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CHCI-CVS Health Graduate Fellow

Hometown: Canyon, Texas
School: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center; Texas Tech University
Degree: Master of Public Health; Master of Public Administration
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador, Michelle Galdámez (she/her/ella) understands the unique challenges immigrants face in the U.S. concerning access to health care. Almost ten years ago, she made the solo journey from her home country to Texas for the opportunity of a better education. She subsequently experienced first-hand how communities are impacted in rural America by health disparities that affect the quality of their programming and services. Michelle is a committed advocate for access to affordable health coverage and care for all underrepresented groups.

Michelle’s lived experiences motivated her interest in health policy, a hopeful dream to change the fragmented American healthcare system and serve a greater purpose. In pursuit of her passion for health equity, she earned a Master of Public Health from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and a second Master of Public Administration from Texas Tech University. Previously, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences at West Texas A&M University.

As a graduate student, Michelle interned in Congresswoman Veronica Escobar’s office and later on with the Senate HELP Committee, where she immersed herself in health policy and gained a better understanding of the legislative process. These unique experiences allowed her to work alongside leaders to identify solutions to increase response and preparedness during the critical times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Focusing on public health, she supported a portion of the health care legislative portfolio, including issues related to pandemic response, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and prescription drug costs. Most recently, Michelle worked as a contracted program analyst for a nonprofit focusing on leveraging unique relationships with government, nonprofit, and medical supply chains to build and enhance the resiliency of communities before, during, and after disasters.

As a CHCI-CVS Health Graduate Fellow, Michelle hopes to work closely with policymakers to implement and evaluate health policies and programs. Her goal is to craft effective health policies that address disparities and positively impact the health status of Latino communities. She aims to meet these challenges with the critical lens of a woman of color, immigrant, and public health specialist. Moreover, Michelle aspires to learn how to impact policy through increased inclusion and cooperation with community leaders, matter experts, and policymakers. After the fellowship, she wishes to continue as a public servant by working as a policy analyst or legislative assistant engaged in public health policy work in Washington, DC.