker (CHW) in the Mid-Columbia since 1988. Prior to that, when she arrived in the United States, she served her community by volunteering to help others access health and social services. She has worked at Nuestra Comunidad Sana as a CHW in work such as breast cancer screening promotion, popular education trainer, family garden promoter, and as the Co-Facilitator for a domestic violence perpetrators program. She also works as La Clínica’s Women’s Health Promotora, conducting outreach, education and assisting with screening access for Hispanic women in our service area. She is a highly respected member of the Latino community as well as a nationally recognized CHW.
Region 2 Chair: open
Region 3 Chair (Lane/Benton/Linn):
Job Title: Certified Community Health Worker; PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Riverbend since July 2012
Affiliations: ORCHWA, ORCHWA Policy & Advocacy committee, AOWLC (Advocacy and Outreach Workers of Lane County), Lane County Equity Coalition (CHIP), THW Commission
Skills and Experience: Certified CHW since 2014, Community outreach and education, Outreach Worker organization, Program development, CHW curriculum writing and teaching at Lane Community College, BS Psychology; Family Life Education. In process of obtaining Masters in Social Work from Portland State University with a concentration in Health Across the Lifespans- June 2019 graduation. Internships with Cornerstone Community Housing and the Eugene Veterans Association homeless outreach team. Jennifer is appointed to the Traditional Health Worker Commission in an ORCHWA seat and participates in the Systems Integration Sub-committee. As a board member for ORCHWA she actively participates in the monthly Policy and Advocacy Committee.
Bio: Jennifer’s career in Human Services began with charity work in 2000 in New Orleans (Covenant House, New Orleans Mission, and working with families in various Housing Projects doing home visitations, social service connections, volunteer coordination, youth mentoring, and food outreaches). She was a Lane County foster parent from 2008 to 2015 and is now an adoptive parent of 3 young ladies. In her role at PeaceHealth, she helps patients navigate the medical and social service systems, as well as stay healthy in the community. Jennifer is passionate about community engagement and advocacy work. Her recent outreach includes organizing the first FEAST in Springfield, OR in 2017. This FEAST in turn created a much-needed permanent food pantry in a food desert. She sits on the Lane County Equity Coalition (CHIP) since 2014 helping to plan for the Community Health Needs assessments and quarterly community health education events. Jennifer also leads the Advocacy and Outreach Workers of Lane County, a group that consists of a listserv, a Facebook page, and monthly meetings at agencies across the community, in order to promote collaboration, sharing resources, and peer support to those doing the ground level work in the community.
Region 4 Chair: open
Region 5 Chair (Tri-County):
Job Title: Community Health Worker Specialist
Affiliations: ORCHWA; African Family Holistic Health Organization (AFHHO), Togo Core, African Women Coalition (AWC) and Unite Oregon. Umoja Wa Wamama, Life church Ministry women group, Liberian women group, Sudanese women group. Chair of Region 5 ORCHWA and Board member of ORCHWA; Board President of AFHHO; Advisor Board Budget Committee of Park and Recreation (city); Adoption and Children Advisor Board Budget (DHS); Vice-Chair of African Advocacy Council
Skills and Experience: Legislative member in Congo more than 10 Years; Co-founder and Board president of the Right of single women in Africa; Manager of stores and motels business in Congo; Assistant to the manager of a foster home for adult; Certified Nurse Assistant for more than 12 years; Community Organizer in Oregon until now
Bio: Therese Lugano, BA in Community Development, is a Community Health Worker at Mid-County. Swahili, French, and English. Ms. Lugano is a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and she grew up in a multilingual environment. Ms. Lugano immigrated to the United States 14 Years ago. As a former legislator in her home country, she brought with her a love of empowering her community members. She has become involved in diverse activities, such as serving on advisory boards and committees that advocate on behalf of Africans. Ms. Lugano has a Bachelor’s degree in legal Business from Ivory Coast.
She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Community Development from PSU. She organizes workshops for diverse organizations such as Togo Core, AWC, and African Family Holistic Health organization. Therese was a co-founder and member of the first advisory Board of the African Women’s Coalition. She is the chair person for the ORCHWA Region 5 and Board member of ORCHWA. Therese is the Board president of the African Family Holistic Health organization. She also serves as member of the city advisory board of the Parks and Recreation Budget board and the RCWAC/DHS advisor board. She was among the African leaders who helped create Africa House. Ms. Lugano has worked as a Certified Nurse Assistant at OHSU for more than 13 Years and brings that experience to her work as a community health worker working in her community. Therese is passionate about empowering her communities and advocating for the underserved limited English proficient population.
Region 3 Representative (Lane/Benton/Linn): Iris Bicksler
Job Title: Family Resource Navigator
Bio: Iris graduated with honors from the University of Oregon with her Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender Studies, and a minor in Anthropology. Iris is a certified Doula and co-founder of Doula's Supporting Teens (DST), now known as Oregon Doula Connection (ODC no longer exists), where she spent six years as a the Executive Director. Her most recent experience includes three years at the Bethel Health Center working in a role of Mental Health Coordinator, Student Program Coordinator and providing support with grant budgets, data collection, and special projects such as transitioning from paper charts to electronic medical records.
Iris also enjoys traveling, and spent nearly a year in Sayulita, Mexico with her family where she worked as a teacher assistant in a kindergarten classroom. She became a certified CHW in 2016 and a Peer Support Specialist in 2018, and brings extensive knowledge of local community networks, resources, and working with families. She will work to develop systems integration and health worker programs linking healthcare and affordable housing in collaboration with United Way and the partners of the Early Learning Alliance in Lane County. She currently sits on the THW Commission, does consulting for Lane County's THW Hub, and is on the Board of Directors for Daisy Chain.
Region 5 Representatives (Clackamas County):
Region 5 Representative (Multnomah County):