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La Luz, health center hire community outreach coordinator

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La Luz Center and the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center have named Catalina Chavez-Tapia as community outreach and navigator.

This new position will enable the two agencies, which have similar and overlapping clientele, to reach out to community members who can benefit from their services, and design services that meet their needs. The position is funded in part by the Community Foundation of Sonoma County’s Todd Trust, which is dedicated to improving the lives of Springs residents.

As the community outreach and navigator, Chavez-Tapia will learn about the Springs community, talk with community members and organizations to determine their needs, and help provide links between those needs and local agencies that address them.

“In addition to the services offered by La Luz and the health center, many other organizations in the community address specific needs of our clients. The goal of the position is to raise awareness of these services and to act as a liaison by bringing those services to where they are needed. It is not our intention to recreate what already exists.” said Juan Hernandez, executive director of La Luz. “Collaboration with other service organizations is a crucial part of making sure our community has access to all the services they need.”

A big piece of Chavez-Tapia’s work will be about collaboration and working with existing groups and efforts.

“It is important to honor the work that has already been done in the Springs, however we believe that this position will break new ground in the integration of these services. It will improve access to all of the organizations in the current framework,” said Cheryl Johnson, CEO of the health center. “Catalina has successfully worked with different organizations in Napa County to achieve a common goal, and we are excited to have her working to replicate that success here.”

Born in Michoacán, Mexico, Chavez-Tapia migrated to the United States in 1976. She was raised in Napa and educated in the Napa public schools. Her interests in advocating for English learner children and Latina women emerged from the challenges posed to her family by the process of migration. She earned her bachelor’s degree in international inter-cultural communication at California State University, Sacramento and her master’s degree in nonprofit administration from University of San Francisco.

Chavez-Tapia has spent the past two decades in the research field for nonprofit organizations. She has worked in the area of migration in health for the Health Initiative of the Americas, a program of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Her current research examines the impact of migration in Latina women.

For more information, contact Kathleen Bianchi-Rossi, director of development of SVCHC at 939-6070, ext. 207, or email krossi@SVCHC.org.