2023-2024 CHCI Postgraduate Fellows
CHCI Health Postgraduate Fellow Presented by Bristol Myers Squibb
Hometown: Texarkana, Texas
School: Syracuse University
Degree: Master of Public Health
Placement: The Office of Congressman Tony Cardenas
Daniela (she/her) was born and raised in East Texas and is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents immigrated to pursue a better future for their children and serve their community. Motivated by her parents’ hard work and support, Daniela graduated with honors holding a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Public Policy with an International Business minor and a Master of Public Health with a Global Health Concentration.
Growing up in predominantly white, rural communities in a mixed-status family, Daniela experienced first-hand the difficulties vulnerable communities faced in accessing crucial resources, learning the importance of advocating for marginalized groups. Inspired to stand for her community in the face of a hostile political climate, Daniela cultivated her interest in politics working to understand the system of issues affecting the Hispanic community. During an internship at a malnutrition center in Guatemala, Daniela was compelled by the tragedies she witnessed to pursue a career in health. This marked the start of her journey to understanding the vital role of accessibility and equity in community health.
Daniela researched healthcare disparities among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States looking at immigrant, women, rural, aging, and specific geographic populations in collaboration with a range of partners. Daniela has been recognized academically and within her campus community, earning the Outstanding Thesis, Outstanding Graduate in Biology, and Community Builder awards at her undergraduate institution and given the honor of Graduate Public Health Class Marshall. During her time pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at Syracuse University, Daniela was thrust to the front lines of responding to a public health crisis working as a supervisor for her institution’s COVID-19 testing lab. Pursuant to her interest in equity, Daniela collaborated across campus departments for projects aimed specifically at helping minority students access vital support services through her work with the DEIA office of her university’s health care center. She further embraced supporting her campus community as the inaugural communication secretary for the Graduate Student Organization and as committee chair for Take Back the Night, an event advocating against interpersonal violence on college campuses.
As a CHCI Postgraduate Fellow, Daniela hopes her time will equip her to improve the health of marginalized communities through coalition building and stakeholder engagement. She is excited to continue expanding her knowledge of healthcare policy and gain valuable experience working with multiple sectors to advance health equity.