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DaVita/Edward R. Roybal Health Graduate Fellow

Hometown: Whittier, CA

School: Loma Linda University

Major: Master’s, Pubic Health

Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34)

Rebecca is a first generation Mexican-American, born and raised in Whittier, California. She received a BS in Health Science and Health Care Administration from California State University, Long Beach. Rebecca’s family experience as a translator, auxiliary nurse, and reference point between medical providers and family members pushed Rebecca to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health from Loma Linda University.

Rebecca’s academic experience and desire to actively participate in community welfare afforded her the opportunity to work for the National Council of La Raza/California State University, Long Beach (NCLR/CSULB) Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training. In this capacity, Rebecca worked to coordinate health programs for underserved Latino communities through research and education. She became involved in the Guías de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe project, where a trained cohort of immigrant, Spanish-speaking promotores helped pregnant Latinas connect with the health care system. Her work on this project was central in the development of a white paper, “Critical Disparities in Mental Health.” Rebecca’s work at AltaMed Health Services allowed her to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment focusing on women, ages 10-45. The assessment identified the defining features of women and the disparities that impact the use of medical care and social services.

As a graduate student, Rebecca carried out extensive research on health care pay for performance models. She also collaborated with various researchers to report on an ethnographic portrait of Botánicas in San Bernardino, CA. Her interests in maternity care allowed her to collaborate with the San Bernardino Health Department to develop a labor induction education curriculum on the risks of non-medically indicated inductions to providers, health educators, and women.

Rebecca furthered her interests in rural health by spending time in Sri Lanka and Peru. In Sri Lanka she worked on a comparative analysis of health care delivery systems in the US and Sri Lanka. In Peru, Rebecca and fellow classmates assisted in the construction of a cattle shelter, as well as providing dental hygiene education to the community.

Through CHCI’s Graduate and Young Professionals Fellowship Program, Rebecca hopes to gain a broader understanding of formulating health policy to foster an ongoing commitment to improve the health conditions of underserved Latino communities.

Her interests include reading, making earrings, dancing, and listening to music.