Marcella Hernandez, Davita Health Graduate Fellow
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
School: University of Illinois at Chicago
Degree: M.P.H. in Community Health Sciences
Placement: Office of Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard
Marcella Hernandez is a Mexican-Guatemalan-American born and raised in a primarily Latino community from Los Angeles, California. Recognizing some of the struggles communities of color traditionally face, Marcella developed a deep passion and sense of responsibility for working with underserved communities like her own.
After completing her undergraduate degree, Marcella participated in the Mexican Migration Field Research Program where she had in-depth and hands-on experience working in a bi-national multidisciplinary social research team on migration and health. Her commitment to social justice led her to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health, primarily focusing on community health.
As a graduate student, she was co-director of a pen-pal program serving as a pathway to encourage 5th grade students to pursue higher education in a Mexican neighborhood with low educational attainment, served as a research assistant to build community capacity for community-level interventions to transfer workers from unhealthy to healthy work, and participated in implementing the Cuban “Health Analysis Tool” in collaboration with local and international partners to model and pilot Cuba’s primary care practices in a Chicago federally-qualified health clinic to reduce infant mortality.
As a public servant and public health professional, Marcella will continue to pursue opportunities in governmental and community settings, and dedicate her work to supporting efforts in creating fairer opportunities for underprivileged communities. As a CHCI Graduate Fellow, she plans to participate in the comprehensive policymaking process and be at the forefront of creating change towards a more equitable future regardless of race, gender, age, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, and more.