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The Community Health Worker Coalition for Migrants and Refugees


The Community Health Worker Coalition for Migrants and Refugees (CHWCMR) is a passionate group of volunteers dedicated to the promotion, empowerment, leadership, continuing education and integration of Community Health Workers (CHWs) into the healthcare system to improve the quality of life of migrants, the mobile poor and refugees. Our Members: are comprised of CHWs, Community Health Representatives, Community Health Advisers and other related titles, and representatives of academic, media, government and private institutions and dreamers, who believe in the cause and would like to contribute their professional expertise toward improving the quality of life of migrants, the mobile poor, and refugees by incorporating CHWs to clinical and community-based settings.

Mission Statement:  Encourage and support Community Health Workers who serve migrants and refugees by creating new opportunities and developing innovative solutions.

Vision: Support CHWs to allow them to increase their personal potential, improve their quality of life, support their family, and better serve their community.

Values: Compassion, Respect, Leadership, Integrity, Hard work, Accessible and trusted members of the community


CHWCMR Executive Director: Ileana Ponce-González-Snohomish


Bereket Hailemariam is our ARCORA PROJECT COORDINATOR ASSISTANT, who will provide support to our CHWs until Dec. 30. He is a student of the Health Studies Major and Health Education Promotion Minor at the University of Washington, Bothell, WA.  

Bereket is passionate about Refugees, human rights, and migrant populations. He also has experience in social media marketing and held a seat as Seattle High School Vice President at Wet for the last two years.



Carlos Mejia Rodriguez is our CHWCMR MEDICAL OFFICER. Carlos was born in Honduras and graduated as Family Physician at Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala and practiced back in Honduras for 17 years in the private and public sector. His focuses as a professional have been children and families, disadvantaged groups such as indigenous, miners, farmworkers, rural, and low income neighborhoods.

Dr. Carlos moved to the USA in 2002, invited as an adviser to the board of Shelbyville Free Clinic. He went back to school online for a PhD in Public Health Community health education and promotion and actually is working on cultural humility research, presentations, and trainings. His research interests focus on tobacco prevention, ACE’s, cultural humility, and CHW’s for Latinos.


Operational Board:

Laura Flores Cantrell - Seattle

Giselle Zapata-Garcia - Seattle

Jesus Reyna - Seattle

Jeanna Lee - Snohomish County

Silvia Kennedy – Snohomish County

Socorro Garcia - Pasco


External Advisory Board:


Jody Early, Ph.D., M.S., MCHES

Associate Professor

School of Nursing and Health Studies

Associate Director

Teaching and Learning Center

University of Washington Bothell

pronouns: she/her/hers


Lilian Bravo

Director of Publich Health Partnerships

Yakima Health District


Nora Coronado, MSW

Director of Community Partnership and Development in the Center of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (CEDI)


Alejandro Paw Sang

Diabetes Lead

Community-Based Prevention Section

Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes Prevention Program



Assistant Member, Cancer Prevention Program

Public Health Sciences Division

Associate Professor

University of Washington, School of Public Health, Department of Health Services


Maria Blancas, MPH

University of Washington


Michael Parchman, MD, MPH

Director of Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute’s MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation


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