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Davita Health Graduate Fellow

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

School: University of New Mexico-Main Campus

Degree: M.S. Community Health Education

Placement: Office of Sen. Tom Udall

Margarita Chavez is a native New Mexican public health educator and practitioner who is committed to working with New Mexico’s diverse communities in the public and private sectors. She received her M.S. in community health education from the University of New Mexico.

Margarita’s primary concentration areas are community focused public health assessment and advocacy, health promotion, chronic disease prevention, health equity, personal safety, traditional western medicine and holistic healthcare. As a faculty instructor with the University of New Mexico, Health Education and Sports Science department, Margarita taught a variety of courses associated to her areas of expertise. She also has ten years’ experience working as an EMT in local emergency rooms, where she has also served as a patient educator and advocate. She has designed and implemented community and workplace wellness programs with great success.

Margarita is a 6th degree black belt and teaches Kajukembo Karate, Jiu-Jitsu and fitness and nutrition programs in her parent’s family owned martial arts school. She has volunteered for numerous organizations including Comadre a Comadre, a local breast cancer patient advocate organization and Casa de Salud, a health and wellness clinic serving the underprivileged and uninsured in her community.

Margarita is a SOPHIE 21st Century Scholar; a graduate of the 2013 Health Advocacy Summit; and has also completed a post-graduate internship, Exito! Latino Cancer Leadership Training where she conducted breast cancer research with the Susan G. Koman Foundation of Central New Mexico. She currently works as the health and wellness coordinator for Bernalillo County and is developing evidence based worksite wellness programs.

As a CHCI Graduate Health Fellow, Margarita aspires to expand her knowledge of health policy and make a positive impact on health policy reform. As a positive role model for New Mexicans, Margarita hopes to learn more about resources available to the underserved in her community that will allow them to access affordable health education and health care services. Margarita will lead by the example her parents have set, that is, achieving higher education goals, successful and long lived business ownership, and being a strong and critical component of the community.