CHCI-PepsiCo Foundation Nutritional Health Graduate Fellow
Hometown: El Paso, Texas
School: Texas A&M University – San Antonio
Placement 1: Office of Rep. Beto O’Rourke
Placement 2: U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Originally from El Paso, Texas, Elisa has spent her career serving Latino communities in the areas of health and education, with a strong background in direct patient care and a robust understanding of the effect of policy on communities. Elisa earned her B.A. in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2007 and later her M.B.A from Texas A&M University – San Antonio in 2012. Between completing her B.A. and beginning her M.B.A., Elisa completed an internship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and participated in a mentorship project for low-income students through the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
Elisa held a five-year research position at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), where she worked on various community based projects and studies. She worked with a project focused on providing expert health care access via tele-medicine to pre-diabetic youth in Starr County, one of the poorest counties in the country at the time. Elisa later worked on a project through the National Institute of Health, which funded the Treatment Options for type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents & Youth (TODAY) study. The largest longitudinal study of its kind, the TODAY study sought to evaluate the efficacy of different medical interventions for youth with Type II Diabetes Mellitus. Elisa continued navigating the health care industry and moved on to the private sector, where she worked to educate local San Antonio patients on end-of-life care. Most recently, she has served as a community liaison to El Paso law enforcement, school districts, hospitals, and other health care providers.
Elisa was also selected as part of the Emerging Leadership Institute through the National Latina Health Network, through which her team placed twice (3rd and 2nd) in the Free Trade Alliance International Business Plan Competition in Washington, D.C., where her team created business plans for a medical start-up pioneering non-invasive breast cancer imaging and a Latino-owned company that does quality assurance for photovoltaic panels.
Elisa looks forward to the CHCI Health Graduate Fellowship as an avenue to becoming an active participant in health policy-making and to better understand the systemic mechanisms that affect health care providers.