Gail Emrick MPH, Executive Director
An Arizona native, Ms. Emrick has been SEAHEC’s Executive Director since 2008. She also serves as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Arizona, College of Public Health. Ms. Emrick is an International Health and Development Specialist with a joint Master’s Degree in Public Health and International Affairs from Columbia University, with a concentration in Latin American Economic and Political Development.
Ms. Emrick has dedicated her professional life to promote the well-being of individuals, families, and communities in Central America and the U.S.-Mexico border regions. Under her vision SEAHEC has forged strategic alliances throughout Arizona for improving Arizona’s health care workforce development programming, and has become a leader in AHEC program evaluation and quality assurance. When not at SEAHEC Gail can be found watching her youngest son’s tennis matches, playing tennis or hiking in Arizona’s rugged mountains or desert landscape.
Suzanne David B.A., Assistant Director, Program Coordinator for Continuing Education
Ms. David has been with SEAHEC for over 20 years. Under her coordination, SEAHEC provides continuing education for Physicians, Nurses, EMS Personnel, Medical Assistants, Social Workers, and School Personnel. She leads our quality assurance team, and has been the chief designer of our quality management system.
Beth Robinson R.T. (R), MHA, Program Coordinator for Continuing Education/Health Education
Beth joined SEAHEC in 2019. Beth Robinson is the Continuing Education/Health Education Coordinator for Southeast Arizona Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC), where she is spearheading the design and delivery of education to rural healthcare professionals. Mrs. Robinson grew up in Cochise County and started her medical career in the Radiology field in Sierra Vista. Before joining SEAHEC she served as a manager for a Radiology Department in Mesquite, Texas and as an Assistant Director of the Portland VA Radiology Department. She is a military veteran and holds a Masters in Health Care Administration.
Erin Sol, Program Coordinator for Student Training Opportunities.
Ms. Sol has worked at SEAHEC since 2008. She coordinates training and volunteer opportunities for a diverse group of health professions students and manages the logistics of housing and travel stipends for students’ community rotations.
Trained in SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) data entry, Ms. Sol participates in the quality assurance team, presenting data in new and meaningful ways. She leads our effort to improve data collection for student engagement, following up with SEAHEC alumni to learn more about SEAHEC’s impact on their lives and career choices.
Kathleen Gilligan, M.S. Ed. Fund Development/Community Health Initiative Specialist.
Ms. Gilligan has been at SEAHEC since 2011. She provides program planning and implementation for community health worker workforce development initiatives and provides technical support to the Arizona Community Health Outreach Workers Association (AzCHOW.) Ms. Gilligan also provides website and resource development support and works with our Quality Assurance team to integrate our student engagement strategies with website, social media, and other communications strategies.
A native of New York State, Ms. Gilligan now calls Cochise County Home. Before coming to SEAHEC, Ms. Gilligan spent several years teaching English in Mexico and at the State University of New York. She also provided literacy training for urban mothers, technical assistance to emerging refugee mutual assistance associations, and supported migrant farm worker efforts in New York to improve working conditions and access to health care.
Lupita Gonzales, SEAHEC Program Assistant & Data Specialist, Ambos Nogales Binational Health Council Secretary
Guadalupe (Lupita) joined the SEAHEC team in January of 2017 as Office Assistant. She provides clerical support to all SEAHEC staff. She is also the secretary for the Ambos Nogales Binational Health Council. Guadalupe brings with her to SEAHEC a wealth of experience in community programming. Having previously worked as an Eligibility Interviewer at Mariposa Community Health Center, Guadalupe has helped to improve access to health services in Santa Cruz County. She has also provided support for programs and members at the Boys and Girls Club in Nogales, AZ.
“I am inspired by my work at SEAHEC because there is so much to learn about health and health care in rural Arizona. I really like it at SEAHEC as our team is very unique, working together and supporting each other. Community response is so fulfilling,” says Lupita of her work with SEAHEC.
Linda Cifuentes, M.Sc., Global Health, SEAHEC Capacity Building Coordinator, Winchester Heights Community Center
Linda Cifuentes joined SEAHEC in 2018. She provides support to residents of Winchester Heights, AZ, the primary location of SEAHEC’s Healthy Farms Program. She will help the community build the organizational capacity and skills needed to maintain their new community center, and to address health priorities identified during the 2017 community environmental health assessment conducted with SEAHEC. Ms. Cifuentes received a B.S. in Biological Anthropology from the University of Arizona and graduated with a Master of Science in Global Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
Linda’s desire to work with underserved communities stems from her parents’ experiences as immigrants in the U.S. as well as witnessing the drastic differences in quality of life between countries like El Salvador and Guatemala, and the U.S. She is not only passionate about providing underprivileged communities with their basic human needs, but also seeks to bring opportunities for them to flourish. She is excited to be a part of SEAHEC’s team and the EPA-granted project to prepare the Winchester Heights community to own and manage their own community center.
Brenda Olivia Sanchez, B.S., Public Health, B.A., Spanish Translation and Interpretation Border/Binational Program Coordinator
Brenda joined the SEAHEC team in May, 2019. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 2018 with a BS in Public Health and a BA in Spanish Translation and Interpretation. During her senior year, Brenda came to SEAHEC as an intern from September 2018 to May 2019. In June, 2019, she came on as a new program coordinator. Brenda oversees SEAHEC programs related to health issues and services along the borderlands. This includes acting as liaison between partners involved in SEAHEC’s border program. Most recently, Brenda helped to plan and implement an increasingly successful service learning course focused on migration issues.
She also acts as SEAHEC’s liaison to the Mexican Consulate of Douglas, as coordinator for their Ventanilla de Salud program in Winchester Heights, Cochise County, Graham County and Greenlee County. Brenda supports our community health workers in Winchester Heights, helping with the development and implementation of SEAHEC’s Healthy Farms Environmental Health Program
One of Brenda’s notable accomplishments to date is developing and implementing the 2019 interprofessional and binational health conference, “Border Health-Information for Action,” hosted by SEAHEC and partners. With an attendance of 190 people the conference was extremely successful. Brenda has also recently become a Certified Health Education Specialist, “because of my interest in preventive health care and health education. It also directly benefits my work with promotores in Winchester Heights,” She said.
Working at SEAHEC, Brenda says she feels she can begin to fulfill her dream of returning to her community, to make a difference.
“I feel that the work I do with SEAHEC is meaningful and directly impacts lives in the communities we work with. I’ve always wanted to help my community and I feel that through my position at SEAHEC, I am able to do that.”