Center Staff Portrait

The CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training was established in 2005 to support and create diverse community health initiatives that increase access to culturally and linguistically relevant health education, prevention, screening, and treatment. Initial funding for the Center came through an earmark supported by the Congressional Hispanic Health Task Force spearheaded by former Congresswoman and U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis. Our mission is to improve, promote, and advocate for the health and well-being of diverse Latino/Hispanic communities.

While we have grown considerably since our official founding, our work continues to improve health, educational, and social equity among the Latino communities with whom we work and serve. Grants funded through myriad governmental agencies and gifts from private donors support our efforts in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention, obesity prevention, youth empowerment, nutrition education, perinatal and maternal child health, and Latino educational success. Our programs capacitate communities by training undergraduate and graduate students to work closely with leading multi-disciplinary academics to positively create culturally relevant strategies that improve the health access of Latinos in the United States.

We also work actively with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) – the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States – to rigorously evaluate its community health outreach programs; these include collaborative efforts with local community-based organizations and promotores de salud (community health workers). We strive to ensure that each of our programs has a sustainable and tangible outcome in the community and that our work promotes positive change in Latino health status and access.

We strive to improve the health, educational, and social equity among the Latino communities with whom we work and serve.

We improve, promote, and advocate for the health, culture, and well-being of diverse Latino/Hispanic communities.

  1. We are driven to action by our community-centered mission.
  2. We embody an attitude of community service.
  3. We operate with integrity and inclusiveness.
  4. We foster leadership and empowerment.
  5. We value our grass-roots underpinnings.
  6. We are accountable to the communities we serve.
  7. We uphold the community-driven missions of NCLR and CSULB.
  8. We acknowledge, appreciate, and celebrate the cultures, resiliency, insights, and contributions of Latino/Hispanic families and communities.

Please support our work. Any and all contributions are appreciated and welcome.

Please Support Us

  • Zoila Escobar AltaMed Health Services
  • David Hayes-Bautista University of California Los Angeles
  • Felipe Castro University of Texas at El Paso
  • Hector Balcazaar UT School of Public Health at Houston
  • Jorge Daboub Univision
  • Kurt Organista University of Berkeley School of Social Welfare
  • Richard Zaldivar The Wall Las Memorias Project
  • Sara Elena Loaiza Latino Consultants
  • Vickie Mays UCLA School of Public Health
  • Mitchell S. Kushner, MD, MPH Long Beach Department of Health and Humans Services
  • Cynthia Gomez San Francisco State University Health Equity Institute
  • Jennifer Ng’andu RWJF
  • Dr. David Rivers Medical University of South Carolina
  • Henry Pachecho National Hispanic Council on Aging
  • Mara Bird, Ph.D
  • Mara Bird, Ph.D
  • Center Director
  • mara.bird@csulb.edu
  • Miguel Angel Ortiz-Valenzuela
  • Miguel Angel Ortiz-Valenzuela
  • Assistant Director / STEM Data Manager
  • MiguelAngel.OrtizValenzuela@csulb.edu
  • Melawhy Garcia-Vega, MPH
  • Melawhy Garcia-Vega, MPH
  • Doctoral Fellow
  • melawhy.garcia@csulb.edu
  • Natalia Gatdula, MPH
  • Natalia Gatdula, MPH
  • Director of Community-Based Programs
  • natalia.gatdula@csulb.edu
  • Mayra Rascón, MPH
  • Mayra Rascón, MPH
  • Doctoral Fellow
  • mayra.rascon@csulb.edu
  • Dr. Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez, Ph.D
  • Dr. Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez, Ph.D
  • Research Associate
  • selena.nguyen-rodriguez@csulb.edu
  • Maryan Santa Cruz
  • Maryan Santa Cruz
  • Administrative Assistant
  • maryan.santacruz@csulb.edu
  • Jill Montague
  • Jill Montague
  • Accounting Technician
  • jill.montague@csulb.edu
  • Alex Garbanati, BA
  • Alex Garbanati, BA
  • Graphic Artist/Multimedia Strategist
  • alex.garbanati@csulb.edu
  • Jason Ayala, BS
  • Jason Ayala, BS
  • HSI STEM Web & Media Coordinator
  • jason.ayala@csulb.edu
  • Helen Barriere, BA
  • Helen Barriere, BA
  • Promotores Coordinator
  • helen.barriere@csulb.edu
  • Nora Ortiz-Sanchez
  • Nora Ortiz-Sanchez
  • Administrative Assistant
  • nora.ortiz-sanchez@csulb.edu
  • Dr. Gino Galvez, Ph.D
  • Dr. Gino Galvez, Ph.D
  • Co-Investigator
  • gino.galvez@csulb.edu
  • Angel Torres, MS
  • Angel Torres, MS
  • Project Coordinator
  • angel.torres@csulb.edu
  • Monica Aguilar, MPH
  • Monica Aguilar, MPH
  • Research Associate
  • monica.aguilar@student.csulb.edu
  • Erika Bonilla, BS
  • Erika Bonilla, BS
  • Assistant Program Coordinator
  • erika.bonilla@csulb.edu
  • Susy Flores, MFT
  • Susy Flores, MFT
  • Behavioral Therapist
  • susy.flores@csulb.edu
  • Dr. Britt Rios-Ellis, Ph.D
  • Dr. Britt Rios-Ellis, Ph.D
  • Founding Director
  • Maria Cristina Chaple
  • Maria Cristina Chaple
  • maria.chaple@csulb.edu
  • Concepcion Garcia
  • Concepcion Garcia
  • c.garcia@csulb.edu
  • Virginia Mata
  • Virginia Mata
  • virgim42@yahoo.com
  • Maricela Parga
  • Maricela Parga
  • maricela.parga@csulb.edu
  • Dr. Gail Frank, Family and Consumer Science Department
  • Dr. Javier Lopez-Zetina, Health Science Department
  • Dr. Eric Marinez, Biochemistry and Chemistry Department
  • Dr. Dustin Thoman, Psychology Department
  • Dr. Guido Urizar, Psychology Department