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CHCI-DaVita Health Graduate Fellow

Hometown: San Jose, California
School: University of Southern California
Degree: Master of Public Health in Community Health Promotion
Placement: The Office of Congressman Tony Cardenas

Elizabeth Rosalia Tapia (she/her) was born and raised in San Jose, California, to Mexican American parents who always encouraged her to take pride in all of the identities she holds. She is extremely proud to be their daughter and to represent her family and herself in all spaces she enters. Witnessing the many health obstacles faced by her abuelos, and later herself, Elizabeth felt drawn to a career in healthcare. Upon learning about the vast disparities in health outcomes and quality of life for Latinx/e and other marginalized communities, she was empowered to pursue public health as a career. She graduated with honors with both her Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and a Master of Public Health in Community Health Promotion from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, California.

Her professional public health experiences come from a diverse range of institutions and organizations, including USC, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to name a few. At USC, Elizabeth assisted in implementing a pilot program focused on increasing clinical capacity for primary care providers to treat mental health disorders among female survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in the Kivu region of Democratic Republic of the Congo. In relation to this work, she analyzed the effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy and Narrative Exposure Therapy as proposed community-based therapeutic approaches for this community to reduce symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

During her time with LACDPH, she interned for the Office of Women’s Health, where she aided in monitoring local and state legislation related to maintaining and increasing abortion access. She also created comprehensive infographics on sexual violence and assault that were distributed to over 4,000 Angelenos. As a HACU National Internship Program (HNIP) Intern, Elizabeth was placed at the CDC’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, where she conducted a fatality assessment and control evaluation (FACE) on occupational injuries and deaths sustained by Latinx and Spanish-speaking landscapers. She used this evaluation to create both English and Spanish infographics on safe practices when using lawn machinery and equipment that was distributed to organizations in over 30 states.

These experiences, amongst others, have shaped Elizabeth’s public health interests of women’s health, maternal and infant health, reproductive health and access, and mental health and substance use, especially as it pertains to Latinx/e and female populations. As a CHCI-DaVita Health Graduate Fellow, Elizabeth is excited to develop a greater understanding of legislative processes and the intersection with health, build partnerships with key stakeholders, and contribute to community-oriented policies that prioritize and promote health equity for all.